The Cities and Drug Challenges Conference took place on 26 January, on the initiative of the Mayor of Amsterdam Femke Halsema. At this historic conference, global mayors and drug experts argued it would be more effective to regulate drugs like cocaine than the current state of prohibition and law-enforcement.
Mayor Halsema told that regulation of drugs such as cocaine was the only way to reduce social damage. “If we continue to fight drugs and drug users, we will remain caught in a never-ending war on drugs,” she said, opening conference. “If we want to fight crime and the violence associated with the drug trade, we need to take the drug market away from the criminals. Not by creating a free market, but by taking a controlled, responsible approach. This will reduce drug-related crime, improve public health and the general wellbeing of our citizens and relieve our criminal justice system”.
The outcome of the conference is the Amsterdam Manifesto – a catalyst for a global coalition advocating comprehensive drug policy reform. The Manifesto is based on the following guiding principles:
- Effectiveness as policy compass
- Regulatory alternatives and risk mitigation
- Public health, social policy and addressing underlying issues
- Cautious implementation
The Manifesto pledges for:
- Strengthening a global movement
- Charting the course with scientific evidence
- Harvesting global knowledge
- Embracing courageous decision-making
To read and support the Manifesto, follow this link>>>.