Historic global meeting emphasizes commitment to preventing and reducing drug use around the world
The UN General Assembly convened in New York City to reaffirm the global commitment to the international drug conventions. These conventions, whose goal is to prevent and reduce drug use worldwide, remain the cornerstone of global drug policy.
"We congratulate countries for recognizing that drug use is a public health and public safety problem around the world," said Kevin Sabet, a former White House advisor on drug policy and founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). "Speaking as one of over 300 non-governmental organizations that joined together at the UN to show commitment to drug prevention, 'Prevent. Don't Promote.' this event marks a real step forward in advancing those goals. Now the real challenge is implementation."
"Prevent. Don't Promote." is a campaign sponsored by numerous organizations that support the UN international drug conventions and want to see a public health and safety based policy centered on the prevention of drug use and drug problems.
Also, global scientists released a new call to action reflecting "a growing consensus among experts that frequent cannabis use can increase the risk of psychosis in vulnerable people and lead to a range of other medical and social problems" according to the The Guardian.
It was reported that researchers now believe the evidence for harm is strong enough to issue clear warnings. This is in line with a recent World Health Organization report on the harms of cannabis.
"The global community made another step into the right direction in tackling the world drug problem," said Kristina Sperkova, President of IOGT International. "The UNGASS 2016 outcome document contains several achievements, including a long menu of comprehensive, balanced and effective policy interventions that will prevent and reduce drug-related harm. That is possible only if implemented. We will hold our governments accountable for translating words into action."
Side events supported by "Prevent Don't Promote" included discussions about the harms of drug legalization, especially on youth; the promise of recovery from drug addiction; the pernicious activities of global addiction industries; and the promising outcomes of prevention around the world.