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Big Idea 2013: This year, the War on Drugs ends

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Drug War

“We will never stop the flow of drugs over our borders from abroad as long as we continue to sexually abuse a quarter of our children at home.  People take drugs, both legal and illegal, for a reason and a smarter public policy is to invest in removing that reason rather than fighting a war on its symptoms.” said Andrew Willis of the Stop Abuse Campaign commenting on Richard Branson’s “Big Idea 2013: This Year, the War on Drugs Ends.’

As Richard Branson states, “Strangely, the trillion dollar war on drugs has persisted for 40 years even though it is the most dismal global policy failure of our time. Why do I care and why should you?”

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Strangely, the trillion dollar war on drugs has persisted for 40 years even though it is the most dismal global policy failure of our time. Why do I care and why should you?

Millions of otherwise productive lives are wasted and lost in jail for marijuana possession and other nonviolent drug violations. California could raise an estimated US $1.4B in annual revenue if it taxed and regulated the sale of marijuana – so imagine the revenue that is keeping the underworld in business.

Strangely, the trillion dollar war on drugs has persisted for 40 years even though it is the most dismal global policy failure of our time. Why do I care and why should you?

Millions of otherwise productive lives are wasted and lost in jail for marijuana possession and other nonviolent drug violations. California could raise an estimated US $1.4B in annual revenue if it taxed and regulated the sale of marijuana – so imagine the revenue that is keeping the underworld in business.

I’m a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy and we have been looking at this issue for the last two years. There are countries – such as Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, UK and Netherlands – that have adopted alternative strategies with promising results.

I’d like the business community to help figure out what can be done for countries to take a hard look at the failures of the drug war and adopt humane solutions that focus on education and health care rather than criminalization and incarceration. Let’s make 2013 the year we Break The Taboo.

 

 

 

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