Censored UN paper calling for decriminalization marks beginning of the end of drug war as we knew it

A UN agency censored an official paper calling for drug use decriminalization. But its message is here to stay

Recently, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime quietly circulated a remarkable document not only calling “decriminalising drug use and possession for personal consumption…consistent with international drug control conventions” but stating that doing so “may be required to meet obligations under international human rights law.”

The paper’s language was sober but its critique of drug criminalization devastating, noting that a law-and-order approach to drug use “contributed to public health problems and induced negative consequences for safety, security, and human rights,” pointing to the limitation on access to clean needles and the resulting spread of HIV and hepatitis C, overdoses, vulnerability to physical and sexual abuse and, of course, incarceration, which disproportionately impacts poor and minority people.

Then, all of a sudden, the paper was censored—or maybe retracted or disavowed,

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