On February 9, the world celebrated the first centenary of the first-ever international effort against drug control when, meeting in Shanghai, they agreed to set up the International Opium Commission. In 1998 the UN General Assembly committed member countries to achieving a "drug-free world" and to "eliminating or significantly reducing" the production of opium, cocaine and cannabis by 2008. Even as ministers from around the world are gathering in Vienna this week to set international drug policy for the next decade, the prestigious magazine Economist has written an op-ed highlighting the futility of this exercise (http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?story_id=13237193&source=hptextfeature ).
The article heavily criticizes the promise politicians often make of 'eliminating' drugs, saying it is a hugely irresponsible promise, because it cannot be fulfilled. Criticizing policy makers, the article says, like first-world-war generals, many will claim that all that is needed is more of the same. In fact the war on drugs has been a disaster, creating failed states in the developing world even as addiction has flourished in the rich world. By any sensible measure, this 100-year struggle has been illiberal, murderous and pointless. That is why The Economist continues to believe that the least bad policy is to legalize drugs.
But as a 100% Islamic nation Maldives will never accept legalization. So, we shall fight drugs. "We shall go on to the end … we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets … we shall never surrender."*
Read the original article at:
[*The quotation is from the famous speech of Winston Churchill at the House of Commons on 4th June 1940]