As the UN Marks Global Anti-Drug Day, Civil Society Fights Back

Today marks 28 years since the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly declared June 26 as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Its stated mission is to “strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.” However, as the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime’s 2015 report released today shows, approximately 246 million people used an illicit drug in 2013 alone and 187,100 suffered drug-related deaths that same year, often due to a lack of access to treatment. Meanwhile, illicit drug markets and organized crime have diversified through shifting smuggling routes and the rise of the deep web.

Clearly, something is not working.

While June 26 has been used by some countries in the past to further a prohibitionist agenda and even carry out executions as part of draconian drug policies, thousands of people around the world today are saying, “Support. Don’t Punish.” In an effort to change the discourse on drug policy, the International Drug Policy Consortium has organized a global advocacy campaign that has grown from 41 participating cities in 2013 to 150 taking action today.

– Read the entire article at AlterNet.