Just over a month ago Global Exchange’s Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice arrived from Honduras to the gates of the United Nations in New York City to deliver a clarion call: end the war on drugs, and adopt global policies based on principles of human rights, health, and harm reduction.
We knew the drug war wasn’t going to come to an end overnight. But we are building momentum to end the senseless slaughter and pain of the decades long ‘war on drugs.’
The fact that we were able to meet with leaders around a framework of human rights, health and harm reduction is in itself a victory – and a far cry from the absurd goal set by the 1988 UN convention for a “drug free world.”
The new focus puts public health at the center of the debate and is now an accepted part of the dialogue. That is particularly true in the Americas where Uruguay, Canada, Colombia, Mexico and others are advancing the discussion of marijuana regulation. In the US almost half our states have regulated marijuana in some way, and the Obama administration is hinting at “rescheduling” marijuana to bring federal law into harmony with these state actions, possibly this summer.
The highlight of the Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice was not the arrival at United Nations, but rather the deep conversations, the profound learning, and the ties of unity between communities in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States with the dozens of victims of the drug war, religious leaders, health professionals, spokespeople for social movements, students organizers and others who were the Caravan.
We offer this video to share the spirit of the Caravan. We will keep you informed about next steps that are being planned, as we continue to build our movements for Peace, Life, and Justice.
Human Rights Director