The Prohibition Post: An Introduction

Despite drug policy reforms, the U.S. continues to imprison almost half a million drug offenders each year

Today, Thursday June 26th 2014, is the Global Day of Action against the War on Drugs. Activists, experts, politicians, and celebrities from around the world are calling for and end to prohibition; a destructive policy that costs countless lives and billions of dollars each year. Today, The Prohibition Post has been launched – to document the international turmoil of the drug war, and the increasingly effective campaign being developed to end it.

Prohibition – the act of outlawing something – gained international infamy when the United States government applied it to alcohol in 1920. This policy led to a sharp increase in alcohol-related death, as well as violent crime – particularly associated with the rise of the American Mafia. In 1933, when it had become indisputably clear that prohibition had failed, the law was repealed, and the alcohol trade was placed back into the hands of a relatively safe and regulated market.

The prohibition of drugs has been a tragically different story. Instead of simply being US-focussed, the war on drugs has breached every corner of the world. While the deadly and costly failures that it has produced have only spurred on those who fight for prohibition; intensifying it to a point that it permeates the lives of innocent millions, and is backed by a range of powerful international institutions and militarised law enforcement groups.

However, the fight against the war on drugs is gaining momentum, primarily due to the efforts of determined non-governmental organisations, policy experts, progressive media outlets, and a few concerned politicians.

The first quarter of the 21st Century has seen substantial changes in this regard – the decriminalisation of drugs in Portugal, the legalisation of marijuana in Uruguay and parts of the US, and the proliferation of harm reduction treatment around the world – to name a few. These advancements have already provided incredible benefits to millions of people: the ethical treatment of drug users, a reduction in the violence of cartels and gangs, and boosts to national economies. But this is just the beginning.

The media’s role in drug policy reform is vital, as an informed public will not stand for the misinformed policy of prohibition. That’s why The Prohibition Post has been created. As a non-profit publication dedicated to providing clear, quality journalism about the War on Drugs, we welcome contributions from all those with an interest or passion for the subject. Any articles, multimedia, and personal stories can be sent to the editor.

Together, we can end prohibition.

 

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