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Term: Global Commission on Drug Policy

The Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP) is a panel of world leaders and intellectuals, with a Secretariat based in Geneva, Switzerland.

In June 2011, the commission said: "The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world." The emphasis in drug policy on harsh law enforcement over four decades has not accomplished its goal of banishing drugs and has in fact spawned wide, dramatic eruptions of violence, the report continued. By way of alternative, the GCDP report "advocates decriminalizing drug use by those who do no harm to others."

The commission was formed to "bring to the international level an informed, science-based discussion about humane and effective ways to reduce the harm caused by drugs to people and societies. [It built] on the experience of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy" and extended to West Africa in 2013-4 via an initiative of GCPD board member and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and the West Africa Commission on Drugs.

At year-end 2017, GCDP board member George Shultz and economist and former secretary of finance in Mexico Pedro Aspe reaffirmed the message of the commission in a New York Times op-ed.

The Commission has been successively chaired by Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the former President of Brazil, Ruth Dreifuss, former President of Switzerland, and Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand. The Secretariat handles the daily operations of the Commission under the leadership of its director, Khalid Tinasti.

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