Published on: March 30, 2016

According to a study commissioned by the Johns Hopkins Ivy League University and The Lancet, the five-decade long international “War on Drugs” has harmed the public health and should be scrapped in favour of a process of decriminalisation.

The Johns Hopkins University–Lancet Commission on Public Health and International Drug Policy calls for worldwide reform of drug policies, including:

  • The decriminalization of minor and non-violent drug use, possession and petty sale
  • Enactment of policies that reduce violence and discrimination in drug policing
  • Increased access to controlled medicines that could reduce the risk of overdose deaths
  • Greater investments in health and social services for drug users

The report is based on an extensive review by the commissioners of the published evidence, and on original analyses and modeling on violence, incarceration, and infectious diseases associated with drug policies.

Dr Nandini Vallath, Pallium India’s WHO Collaborating Centre consultant, is one of the commissioners of the Johns Hopkins-Lancet Commission on Public Health and International Drug Policy who conducted this study.