United Nations Development Program Chief Helen Clark lamented the failure of the war on drugs this week, previewing a UNDP Human Development report that calls for redrawing the battle lines in the drug war to better incorporate the voices of Latin American countries. Clark, who has been prime minister of New Zealand and a Health Minister, said she preferred to treat drugs as a health, rather than a criminal justice problem:
“I’ve been a health minister in my past and there’s no doubt that the health position would be to treat the issue of drugs as primarily a health and social issue rather than a criminalised issue,” Clark told Reuters in an interview. […]
“To deal with drugs as a one-dimensional, law-and-order issue is to miss the point,” Clark said. She stopped short of calling for outright legalisation, but said the focus should be on keeping illegal profits out of criminal hands.
“We have waves of violent crime sustained by drug trade, so we have to take the money out of drugs,” she said.
One of the arguments for legalising drugs is that it would take away a key source of revenue for traffickers.
“The countries in the region that have been ravaged by the armed violence associated with drug cartels are starting to think laterally about a broad range of approaches and they should be encouraged to do that,” said Clark.
“They should act on evidence,” she added.
– Read the entire article at Think Progress.