The Beckley Foundation is about to launch a new global campaign in collaboration with Virgin Unite, Avaaz and the Global Commission on Drug Policy – “Breaking the Taboo” – to be launched with the film of the same name. The Mission Statement of the new campaign is the Beckley Foundation Public Letter, and the campaign will include a re-launching of the Avaaz petition to End the War on Drugs.
Please do not sign if you are a signatory to Avaaz’s End the War on Drugs petition of June 2011
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The global War on Drugs has failed. It was launched 50 years ago, with the 1961 UN Single Convention on Drugs. This was expected to eliminate the production, supply and use of drugs, and so bring about a drug-free world. Yet, 50 years later, the use of drugs continues to rise, criminal cartels enjoy unprecedented profits, drugs-police and agencies consume unquantifiable amounts of taxpayers’ money, 10 million people are in prisons worldwide for drugs offences, civil liberties are abused, and tens of thousands die in the drug war every year. The drug-free world, so confidently predicted by supporters of the 1961 Convention with its criminalizing approach, is further than ever from realization, and has had many unintended and disastrous side effects.
Countries who have experimented with more liberal drugs policies, such as Portugal, have not experienced the boom in drug-use that critics predicted. Instead, they have seen significant reductions in drug-related crime, addiction and deaths. Due to the redistribution of resources away criminalisation, these countries can focus on healthcare, education and dismantling criminal empires. We must encourage our governments to experiment with progressive, cost-effective, health-oriented drugs policies.