Oh! And Kip Forbes, Carly Simon, Suze Orman, Mark Cuban, Richard Branson, Elizabeth Warren, Howard Dean, former Presidents of Mexico, Poland, Chile, Nigeria, Switzerland, Colombia, Portugal and Brazil . . . plus 1,200 more (Mark Cuban! Carly Simon! Norman Lear! George Soros! Billie Jean King! Tom Brady!).
We’ve all signed this open letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urging in advance of next week’s UN General Assembly Special Session on drug policy reform.
. . . The drug control regime that emerged during the last century has proven disastrous for global health, security and human rights. Focused overwhelmingly on criminalization and punishment, it created a vast illicit market that has enriched criminal organizations, corrupted governments, triggered explosive violence, distorted economic markets and undermined basic moral values.
Governments devoted disproportionate resources to repression at the expense of efforts to better the human condition. Tens of millions of people, mostly poor and racial and ethnic minorities, were incarcerated, mostly for low-level and non-violent drug law violations, with little if any benefit to public security. Problematic drug use and HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and other infectious diseases spread rapidly as prohibitionist laws, agencies and attitudes impeded harm reduction and other effective health policies.
Humankind cannot afford a 21 st century drug policy as ineffective and counter-productive as the last century’s. A new global response to drugs is needed, grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. . . .
It was so much fun helping to get people to sign. Soooo much easier than getting people to give money. I felt like I was on a fantasy vacation. Shoot an email or a text to someone WAY above my pay grade who never normally responds, let alone with a big check, and minutes later . . . “Sure! Count me in!”
So this topic has legs. In the next few years we just might be able to make real progress. (Have you seen Michael Moore’s Where To Invade Next? You promised me you’d watch! If so, you learned how much better Portugal deals with drugs than we do.)
WEEK-END BONUS: While we’re at it, it’s not just drug policy that might be on the cusp of much-needed reform. Look what Canada just did re assisted suicide (aka, “death with dignity,” aka “the right to control your own life”).
Have a great weekend. Drive safely. Eat right. Stand up straight. Pay your first quarterly estimated taxes. (Yikes! I almost forgot to remind you! Though you do have until Monday because of Emancipation Day, and until Tuesday in Maine or Massachusetts, because of Patriots Day.) Vote Democrat.
Quote of the Day
For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.~Ted Kennedy
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