The international drug control regime is broken. Past approaches premised on a punitive law enforcement paradigm have failed, emphatically so. They have resulted in more violence, larger prison populations, and the erosion of governance around the world. The health harms associated with drug use have gotten worse, not better. The Global Commission on Drug Policy instead advocates for an approach to drug policy that puts public health, community safety, human rights, and development at the center. I have listed the five pathways to ending the drug war recommended by the Global Commission on Drug Policy that I chair. (Other members of the commission, ranging from Kofi Annan to Paul Volcker to former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo are listed after the recommendations.)
One war the world overlooks that is still happening today is the so-called "War on Drugs," which was famously declared by former President Richard Nixon more than 40 years ago. It's a war -- like many -- that doesn't need to be happening, and it's a war, like many, that is costing way too much money and too many innocent lives along the way.
The long term alternative to the failed global drug prohibition regime ultimately lies in embracing three specific policy options: legal regulation of cannabis; full decriminalization of possession of small amounts of drugs; and legal access to pharmaceutical versions of other illicit drugs for addicts.