Gaviria is former president of Colombia, Zedillo former president of Mexico, and Cardoso former president of Brazil. All are on the Global Commission on Drug Policy. They say:
The facts speak for themselves. The foundations of the U.S.-led war on drugs -- eradication of production, interdiction of traffic, and criminalization of consumption -- have not succeeded and never will. When there is established demand for a consumer product, there will be a supply. The only beneficiaries of prohibition are the drug cartels.
The stunning reduction in the consumption of tobacco in the Americas shows that prevention and regulation are more efficient than prohibition and punishment.
A paradigm shift, combining repression of the violent drug trade with increased investments in treatment and prevention, would be the best contribution that Latin America -- a region that has suffered so much under drug prohibition -- could make to global reform of drug policies.
[Thanks to J.B.]