Looking to protect its global interests, the United States, in a way, “has imposed this war against narco-trafficking on [the people of Mexico]. That was how it was born even though it has since acquired the tone of a war against organized crime.
“It was a war against narco-trafficking that they forced on us — since the U.S. has the highest number of drug users. They also have something more terrible than drugs…. They have guns, which are overwhelming and widespread. In four and a half years, those weapons have legally armed the military and the police, but they have also illegally armed traffickers and the cartels. …
“This has left citizens in a state of total defenselessness. Those weapons are killing us. Those guns are wiping us out.” [English translation at Democracy Now, poet Javier Sicilia whose son in Cuernavaca, Mexico, was murdered and tortured]
“The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world.”
Offer a wide and easily accessible range of options for treatment and care for drug dependence, including substitution and heroin-assisted treatment, with special attention to those most at risk, including those in prisons and other custodial settings.
“The most valuable investment would be in activities that stop young people from using drugs in the first place and prevent experimental users from becoming problematic or dependent users. Prevention of initiation or escalation is clearly preferable to responding to the problems after they occur.
Invest more resources in evidence-based prevention, with a special focus on youth.
Promote alternative sentences for small-scale and first-time drug dealers.
Challenge instead of reinforcing common misconceptions about drug markets, drug use and drug dependence.
Establish better metrics, indicators and goals to measure progress.
Encourage governments’ experimentation with models of legal regulation of drugs (cannabis, for example) designed to undermine the power of organized crime and safeguard the health and security of their citizens.
Replace the criminalization and punishment of people who use drugs with the offer of health and treatment services to those who need them.
Break the taboo. Pursue an open debate and promote policies that effectively reduce consumption, and that prevent and reduce harms related to drug use and drug control policies. Increase investment in research and analysis into the impact of different policies and programs.
The time has come to “put forward what is right, to build a movement based on real education, a movement for basic human rights, a movement simply for what is just.”
Bennett's books available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; The Book Den, Ltd.: BookDenLtd@frontiernet.net [Danville, NY]; Talking Leaves Books-Elmwood: email@example.com [Buffalo, NY]; Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza: http://www.bhny.com/ [Albany, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY]; LONGS’ Cards and Books: http://longscardsandbooks.com/ [Penn Yan, NY]