World Drug Day 2011 - Counting the Costs of the War on Drugs! (Eng, Bul, Hun, Ger, Spa, Rus, Pol)

Uploaded by HunCivLibUnion on 05.08.2011

On World Drug Day in 2011,
members of the European Drug Policy Initiative (EDPI)
organized media events in five countries
asking for and counting for the last 50 years
of the costs of the global war on drugs
and to explore its alternatives.
Oh! Unfortunately someone here is possessing something
You look like someone who is possessing drugs!
Let me see your pockets!
This year, 2011, is the 50 year anniversary
of the 1961 UN Single Convention on Drugs
You look like a person who is possessing drugs.
Let me see your pockets! Let me see your pockets!
3 years in prison sir!
The global war on drugs has been fought for 50 years
without preventing a long term trend in increased drug supply and use.
It is actually creating many of the problems that it is supposed to be fighting against.
It's not just a failure, it's actively counterproductive!
Here we have 80 million Polish Zlotys
which are thrown into the mud annually,
because on the war on drugs in our country.
And this damage that is done is out of all proportion to the damage that drugs themselves do.
We need to remember that 90% of drug use is non-problematic.
The war on drugs undermines international development and security.
The money that is created by the illegal trade provides financing
for paramilitary groups and terrorist groups.
In Afghanistan, the war on drugs is very real ...
In the jungles of Colombia, there are wars and bloodshed.
In Mexico since 2006, there have been 30,000 deaths,
30,000 people killed as a direct result of drug-related conflict and violence.
The drugs haven't stopped going through Mexico,
They're still there!
Deforestation and pollution occurs.
Aerial spraying of pesticides
has had little or no effect on long term production levels,
yet has contaminated the soil and the waterways.
So, you destroy the coca crops in one area ...
and it's just grown in another area.
But to grow it in the other area, they have to cut down the forests to grow it,
and it doesn't reduce production.
Production of cocaine has more than kept pace with demand.
The drug war creates crimes and enriches criminals.
In the UK, 50% of property crime
is committed by those dependent on heroin and cocaine.
Prohibition has fueled the development of the world's largest illegal commodities market,
with a turnover in excess of 200 billion Euros a year.
If they don't want the message, they want the money!
There is an economic cost, in terms of direct expenditure on drug law enforcement,
between 70-100 billion Euros, or equivalent, a year is spent globally enforcing the war on drugs.
The police use their resources on drug possession and use
Their own figures show that 42% of the resources
of criminalization are cannabis related.
No one can tell you exactly the costs of the drug war in Norway.
The police are using at least 6, 7, or 800 million Kroner
60-70 million Euro every year.
There is very little evaluation of drug policy in Norway,
Sweden, or other nordic countries.
To put it simple, based on experience I cannot tell you
what good has come out of these efforts.
But the harms of the regime are well documented.
So at least we know that it doesn't do any good, but it does do much harm.
UNAIDS, the United Nation's AIDS organization
has estimated that globally we need just 2.2 billion
to provide harm reduction services in terms of needle exchange
and medication for the entire global population of injecting drug users.
At the moment we spend around 0.1 billion.
We know that harm reduction works, it saves lives, it does protect health.
We are spending a 100 billion a year on enforcing the laws
that are creating the problems for these injecting drug users in the first place.
The war on drugs threatens public health,
spreads disease, and causes death.
A punitive, enforcement-based approach
increases the risk associated with drug use.
Perhaps one of the most devastating effects is with injecting drug users,
and the HIV and hepatitis epidemic amongst injecting drug users.
The war on drugs promotes stigma and discrimination.
There's some very dramatic statistics from the US ...
that African-American black males are imprisoned on drug charges
13 times the rate of white males,
and this is despite the levels of drug use amongst those populations being comparable.
About the people with addictions -
is their place in the penitentiary settings,
or in the treatment programs?
Is it necessary for so many of them to land there,
which is the result of the current policy?
Don't we need to reconsider it and to turn
to treatment and prevention, and to overcome the stigma?
In many countries, drug control efforts lead to terrible human rights abuses:
torture by police, mass incarceration, executions and extrajudicial killings,
arbitrary detention, and denial of basic health services.
Drug users are often sent to drug treatment centers,
they're called 'drug treatment centers,' but they do not do drug treatment.
These are effectively forced-labor camps.
Around 1,000 people a year are executed for drug offenses.
No government or international body has properly counted these costs,
have never modeled the alternative.
The Count the Costs campaign, which I hope you will support,
and your country will support,
and every other voluntary organization concerned with human growth,
peace, survival, and development will support as well ...
demands that that research be done.
We need to count those costs, we need to fully understand
what the war on drugs is costing us,
and what we could better do with that money.
Former Presidents, former General-Secretaries of the UN,
BIG figures from the world of business and so on ...
are all saying the same thing!
This is NOT a marginal issue anymore.
It's very much part of the mainstream public and political debate.
Transcribed and Subtitled by Hunter Holliman