In a public statement the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) has called for the worldwide decriminalization of drug possession and use.
“United Nations entities recall that a central principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to “ensure that no one is left behind” and to “reach the furthest behind first””, states the Joint United Nations statement on ending discrimination in health care settings, which was released yesterday. “Recognizing that discrimination in health care settings is a major barrier to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), United Nations entities commit to working together to support Member States in taking coordinated multisectoral action to eliminate discrimination in health care settings.”
With this in mind, the WHO is calling for “Reviewing and repealing punitive laws that have been proven to have negative health outcomes and that counter established public health evidence”, including “drug use or possession of drugs for personal use”.
The call for worldwide drug decriminalization comes roughly seven months after the Global Commission on Drug Policy announced their support for the same approach.
In Portugal, personal drug possession has been decriminalized for roughly 16 years, and the results have been a resounding success. According to a report by the Cato Institute, drug usage rates have declined, as have addiction rates, overdose deaths and STDs.