DRUG POLICY AROUND THE WORLD
Drug Policy Around the World
Efforts to curb citizens’ drug use have existed almost as long as drugs have been used. One of the earliest recorded drug laws comes from 17th century Russia where Czar Michael Federovitch ruled that anyone caught with tobacco should be tortured until he gave up the name of the supplier. In more recent times, most countries around the world have established national drug policies. Between 1989 and 1999, official national drug policies were introduced in 66 countries and a further 41 countries were developing national drug policies or had developed such a policy more than 10 years previously.
Along with the rise in worldwide communication and trade, the use, manufacture and sale of drugs has become a global issue. United Nations work to establish an international system of drug control in which countries are obliged to criminalize all non-medical use, manufacture and sale of drugs. The US also pushes for international cooperation and direct action against drug production and trafficking. Yet illicit drugs play a major role in economies around the world and drug use continues to rise.
Treatment availability and policy focused on demand reduction rather than supply reduction is a growing trend in national drug policy, especially since intravenous drug users are at high risk of HIV/AIDS infection, however, criminal enforcement remains the central theme in world drug policy.