A number of high profile celebrities have urged UK Prime Minister David Cameron in an open letter on Thursday to decriminalize the possession of drugs.
The letter was signed following the release of a report by the Global Commission of Drug Policy stating that the four-decade long 'War on Drugs' policy by the United States has had devastating impact on human societies across the world including increased drug violence.
The new report has asked governments to decriminalize the possession of drugs and to try regulating the sale of drugs like cannabis to undermine the power of organized crime and safeguard the health and security of their citizens.
Included within the list of 30 signatories are Virgin Group head Sir Richard Branson, Sting, Julie Christie, Judi Dench and Kathy Burke among others.
Branson, who is also a member of the Global Commission of Drug Policy panel, said that there is an urgent need for a new approach that takes the power out of the hands of organised crime and treats people with addiction problems like patients, not criminals. He also pointed out that the drug war policy has done nothing but has only filled our jails, fuelled organized crime and caused thousands of deaths.
However, such attempts have been tagged as naïve, with a spokesperson for the Home Office clearly stating that there are no current plans to liberalize drug laws. Several drug campaigners openly condemned this attempt by the stars saying that to adopt such plans would imply that such drugs were safe.
The Daily Mail quoted Mary Brett, a trustee of charity Cannabis Skunk Sense, stating that This is naive in the extreme. These people have never read the literature on the harms drugs such as cannabis can do. There is no doubt that cannabis can cause psychosis, and skunk users are even more likely to become psychotic as a result.
Nevertheless, with increasing number of people in countries like UK and Brazil convicted with possession of illegal drugs, there is an urgent need to stabilize the situation and adopt serious measures.