by Jon Queally
Corporal Mark Hickok,
a 23-year-old combat engineer from North Olmstead, Ohio,
patrols a poppy field in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Photo | U.S. Marine Corps
has called for a
of global policy
and an end to
the failed efforts
Another major study designed to assess how national governments wage
their so-called "war on drugs" shows that the last ten years of such
policies have not only failed to put a dent in the illegal drug
trade, the tactics have had serious negative impacts for global
health, human rights, public safety and economic progress.
As a result, the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC),
the international group behind the report, is calling for a major
rethinking of global policy on narcotics and an end to the failed
efforts that governments refuse to relinquish.
"This report is
another nail in the coffin for the war on drugs," said Ann
Fordham, IDPC's executive director of IDPC, in a statement.
"The fact that
governments and the UN do not see fit to properly evaluate the
disastrous impact of the last ten years of drug policy is
The report - titled
- A decade of Drug Policy" - evaluates the impacts of
drug policies implemented across the world over the past decade,
using data from
the United Nations, peer-reviewed academic research,
and a collection of grey literature from civil society.
What did it find?
It found that the last
decade's efforts to eliminate the world's illicit drug market via a
militarized "war on drugs" approach has had almost zero effect on
global supply while creating widespread and negative effects on
global health, human rights, security and development.
"Instead of reducing
the overall scale of the illegal drug market," notes the
executive summary, "overly punitive drug policies have
often exacerbated violence, instability and corruption."
Meanwhile, over the last
tens years in which decreasing crop production of,
...was a key goal of governments, the report found that
crop yields for all three went up.
according the report's estimate is up by 130%, while coca production
is up 34% over the last decade. Cannabis figures are harder to
estimate, the report found no evidence that crops are down.
"What we learn from
the IDPC shadow report is compelling.
Since governments started
collecting data on drugs in the 1990s, the cultivation,
consumption and illegal trafficking of drugs have reached record
wrote Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand
and a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, in the
"Moreover," she added, "current drug policies are a serious
obstacle to other social and economic objectives and the 'war on
drugs' has resulted in millions of people murdered, disappeared,
or internally displaced."