Daniel Friedman
1 minute read
4 Apr 2019
10:47 am

Motlanthe to join fight to legalise (or at least decriminalise) drugs

Daniel Friedman

The former president is now a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy.

Former president Kgalema Motlanthe at the City Press/Rapport Land Indaba on Wednesday, October 3, 2018. Picture: Moneyweb

Former president Kgalema Motlanthe has joined the Global Commission on Drug Policy (DCDP).

The organisation has been vocal in its opposition to the so-called “war on drugs” – the global effort, spearheaded by the United States (US), to combat illegal drug use through increasing penalties, enforcement, and incarceration.

Rather, the organisation says it is an “advocate for drug policies based on scientific evidence, human rights, public health and safety, for all segments of the population.”

This mandate has seen the GCDP issuing reports advocating for policies such as decriminalisation, the regulation of currently illegal drug markets by governments and even legalising some drugs.

Motlanthe is one of two former heads of state who have joined the organisation, the other being former President of Mauritius Cassam Uteem.

Fields of Green for All, the website of prominent South African pro-cannabis activists Myrtle Clarke and Jules Stobbs, better known as The Dagga Couple, welcomed Motlanthe’s appointment.

“The GCDP supports activists around the world,” a post on the website says.

“We have been waiting for some time for the focus of international drug policy to spread to Southern Africa.

“Hopefully the wait is over and we will join West and East Africa as the subjects of the important research and “on the ground” support that is so important for progress to be made in changing our punitive drug laws.

“We wish Mr Motlanthe all the best and look forward to meeting him in person to discuss what his country’s activists have been doing towards this global goal”.

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