Europe Field-Tests the Drug Policy Spectrum
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But Ukraine and Russia are not alone in having ineffective and overly harsh drug policies. A year ago, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union warned the international community that the national government of Hungary was planning to withdraw from its progressive and well-balanced drug strategy, adopting instead the unattainable goal of a drug-free country. First steps have already been taken, with harm reduction programs being closed down due to a lack of state funding.
Evidence on effective drug policy is vast compared to what the signees of the International Opium Convention had at their disposal in 1912. It's time now, a century later, to apply this evidence, eschew ideology and learn from success stories like the Czech Republic.
Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch is Director of the Global Drug Policy Program at the Open Society Foundations.