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The market for illicit drugs represents the world's largest criminal commodity business.Around the world, drug-related deaths have been surging, rising from 183,500 in 2011 to roughly 450,000 in 2015 an increase of 145 percent in just four years.Meanwhile, more than $100 billion continues to be spent every year in a futile attempt to eradicate the illegal-drugs market. That is why the Global Commission on Drug Policy, in its recent report, Regulation: The Responsible Control of Drugs, recommends that governments legalize and regulate all currently illegal drugs."Legalization" is often portrayed inaccurately as an intervention by the state to promote drug use. But what it really means is that authorities acting in the public interest provide a legal framework for the production, distribution and sale of drugs for adult consumption, with appropriate consideration given to the harms associated with each particular substance. It is a policy that specifically addresses the realities of drug use and the presence of drug markets.Bolivia and Turkey have introduced legal, regulated coca and poppy cultivation, respectively, to push out illegal operations.By calling for legalization, we are not surrendering to the problem posed by drugs.
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