As the UN Special Rapporteur it is my duty to examine and report back to the United Nations on the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The central objective of the international drug control regime is the “health and welfare of mankind”. Unfortunately, the approach taken by this regime has failed, resulting in countless human rights violations based on decades of mounting scientific evidence which I was compelled to outline in my recent submission to the UN. Read more →
I support the Vienna Declaration because a global HIV epidemic exists among drug users, and current approaches to tackling this massive health crisis have failed.
As a former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, I have seen firsthand the devastation – personal, social, and economic – that this disease can cause. Drug users now account for a third of all HIV infections outside of sub-Saharan Africa; their devastation is compounded by perverse, punitive, destructive government policies. Read more →
I support the Vienna Declaration because I’ve seen first hand the terrible harms of the war on drugs. In Russia, our Government refuses to accept the scientific evidence showing that current policies are contributing to massive drug-related harms. The injection-fueled HIV epidemic in Russia now includes over a million people, taking away many lives. This unwillingness to face the facts will continue to make our friends suffer and die young – of AIDS, tuberculosis, drug overdoses, suicide. Unfortunately, the Russian government is not the only one that has refused to accept the evidence – countries across the world prefer the war and terror over health and dignity: they engage in torture, violence, executions, and willful neglect of the health and human rights of drug users, all in the name of the war on drugs. Read more →
I support the Vienna Declaration because HIV infection among illicit drug users has reached epidemic levels in many regions across the world. As such, policies that recognize and respond effectively to this challenge must immediately be implemented.
As the International AIDS Conference held this past week in Vienna has demonstrated, there exists a vast scientific literature detailing the likely effects of current drug policy approaches. Indeed, scientists are now in a position to speak confidently regarding the limitations of drug prohibition in reducing drug supply and demand, and on the effects of “war on drugs” approaches on rates of HIV infection and other negative health outcomes among drug users. Read more →
Over the last 34 years I have dedicated myself “to protect and serve” the people of my community. But after more than three decades in law enforcement, I can say with certainty that the war on drugs is achieving precisely the opposite effect.
I support the Vienna Declaration because the global War on Drugs has produced staggering rates of death, disease, crime, and corruption. Read more →
For decades, despite the mounting evidence of health and social harms stemming directly from the global “war on drugs,” drug policy reform has been slow in coming. On the eve of the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010), there seems to be a great deal of enthusiasm in the air about the potential for a tectonic shift in the global drug policy paradigm away from the drug war and towards evidence-based approaches to address illegal drugs.
I support the Vienna Declaration because we, as a global society, are at a critical juncture with respect to our efforts to control the spread of HIV among injection drug users, and we must not let it pass us by.
Thanks to a critical mass of scientific evidence we know with certainty we can halt the spread of HIV in this population simply through providing HIV treatment, clean needles and evidence-based addiction treatments like opioid substitution therapy, supervised injection sites and medicalized heroin. Read more →
I support the Vienna Declaration because drug prohibition has failed, and in its failure it has caused major social and health-related harms.
In Latin America, despite billions spent on targeting drug cartels and farmers that grow illicit coca crops, the only outcome has been to shift areas of cultivation and drug cartels from one country to another, with no reduction in the magnitude of the drug trade. In the meantime, the violence and corruption caused by these policies continue to harm the region and its most vulnerable people.
I support the Vienna Declaration because for too long too many individuals and families around the world have suffered and lives have been lost from drug policies that are not based on sound evidence. Read more →
I support the Vienna Declaration because drug use should not be a matter left for judges and police to try and resolve. Drug use is a public health issue. As such, it can only be addressed including people that use drugs as part of the solution, instead of considering them as the problem. Read more →