• The US has historically been the main force behind the global war on drugs, supporting aggressive enforcement and blocking drug law reforms at the UN. However, due to many US states legalising Cannabis and pursuing a harm reduction strategy in response to the opioid crisis, the US is losing authority and interest. But totalitarian regimes like China and Russia are becoming more active at the UN in blocking reforms. New Zealand who are having a referendum on legalising Cannabis in September 2020 and other countries are showing the world that the prohibition can be challenged by democratic means.
  • The United Nations Chief Executive Board recently settled on supporting decriminalisation, suggesting that its international treaties are no longer reflective of any meaningful consensus.
  • In any case, many member states have already moved forward with liberal reforms that defy these treaties. Governments bear foremost responsibility to their own citizens, and they will need to respond to the harm caused by prohibition, regardless of the global policy environment.

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