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Kofi Annan, George Shultz say drug war a failure

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“They are not saying anything new,” says Jorge Hernández Tinajero, the president of Cupihd, a group in Mexico that disseminates information about drug policies. “But the people are new. These are powerful people.”

“Not the usual suspects,” agrees Adam Isacson, a senior associate at the Washington Office on Latin America and expert on US drug policy.

Helping hand

The commission recommends that countries help, rather than incarcerate, drug users who do not hurt others and focus on punishing violent organized crime instead. "Political leaders and public figures should have the courage to articulate publicly what many of them acknowledge privately: that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that repressive strategies will not solve the drug problem, and that the war on drugs has not, and cannot, be won," their report says. (The full report is here.)

It urges governments to experiment with regulating a legal drug market, and points to successes in Europe, such as Portugal, to make its case.

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