Pubdate: Thu, 28 Apr 2016
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2016 The New York Times Company
Authors: Zarah Levin-Fragasso, Heather Haase


To the Editor:

Re "Rethink the Global War on Drugs" (editorial, April 25):

While the 2016 Special Session of the General Assembly on the World 
Drug Problem had its limitations, and while the shift from 
prohibition and criminalization to a public health perspective has 
been subtler than many would have liked, the debate has opened the 
door to broader discussions about drug law reform in preparation for 
2019, the date set for the next major review.

The issues are complex and challenges remain, but this is a step in 
the right direction.

The Special Committee on Drugs and the Law of the New York City Bar 
Association has released a report that we hope will guide the 
international community on practical ways to address the world drug 
problem in a more humane manner.

The committee agrees with you that international legal instruments 
need to be revisited. We also support calls for an expert advisory 
group to review the international drug treaties, and we advocate 
further for the creation of an independent commission similar to that 
created around the Sustainable Development Goals process, to broaden 
the scope of this review.

Ultimately, the goal of international drug policy should be to reduce 
the harms associated with drugs and drug use, promoting a 
people-centered approach that focuses on the well-being of 
communities. International treaties should support this goal rather 
than hinder it.



New York

The writers are, respectively, chairwoman and former chairwoman of 
the New York City Bar Association's Special Committee on Drugs and the Law.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom