We are peacefully taking the squares of the world to demand a real democracy and a fair social, economic and justice system. We want to end repressive policies, nepotism, corruption and the power of criminal gangs. We want a world without war or repression, a better world where we can exercise our freedom in peace, without fear and with joy. That is why we express our total commitment to the end of one of the most deadly and destructive present wars: the War On Drugs. Therefore, we believe that we must open up some thoughts and spread them to the open society:
War or peace? The results of nearly 100 years of prohibition experiment are tragic worldwide. It is evident that the current system of drug policy (focusing on the war) produces side or “collateral” effects that are more destructive than those that may cause the drug itself. The expensive war against drugs has failed. Expanding military and police to burn producing drugs camps, prosecuting drug traffickers and imprisoning consumers and people who carry up minor sales has been useless to fight the drug. Furthermore, it has destroyed many lives and has unfairly crowded prisons worldwide.
¿Criminal gangs or citizens governments? The illicit drug market moves about 1% of the entire world money. Instead of managing the market trough regulation, our governments have decided to hand over its management and control to the organized crime. This decision has dire consequences for peace, democracy and civil liberties: it is a major cause of global institutional corruption, of democratic weakening, of organized violence, of militarization of the producing countries, and of restriction of individual freedoms all around the world.
¿Destruction or sustainability? The current drug policies are not sustainable because the costs –in terms of economic, human and ecological resources– that are invested and consumed in trying to eradicate the trafficking of illicit drugs are disproportionate to the meagre benefits achieved. The several uses that can be made of drugs can affect the health of individuals, while policies on drugs keep affecting the whole society and the planet as a living organism in its ecosystem (waste disposal, deforestation, crop spraying, high energy wasting…). It is crucial to open up a reflection to define drug policies that ensure a long-term sustainable world. And we cannot wait anymore… we must begin now.
Fear or civic responsibility? The war against drugs is based on fear to ourselves. We are being protected from a supposed impulsivity towards self-destruction through drugs, which, significantly, never happened to the current levels before the beginning of this war. In those countries with less stringent regimes –Switzerland, Portugal, Holland and Australia–, we have not seen the explosion in drug use that the advocates of this war had prophesied in such an alarmist way. It appears, then, that people are not so irresponsible and self-destructive as the speeches of fear and war insist on making us believe. Everything indicates that investing in education and health is a more effective and sustainable investment that doing so in weapons and prisons. Then, what are we afraid of?
An important purpose of the “Drug Policy and Sustainability” Sub-Comission of the Plaça Catalunya of Barcelona is proposing alternatives to current drug policies at multiple levels of action (international, national, local) as well as concreting actions to put into practice. Our unwavering goal is to achieve a world that is more peaceful, more respectful with the environment, where human rights and full freedoms are guaranteed; a world in which public policies are based on education and health and not on war and crime.
What are we afraid of?
Public debate now!
Stop the War!