Intended for healthcare professionals


“War on drugs” has harmed public health and human rights, finds new analysis

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 29 March 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1742
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The global “war on drugs” has damaged public health and human rights and should be refocused towards drug decriminalisation and strengthening of health services, a major new analysis has concluded.

Drug laws designed to protect public health and safety have contributed to “lethal violence, communicable disease transmission, discrimination, forced displacement, unnecessary physical pain, and the undermining of people’s right to health,” said the Johns Hopkins-Lancet Commission on Public Health and International Drug Policy.1

The report argued that decriminalising non-violent minor drug offences and strengthening health and social services would be more effective than current approaches, on the basis of “compelling evidence” from countries …

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