International Drug Policy Groups Evaluate The Global Impact of Drug Legalization
January 23, 2012 · By DFAF
Urging Nations to Uphold and Enhance Current Efforts to Prevent the Use, Cultivation, Production, Traffic, and Sale of Illegal Drugs
(St. Petersburg, FL) Significant groups from across the globe came together to evaluate the potential impact of drug legalization. This alliance of drug policy experts found that drugs are an enormous social problem and that the drug trade adversely affects the global economy and the viability of some countries that have become transit routes. In a position statement issued by the coalition titled Drug Legalization: An Evaluation of the Impacts on Global Society, they slammed those supporting drug legalization. (see Statement at www.itfsdp.org)
“National leaders have an obligation to protect their citizens against drugs and their harmful effects. This evaluation was conducted to facilitate a better understanding of the problems associated with drug misuse and addiction as well as other aspects surrounding drug policy. We hope to enlighten the public about the potential devastating impact of the actions of groups who are pushing to make dangerous drugs legal, easily available and socially acceptable. They have ignored international drug treaties and the innocent victims affected by drug use with their irresponsible actions,” said Calvina Fay, Executive Director of Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. (DFAF) and founder of the International Task Force on Strategic Drug Policy (ITFSDP).
Eric Voth, M.D., FACP, Chair of the Institute on Global Drug Policy (IGDP), stated “As a physician who sees the impact of drugs on the health of individuals, I know that the harm is with the drugs, not with drug control. Rightfully so, our policy stance is a hard-hitting admonishment against softening of drug policy and experimenting with the well-being of our societies.” David A. Gross, M.D., DFAPA, Chair of the International Scientific and Medical Forum on Drug Abuse (ISMFDA), added “While individuals certainly are entitled to their opinions about drugs, they are not entitled to make up the facts. Clearly, scientific evidence confirms that drugs, including marijuana, are harmful and, therefore, need to be controlled.”
Referencing a self-proclaimed “commission” that has recently engaged in media campaigns calling for the legalization of marijuana, Sven-Olov Carlsson, International President of the World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD) stated “We know from research that those who use cannabis run a much higher risk to start using other illegal drugs when compared to non-users. Just recently a study covering nearly 30,000 teenagers in France, published in the Journal of Addictive Behaviors, made this very clear. Therefore, the proposal from the Global Commission to legalize cannabis is careless, unbalanced and against all good judgment. Instead, we all need to get better at preventing young people from starting to use cannabis altogether. Not because it is the easy way to go, but because it is the necessary way to go if we want to raise public health standards in the world.”
“This position statement emphasizes the critical need to defend what is most important in the world today: the rights of children, families, communities and nations throughout the world to develop fully without the impediment and oppression of drugs. The importance of these basic human rights allow for the realization and fulfillment of all human beings and the communities in which we live,” stated Alejandro Vassilaqui, Executive Director of CEDRO in Peru and President of the Drug Prevention Network of the Americas (DPNA)
DFAF is an international drug policy organization promoting effective sound drug policies, education, and prevention www.dfaf.org. ITFSDP is a network that supports drug demand reduction and works to stem illicit drug use and trafficking www.itfsdp.org. IGDP and ISMFDA are comprised of physicians, researchers, and drug policy experts and produce The Journal of Global Drug Policy www.globaldrugpolicy.org. WFAD is a multilateral community of non-governmental organisations and individuals advocating a drug-free world www.wfad.se. DPNA is a coalition that promotes effective drug demand reduction programs and policies in the Americas www.dpna.org .