No talk of kitesurfing as Richard Branson joins former world leaders in condemning war on drugs
In Washington, D.C., six former presidents joined Virgin Group billionaire Richard Branson and other high-ranking former officials to promote the decriminalization of drugs.
As members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, the released a report called The War on Drugs and HIV/AIDS: How the Criminalization of Drug Use Fuels the Global Pandemic to drive home the point that the prohibition of drugs undermines public health.
The report points out that research has demonstrated that repressive law-enforcement regimes drive drug users away from health services, which elevates their risk of contracting HIV increases.
Footnotes at the back of the document cite, among other references, papers published in peer-reviewed journals by Vancouver doctors, including Julio Montaner and Evan Wood.
This comes on less than a month before the International AIDS Conference, which takes place in Washington from July 22 to 27.
The former presidents are Aleksander Kwasniewski (Poland), César Gaviria (Colombia), Ernesto Zedillo (Mexico), Fernando Henrique Cardoso (Brazil), Ricardo Lagos (Chile), and Ruth Dreifuss (Switzerland). Other commission members include George Papandreou (former prime minister of Greece), George Shultz (former U.S. secretary of state), and Louise Arbour (former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights).