Britse Beckley Foundation lanceert Global Initiative for Drug Policy Reform

In het Britse House of Lords is op 17 november een nieuw wereldwijd initiatief gelanceerd om de war on drugs te stoppen en het internationale drugsbeleid fundamenteel te hervormen: The Global Initiative for Drug Policy Reform. Morgen, zaterdag 19 november, verschijnt een open brief waarin een waslijst gerenommeerde (ex)politici, wetenschappers, ondernemers, schrijvers en kunstenaars oproepen het taboe te doorbreken op rationele discussie over het drugsbeleid.

Logo van de Beckley Foundation
Logo van de Beckley Foundation

De Beckley Foundation, in 1998 opgericht door Amanda Feilding, is de drijvende kracht achter de campagne die gisteren werd gelanceerd in het Britse Hogerhuis. Samen met de parlementaire werkgroep drugsbeleid (All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform) organiseerde de Beckley Foundation een bijeenkomst over drugsbeleid dat uitgaat van volksgezondheid, kosteneffectief is en gebaseerd op wetenschappelijk onderzoek en mensenrechten.

Tijdens de bijeenkomst in het House of Lords zijn de resultaten gepresenteerd van twee grote onderzoeken waartoe de Beckley Foundation opdracht heeft gegeven: ‘A cost-benefit analysis of a regulated and taxed cannabis market in the UK’ en ‘Rewriting the UN drug conventions’. Dit laatste onderzoek is ook voor Nederland buitengewoon interessant; het brengt systematisch de mogelijkheden in kaart om de VN drugsverdragen zo aan te passen dat lidstaten de vrijheid hebben om te experimenteren met nationaal drugsbeleid.

logo_Global_Initiative_for_drug_policy_reformDe lijst ondertekenaars van de open brief die morgen wordt gepubliceerd en verstuurd naar alle Britse politici is indrukwekkend: meerdere ex-presidenten onder wie Jimmy Carter (VS), Fernando Cardoso (Brazilië) en César Gaviria (Colombia), negen Nobelprijswinnaars en grootheden als Noam Chomsky, Richard Branson, Yoko Ono, Sting en Bernardo Bertolucci. De enige Nederlandse ondertekenaar is Jan Wiarda, voormalig hoofdcommissaris van politie in Utrecht en ex-voorzitter European Police Chiefs. De volledige tekst van de historische open brief staat hieronder. In een persbericht legt Amanda Feilding van de Beckley Foundation uit:

“It is extremely important for the public and politicians to understand that the devastating failure of the War on Drugs is one of the most significant and pressing issues in the world today, and that the calls for reform are heralded by some of the world’s most distinguished, respected and intelligent people. This is not an issue that can continue to be ignored. We need to change our approach, and change it now.”

Professor Noam Chomsky, een van de meest vooraanstaande intellectuelen ter wereld: “It has long been obvious that the “war on drugs” is not meeting its stated objectives, and that it has had harsh and destructive consequences at home and abroad.  The time is long past for a serious reconsideration of its basic premises, and fundamental revision of policy with an emphasis on prevention and treatment, not punitive actions.”

Klik hier voor meer informatie over The Global Initiative for Drug Policy Reform



WE THE UNDERSIGNED call on members of the public and Parliament to recognise that:-

Fifty years after the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs was launched, the global war on drugs has failed, and has had many unintended and devastating consequences worldwide.

Use of the major controlled drugs has risen, and supply is cheaper, purer and more available than ever before. The UN conservatively estimates that there are now 250 million drug users worldwide.

Illicit drugs are now the third most valuable industry in the world, after food and oil, estimated to be worth $450 billion a year, all in the control of criminals.

Fighting the war on drugs costs the world’s taxpayers incalculable billions each year. An estimated 10 million people are in prison worldwide for drug-related offences, mostly “little fish” – personal users and small-time dealers.

Corruption amonst law-enforcers and politicians, especially in producer and transit countries, has spread as never before, endangering democracy and civil society.

Stability, security and development are threatened by the fallout from the war in drugs, as are human rights. Tens of thousands of people die in the drug war each year.

The drug-free world so confidently predicted by supporters of the war on drugs is further than ever from attainment. The policies of prohibition create more harms than they prevent. We must seriously consider shifting resources away from criminalising tens of millions of otherwise law abiding citizens, and move towards an approach based on health, harm-reduction, cost-effectiveness and respect for human rights. Evidence consistently shows that these health-based approaches deliver better results than criminalisation.

Improving our drug policies is one of the key policy challenges of our time.

It is time for world leaders to fundamentally review their strategies in repsonse to the drug phenomenon. That is what the Global Commission on Drug Policy, led by four former Presidents, by Kofi Annan and by other world leaders, has bravely done with its ground-breaking Report, first presented in New York in June, and now at the House of Lords on 17 November.

At the root of current policies lies the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. It is time to re-examine this treaty. A document entitled ‘Rewriting the UN Drug Conventions’ has recently been commissioned in order to show how amendments to the conventions could be made which would allow individual countries the freedom to explore drug policies that best suit their domestic needs, rather than impose the current “one-size-fits-all” solution. As we cannot eradicate the production, demand or use of drugs, we must find new ways to minimise harm. We should give support to our Governments to explore new policies based on scientific evidence.

Let us break the taboo on debate and reform. The time for action is now.

Yours faithfully,

President Jimmy Carter
Former President of the United States, Nobel Prize winner
President Fernando H. Cardoso
Former President of Brazil
President César Gaviria
Former President of Colombia
President Vicente Fox
Former President of Mexico
President Ruth Dreifuss
Former President of Switzerland
President Lech Wałęsa
Former President of Poland, Nobel Prize winner
President Aleksander Kwaśniewski
Former President of Poland
George P. Schultz
Former US Secretary of State
Jaswant Singh
Former Minister of Defence, of Finance, and for External Affairs, India
Professor Lord Piot
Former UN Under Secretary-General
Louise Arbour, CC, GOQ
Former UN High-Commissioner for Human Rights
Carel Edwards
Former Head of the EU Commission’s Drug Policy Unit
Javier Solana, KOGF, KCMG
Former EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy
Thorvald Stoltenberg
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs (Norway) and UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Professor Sir Harold Kroto
Chemist, Nobel Prize winner
Dr. Kary Mullis
Chemist, Nobel Prize winner
Professor John Polanyi
Chemist, Nobel Prize winner
Professor Kenneth Arrow
Economist, Nobel Prize winner
Professor Thomas C. Schelling
Economist, Nobel Prize winner
Professor Sir Peter Mansfield
Economist, Nobel Prize winner
Professor Sir Anthony Leggett
Physicist, Nobel Prize winner
Professor Martin L. Perl
Physicist, Nobel Prize winner
Mario Vargas Llosa
Writer, Nobel Prize winner
Wisława Szymborska
Poet, Nobel Prize winner
Professor Sir Ian Gilmore
Former President of the Royal College of Physicians
Professor Robert Lechler
Dean of School of Medicine, KCL
Professor A. C. Grayling
Master of the New College of the Humanities
Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta
Professor of Economics at Cambridge
Asma Jahangir
Former UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary, Extrajudicial and Summary Execution
Professor Noam Chomsky
Professor of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT
Carlos Fuentes
Novelist and essayist
Sir Richard Branson
Entrepreneur and Founder of the Virgin Group
John Whitehead
Chair of the WTC Memorial Foundation
Maria Cattaui
Former Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce
Nicholas Green, QC
Former Chairman of the Bar Council
Professor David Nutt
Former Chair of the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs
Professor Trevor Robbins
Professor of Neuroscience at Cambridge
Professor Niall Ferguson
Professor of History at Harvard University
Professor Peter Singer
Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University
Professor Jonathan Wolff
Professor of Philosophy at UCL
Professor Robin Room
School of Population Health, University of Melbourne
Sir Peregrine Worsthorne
Former Editor of The Sunday Telegraph
Dr. Jan Wiarda
Former President of European Police Chiefs
Dr. Muhammed Abdul Bari, MBE
Former Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain
Musician and actor
Yoko Ono
Musician and artist
Bernardo Bertolucci
Film Director
Gilberto Gil
Musician, former Minister of Culture, Brazil
John Perry Barlow
Co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
Tom Lloyd
Former Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire
Bob Ainsworth, MP
Former UK Secretary of State for Defence
Peter Lilley, MP
Former Secretary of State for Social Security
Tom Brake, MP
Dr. Julian Huppert, MP
Caroline Lucas, MP
Paul Flynn, MP
Dr. Patrick Aeberhard
Former President of Doctors of the World
Gary Johnson
Republican US Presidential Candidate
Lord Mancroft
Chair of the Drug and Alcohol Foundation
General Lord Ramsbotham
Former HM Chief Inspector of Prisons
Lord Rees, OM
Astronomer Royal and former President of the Royal Society
Amanda Feilding, Countess of Wemyss
Director of the Beckley Foundation

Comments (2)

  • nol van schaik 19/11/2011 at 10:39 am Reply


  • H* 20/11/2011 at 2:07 pm Reply

    Rewriting the convention of ’61? What about the ’71 convention? Stating with hhe Vienna Preambule- to restict the use of such substances to legitimate purposes & the use for medical and scientific purposes is indispensible and should not be unduly restricted – My guess is that Chomsky has first a nutt to crack with the right of selfdetermination and the premisse of ‘informed consent’ before taking papers & pencils…

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