Last week the release of a report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy made news around the world as it declared the war on drugs a costly failure. Part of the reason it got so much publicity was that the Commissioners included:
- Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former President of Brazil
- César Gaviria, former President of Colombia
- Ernesto Zedillo, former President of México
- George Shultz, former Secretary of State
- Richard Branson, entrepreneur
- Kofi Annan, former Un Secretary-General
Now I don’t necessairly disagree with the conclusion that the war on drugs has been a failure. Having said that, I’m not sure better alternatives have been articulated.
Anyway I got curious about this Global Commission that made headlines around the world. I wondered who actually established the group? Was it the UN? Was it a country? An NGO?
And then I wondered who selected the Commissioners? Did they select people known to share a common view that the war on drugs has failed? Did they advertise for Commissioners?
And finally I wondered who was paying the bills?
The interesting thing is that none of these questions can be found on the Commission’s website, or in their report. They seems to have had a virgin birth, just declaring their own existence.
So who can find out answers to the questions – who established the commission, who appointed the commissioners and who is paying the bills?
As far as I can tell no mainstream media outlet has asked these questions, or more importantly included them in their reporting. If this was a group hand picked for their known opposition to current drug policy, that is a relevant piece of information.