The “Support. Don’t Punish,” campaign organised it’s second ever Global Day of Action on Thursday, June 26, 2014, in 100 cities across the world. The event built on the previous year’s success by holding an “action” in London to further raise awareness of the harms caused by the war on drugs, and appeal to the UK government to treat drug use as a health, not a criminal issue.
June 26 is, in addition, the United Nations’ “International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking,” one that is used by many governments to celebrate the war on drugs – even holding public executions of drug offenders in some cases as a sign of their commitment. "Support. Don't Punish," represents an opportunity to reclaim the messaging on this day.
In 2014, campaigners also used the day to draw people’s attention to the need for drug policy reform in the UK, and to the 2016 UN Global Debate on Drug Policy, urging the UK's leading politicians to take an evidence-based approach to UK drug policy, and to fully engage in the 2016 UN debate.
As part of the global day of action, over 80 high-profile figures and organisations signed an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron calling on the government to review drug policy in the United Kingdom and move toward an approach that reduces the “harms caused by drugs and current drug policies.” The letter highlights that in the past 15 years, over 1.5 million people have been criminalised in the UK for drugs possession. What’s more, these drug laws are being disproportionately applied, with black people in England and Wales six times more likely than white people to be stopped and searched for drug offences despite the fact that drug use amongst this group is almost half that of the white population.You can view the letter by downloading the pdf below.