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  • The Negative Impacts of the Global War on Drugs: Can International Drug Enforcement Be Successful Without Infringing on Human Rights?

    The United Nations has long recognized that international drug trafficking and drug use are issues that must be addressed on a global scale. Over the last century the international community has entered into a “global war on drugs” with its primary purposes eventually evolving into a two-fold goal— decimating the market for illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines, while also promoting the availability of licit drugs, such as narcotic pain medication, that are used for medical and scientific purposes in countries where they may not be otherwise available. This war on drugs, while unquestionably a necessary endeavor, has created certain casualties within the area of human rights. Some countries maintain drug laws that, either as written or as enforced, condone inhumane and/or cruel punishments that directly contradict recognized human rights initiatives. Other countries violate certain human rights by prescribing drug laws that over-regulate medically necessary drugs, such as opiate-based pain killers, creating an underavailability of them in areas where they are in high demand.

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