Richard Branson claims that he has been shown a report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) that calls on governments worldwide to end the “war on drugs” and to decriminalise the use and possession of all illegal substances.
On a post on his Virgin website, Branson states an “as-yet unreleased statement” has been sent to the world’s media under embargo, but he has decided to go public with it for fear that the UN will “bow to pressure by not going ahead with this important move”.
The UN was preparing to declare “unequivocally that criminalisation is harmful unnecessary and disproportionate”, Branson wrote.
A document changing the UN stance on drug control was supposed to be released at a conference in Malaysia on Sunday, he said, but that has now been delayed.
“As I’m writing this I am hearing that at least one government is putting an inordinate amount of pressure on the UNODC,” he said.
“Let us hope the UNODC, a global organisation that is part of the UN and supposed to do what is right for the people of the world, does not do a remarkable volte-face at the last possible moment and bow to pressure by not going ahead with this important move.”
“The war on drugs has done too much damage to too many people already.”
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