DA Gascón Statement on United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem and U.S. Proposal of Pragmatic Reform of Global Drug Policy

News from the Office of District Attorney George Gascón

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2016
@GeorgeGascon
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DA GASCÓN STATEMENT ON UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY SPECIAL SESSION ON THE WORLD DRUG PROBLEM AND U.S. PROPOSAL OF PRAGMATIC REFORM OF GLOBAL DRUG POLICY
 
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, District Attorney George Gascón released the following statement as leaders from around the world gather in New York for a Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly to address the world drug problem.  This is the first such gathering to discuss the world’s drug problem in a generation.
 
“For more than three decades the United States has been at the forefront of a drug war that has claimed more casualties than any conflict in our modern era.  This is not a Democrat or Republican issue, this is a human issue, and nobody wins when we cycle addicts in and out of jail at a cost of thousands to taxpayers, just for them to be released some time later and reoffend.  Drug abuse, like mental illness, must be treated primarily as a public health problem, not a criminal problem, and in 2014 Californians embraced this reality when they passed Proposition 47.  Today, the United States is also embracing this reality as our leaders seek international consensus for a pragmatic reform of global drug policy that integrates public health priorities and recognizes drug abuse as a chronic disease.  In rejecting the failed drug policies of the past the United States has a historic opportunity to transform our justice system into one that prioritizes prevention, effective rehabilitation, and sentences that stop the cycle of crime.  A thoughtful approach to offenders that reduces system costs is not at odds with public safety, and it may enable the United States to play a role in reducing violence in other countries that feed our nation’s thirst for drugs.”

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