Richard Branson Calls War on Drugs ‘greatest failure of global policy in the last 40 years’

Richard Branson – Wiki image

Activist Post

Head of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, together with the Global Commission on Drug Policy, released a new study proving the failure of the war on drugs has far reaching negative consequences, including the spread of HIV.

“The report condemns the drug war as a failure and recommends immediate, major reforms of the global drug prohibition regime to halt the spread of HIV infection and other drug war harms,” read the GCDP  press release written by six former presidents and other world leaders.

The billionaire social entrepreneur and drug legalization advocate, Branson, wrote on his blog that the drug war is the “greatest failure of global policy” in four decades:

As an entrepreneur, if one of my businesses is failing year after year I’d close it down or change tack – I would not wait 40 years. The war on drugs is perhaps the greatest failure of global policy in the last 40 years…

Branson also explains his recent activism against drug prohibition, “I had long thought that the war on drugs did more harm than good – as with the prohibition of alcohol in the United States had done in the 1920s.”

He and the commission are “urging governments worldwide to treat drug use as a health issue and not a criminal issue.”

Here is Branson speaking to the Drug Policy Institute about his work with the commission and the successes in Portugal after their decriminalization of drugs:

The new study titled The War on Drugs and HIV/AIDS: How the Criminalization of Drug Use Fuels the Global Pandemic details and graphs the many ways that forcing drug users into the shadows increases HIV/AIDS transmission.

The report also emphasizes the undeniable fact that billions of dollars are spent and thousands of people are killed each year in the war on drugs, yet consumption has never decreased.  By all stated objectives, the drug war has failed.

The GCDP announced their findings at a London press conference yesterday:

Read the study:
http://globalcommissionondrugs.org/wp-content/themes/gcdp_v1/pdf/GCDP_HIV-AIDS_2012_REFERENCE.pdf

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