As the Economist reports, "the framework for global drug policies is set by three UN conventions, dating from 1961, 1981, and 1988. Between them, these conventions set rules prohibiting, in almost any circumstances, the production, manufacture, trade, use or possession of potentially harmful plant-based and synthetic non-medical drugs, other than tobacco and alcohol."
Recently, several countries like Australia and Canada have begun to question the logic of this global prohibition, and are considering legalizing certain illicit drugs while placing a heavy emphasis on "harm reduction" programs.
It is good to see that governments are asking some of the right questions, but the legalization of harmful and addictive substances, although a step in the right direction for reasons of cognitive liberty, is the wrong answer. Instead, we need to make it legal to research and develop new recreational substances that can induce similar pleasures but that cause less physical harm and are non-addictive.
Government regulated pleasure enhancing neuroceuticals are the answer. We want government involved to ensure that the safety and efficacy are proven through intelligent clinical trials. Governments must make mental enhancement a viable market.
Alcohol and tobacco are 4000 year old tools, isn't it about time humanity upgraded?