Most notably for the drug policy reform movement, UNODC head Antonia Maria Costa's preface actually acknowledges anti-prohibitionist sentiments; provides a generally positive analysis of Portugal's decriminalization efforts; and, rather than approaching drug policy from a strictly punitive viewpoint, considers global drug laws in light of health-based, economic, and public safety concerns.
But on the other hand he offers facile arguments dismissing the need for serious debate on alternative drug policies." He adds, "The report erroneously assumes that prohibition is the ultimate form of control when in fact it represents the abdication of control." For a more indepth analysis of the report, stop by the Chronicle's June 26 feature ("UN Drug Czar Attacks Legalizers -- Legalizers Say 'It's About Time'").
You can also view both a summary of the report and download the full text in PDF form at the UNODC's web page (UNODC Launches 2009 Annual Report).
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As Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, posted on the organization's blog on July 30, 2009, "For some 35 years the United States federal government has been well aware that cannabis possesses potent anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties.