The “war on drugs” may be coming to an end, if Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson is to be believed.
In a post on his Virgin website, Branson claims the United Nations are about to call upon governments around the world to decriminalise the use and possession of all illegal drugs.
Branson, who sits on the global commission on drug policy, claims he was shown a report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) which revealed the plans to drastically change drug laws across the globe.
The billionaire businessman said the “as-yet unreleased statement” had been sent to some of the world’s media under embargo, but he was releasing the information early for fear the UN will bow to political pressure on the UNDOC and withdraw the statement at the last moment.
This is a refreshing shift that could go a long way to finally end the needless criminalisation of millions of drug users around the world.
But as I’m writing this I am hearing that at least one government is putting an inordinate amount of pressure on the UNODC. Let us hope the UNODC, a global organisation that is part of the UN and supposed to do what is right for the people of the world, does not do a remarkable volte-face at the last possible moment and bow to pressure by not going ahead with this important move.
The war on drugs has done too much damage to too many people already.
The 65-year-old has been vocal about the failure of the so-called “war on drugs” in the past, comparing it to a business which has failed.
In the website post, he also claimed the statement was supposed to have been launched at an international harm-reduction conference in Malaysia on Sunday but was delayed.
It’s going to be interesting to see how much truth there is to Branson’s claims and how this all develops because, if this goes ahead, things are about to get very interesting!