Red Cross Calls for Drug Decriminalization

It turns out it's not just the Castro or rural America: The entire world has a meth problem.

Worldwide demand for methamphetamine “appears to be expanding significantly,” according to the 55 countries which comprise the United Nations' Office on Drugs and Crime's Commission on Narcotic Drugs. Meth seizures have nearly doubled since 2008, when 22 tons were seized worldwide, according to a Commission report; the data is still being crunched, but “preliminary results” suggest upwards of 40 tons were seized worldwide in 2010. In Mexico, busts never exceeded one ton prior to 2009; 12.8 tons were busted in 2010.

So what to do? The Commission reported at length about reducing both supply and demand through education and busting up trafficking organizations, but the Red Cross kept it much simpler: decriminalization.

 “Treating drug addicts as criminals is destined to fuel the rise of HIV and other infections,” Lasha Goguadze, the Red Cross' Senior Health Officer, testified. “Laws and prosecutions do not stop people from taking drugs…. Governments should recognize once and for [all] that a humanitarian drug policy works.”

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