Decriminalise drugs to meet users' right to good health, says UN official

UN special rapporteur Dainius Pūras says in letter that repressive narcotic controls stop people seeking help and lead to violence
The Guardian (UK)
Wednesday, December 9, 2015

dainius-purasAll drug use should be decriminalised and possession made free from the threat of lengthy prison terms, the UN’s special rapporteur on the right to health has said, criticising punitive sanctions on users. In an open letter (pdf), Dainius Pu?ras throws down the gauntlet to governments with the claim that a focus on repressive drug control means they are failing to meet their treaty obligations to realise citizens’ rights to good health. He argues that punitive measures against drug users and dealers drive many people away from health services and have led to epidemic levels of violence.