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Press Release: Coalition calls on Canadian government to work closely with Latin American countries to reform drug policy at Summit of the Americas
  Canadian Drug Policy Coalition
April 11, 2012
---FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE---
 
Coalition calls on Canadian government to work closely with Latin American countries to reform drug policy at Summit of the Americas
 
The Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC) called on the Canadian government today to take a strong leadership role at the Summit of the Americas by supporting the call of Latin American countries to redraft global drug policies.  
 
“Latin American countries have been calling for an end to the War on Drugs for years. They are suffering the most severe impacts of drug policies supported by countries such as Canada and the US. Our role must be to assist in building a global intergovernmental dialogue to talk about a new approach to drug regulation,” said Donald MacPherson, Coalition Director.
 
This week former Presidents of Columbia, Mexico and Brazil, now members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, also called for a paradigm shift in drug policy. They emphasized the need for a serious dialogue on alternatives and to take a public health approach to addressing the drug problem in their countries. They underscored the fact that criminalization of drug use is the primary obstacle to treatment and rehabilitation and is enriching the power of drug cartels.
 
Although Latin America has been engaged in policy discussions for years on the subject of drugs, this will be the first time that drug policy reform will be squarely on the agenda at the Summit of the Americas.
 
“This is a watershed moment and an obvious opportunity for Canada to provide strong leadership to support this call for change from the most affected countries,” said Coalition Chair, Lynne Belle-Isle. “The CDPC is working with partners in Latin America and organizations throughout Canada to support the development and implementation of drug policies that are based on evidence, human rights, social inclusion and public health. We hope Canada’s participation at the Summit will reflect the importance of moving in this direction.”
 
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Media Contact:  Heiko Decosas  /  778-558-6192  /  hdecosas@drugpolicy.ca


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