UN Development Chief: Drug Criminalization Creates More Problems Than It Solves

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.



  1. animan425 on

    What everyone has to understand is that the ruling-class “war-party” imperialists started the drug war and escalated it not for the reasons they provide, but to destroy all major opposition to their imperialist agenda. Ergo, the drug war has always been based upon lies.

  2. Anonymous on

    At which point exactly did she use the word Marijuana? She’s talking about drugs in general. I’m sure that she being a health minister, sees that Marijuana is a healthier alternative to the harder drugs.

  3. joe on

    Does not matter as the world economy crumbles the marijuana and hemp will take over those fat fart government and banker shit heads will fall. and a green economy will become the norm replacing gas motors with compress air motors, magnet motors cars

  4. Paul Pot on

    Thanks for the change of heart Helen but how come you couldn’t say anything like this when you were PM.

  5. Mrs. Ratsrectum on

    Too bad the U.N. Cannabis Prohibitionists in Vienna aren’t listening. Yet. They ought to, but what the hey, the U.N. is irrelevant when it comes to cannabis. They only help prohibit it, which doesn’t control it. Prohibition turns over control to some rather nefarious organizations.