A spectre is haunting the world – the spectre of drug policy reform. All the powers of the old world have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: the Pope and the UN drug czar, Putin and Obama, Chinese party officials and American prosecutors.
However, a strange new epidemic has broken out among the members of the holy alliance. Scientists call it the "Post-Retirement Drug Policy Enlightenment Syndrome" (PRDPES). It is most prevalent among former law enforcement officials and former political decision makers. The most vulnerable are those who have previously made a significant contribution to the global war on drugs. Symptoms of the disease are remorse, turning against conventional beliefs, radical improvement of cognitive functions and a strong incentive to promote drug policy reform.
Some PRDPES patients have formed advocacy groups to promote access to life-saving treatment for societies devastated by the war on drugs. One example is LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, made up mostly of former policemen, prosecutors and judges, many of them fierce and devoted drug warriors before contracting the disease. The epidemic has taken its highest toll among former Latin-American presidents, who have joined the Global Commission on Drug Policy to promote drug policy reform.
Recently a new PRDPES case has been recorded in Eastern Europe. The former president of Poland, Aleksandr Kwasniewski, once a strong supporter of the restrictive drug law of his country, has become the latest victim. In an op-ed in the New York Times, he shows obvious symptoms of the disease. He admits something a healthy political decision-maker never does – that he was wrong. What is more, he encourages “political leaders from other regions of the world to sign on and show their support for policies that actually protect citizens”.
Our movie on drug policy reform in Poland - you can turn on the English subtitles!
Based on the findings of laboratory studies, we can hypothesize that PRDPES is an infectious disease, and current decision-makers can contract it too. However, only a few transmissions have been recorded so far, between former and current decision-makers.
Posted by Peter Sarosi