Drug Laws Fail to Protect Children
Writes former President of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso in Elsevier’s International Journal of Drug Policy
(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) Amsterdam - November 22, 2011 - “Would legal regulation and control of drugs better protect children?” is a question posed by former President of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso in an editorial to be published in the January issue of Elsevier’s International Journal of Drug Policy (IJDP).The editorial, “Children and drug law reform” follows the March 2011 report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, chaired by Cardoso, which made a series of recommendations for reforms of drug laws, including experiments with legal regulation and control. “If we believe that the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration in all policies that affect them, as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, then children have the right to be placed front and centre in drug policy discussions”, writes the former president. Recognising the harms that have befallen children and young people around the world due to drugs prohibition, and the failure of current approaches to protect children from drug use and drug related harms, Cardoso calls for debate on a range of issues including what legal regulation and control of drugs would mean for children.
“I am convinced that the recommendations of the Global Commission will have significant benefits for children and young people,” he writes, “I would not support such policies if I did not believe that current approaches have singularly failed in this respect.”But the former president urges caution in relation to possible future business interests in currently illicit drugs. “Our experiences with alcohol and tobacco show that we cannot entrust such commodities to corporations whose interests are in profit maximisation not public health. We cannot relinquish drugs to the criminal market, nor to an unregulated free market.” “To protect children from drugs it is to my mind now beyond debate that drug laws need to be reformed. From what we already know, the ongoing and future identified harms of current drug policies to our children must be considered not as unintended, but a result of negligence, recklessness or simple disregard,” concludes Cardoso. “President Cardoso’s editorial is a challenge to politicians, researchers and activists and is a much needed contribution to an important part of the drug policy debate we all too often overlook”, said Professor Gerry Stimson, Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Drug Policy. “This is no doubt a very difficult and controversial area and I wholeheartedly agree with President Cardoso, we need to create an environment where it is safer to openly discuss these issues.” # # # Notes to editors
Editorial: “Children and drug law reform”;Cardoso, F.H.; International Journal of Drug Policy (2011); doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2011.10.004. Fernando Henrique Cardoso was President of Brazil from 1995-2002. He is chair of the Global Commission on Drug Policy.The Global Commission on Drug Policy’s report is available at http://www.globalcommissionondrugs.org/ About the International Journal of Drug Policy
The International Journal of Drug Policy provides a forum for the dissemination of current research, reviews, debate, and critical analysis on drug use and drug policy in a global context. It seeks to publish material on the social, political, legal, and health contexts of psychoactive substance use, both licit and illicit. The journal is particularly concerned to explore the effects of drug policy and practice on drug-using behaviour and its health and social consequences. It is the policy of the journal to represent a wide range of material on drug-related matters from around the world. For more information go to: www.ijdp.org About Elsevier Elsevier is a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier’s online solutions include SciVerse ScienceDirect, SciVerse Scopus, Reaxys, MD Consult and Nursing Consult, which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, and the SciVal suite and MEDai’s Pinpoint Review, which help research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively. A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world-leading publisher and information provider, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange