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    Truth Will Prevail wrote:
    It isn't working. It never has worked. And so long as it continues to be fought in its current form, the "war on drugs" will do little to curb the spread of illegal narcotics or prevent hundreds of thousands of people from continuing to lose their lives each year as a result of the international drug trade.
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    So says a panel of world leaders who called yesterday for the biggest shake-up of drug laws in half a century. "The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world," declared the Global Commission on Drug Policy. "Fundamental reforms... are urgently needed."
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    The Commission, which counts the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan along with former presidents of Brazil, Mexico and Colombia as members, believes governments must now experiment with "legal regulation of drugs." "This recommendation applies especially to cannabis," reads a major report it published in New York yesterday. "But we would also encourage other experiments in decriminalisation."
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    Ecstasy, which is currently considered a class-A substance, ought to be reclassified in line with medical opinion that it is far less dangerous than legal drugs such as nicotine and alcohol, the report suggests. Users of narcotics should be offered education and treatment, rather than being incarcerated, it advises. And countries which insist on continuing a "law enforcement" approach to drug crime should focus resources on taking down high-level traffickers, rather than arresting everyday drug mules and street dealers.
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    Although the recommendations are regarded as a statement of the obvious by many experts, they fly in the face of the official policies of most Western nations. Their endorsement by the Global Commission is therefore likely to be highly controversial. However, campaigners for drug reform are hoping that yesterday's report may herald a shift in the way drug policy is debated by the international community.
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    The 24-page document notes that years of prohibition have resulted in a steady rise in the number of people regularly using drugs, which the UN currently estimates at around 250 million worldwide. Opiate use has grown by around 35 percent in the past decade, while world consumption of cocaine and cannabis has risen 27 and 8.5 percent respectively.
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    Current laws leave this growing industry in the hands of criminal gangs, resulting in spiralling violence from the slums of West Africa to swaths of Central and Latin America. In Mexico, a supposed government crackdown on drug gangs has resulted in 38,000 deaths in the past four and a half years.
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    The Commission, which also counts Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, George Shultz, the former US Secretary of State, and Sir Richard Branson among its 19 members, says the UN should now lead an "urgent" rethink of global drug policies, based on scientific evidence rather than political expediency.
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    Citing the success of liberal drug policies in countries such as Portugal, Holland and Australia, it recommends taking money spent on costly law enforcement campaigns and investing it instead in preventive drug education and treatment programmes proved to curb addiction rates and prevent health problems among users.
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    "Overwhelming evidence from Europe, Canada and Australia now demonstrates the human and social benefits of treating drug addiction as a health rather than criminal justice problem," said co-author Ruth Dreifuss, the former Swiss president, at yesterday's launch of the report in New York. "These policies need to be adopted worldwide, with requisite changes to the international drug control conventions.
    Truth Will prevail i dont know where you found your information, but as a cop in Australia i can tell you that we do not have relaxed drug policies over here, you can not even get Cannabis on prescription, we do however issue fines straight away as opposed to going to court (depending on the amount located), i have also been a police officer in the UK, and i can tell you that the UK has a more relaxed policy on drugs than here in Australia."
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Massive haul of cannabis seized in raid

A MASSIVE haul of 400 cannabis plants was seized by cops in a raid.

Officers burst into the outbuilding at the back of a property on the Wickford stretch of the A127 on Tuesday.

They found a makeshift factory with hundreds of the Class B drug plants growing.

A 56-year-old man from Wickford has been arrested.

*Full story and pictures in Thursday's Echo

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