Intended for healthcare professionals


Legalise illicit drugs to protect health, say former heads of state

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 24 September 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k4026
  1. Richard Hurley
  1. The BMJ

Current efforts to control drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, and heroin are causing huge avoidable harm, and governments have a duty to investigate the effect of legalising their supply, former world leaders and others have said.

Legal controls could reduce social and health harms among people who take such drugs and would disrupt organised crime and reduce the violence innate to the criminal market, says a report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which also considers how such regulation might be achieved.1

“The process . . . must be cautious, incremental and evidence-based, guided at all times by the principles of protecting and promoting human rights, public health, sustainable development, and peace and security,” the report says.

“Often misrepresented as …

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