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The Lancet HIV

It is 50 years since the June 18, 1971 address by US President Richard Nixon that publicised the US administration's war on drugs. Nixon declared that drug abuse was “America's public enemy number one”. Despite Nixon mentioning “rehabilitation, research, and education” in his speech, the war on drugs has been an offensive, with military interventions, soaring arrest rates, and aggressive...

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    The war on drugs must end. Decriminalization of personal drug use, coupled with increased resources for treatment and harm reduction, could transform the lives of those affected. This transformation might finally be something worth fighting for.