The year of 2014 has been a year of an increasing number of voices acknowledging the failure of our prohibition drug policies. The London School of Economics and Political Science, consisting of many World leaders reported in June that ‘it is time to end the ‘war on drugs’ because what is being done is producing enormous negative outcomes’. Others who have joined the call during 2014 include the President of Columbia, Juan Manuel Santos; Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary General; Eric Holder, Head, US Justice Department; Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister of the UK, several law professor in Germany and most recently in Australia the NSW Bar Association Criminal Law Committee has released a Drug Policy Discussion Paper ‘concluding that prohibition has been largely ineffective at preventing the availability of prohibited drugs …’ The Bar Association will be hosting a conference on 29 May 2015 to debate the issues raised by the discussion paper.
And almost half of the American states have taken steps to legalise cannabis. Here in Australia we are beginning to debate the issue on medical cannabis and it is looking likely that the illegality of this drug will be dropped for the terminally ill and those with chronic pain.
Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform will have been in existence for 20 years next April and our endeavours to promote change have been long and arduous but change is happening and our efforts have helped that change come about.