Independent | World leaders have called for an end to the criminalisation of drugs.
The Global Commission on Drug Policy's annual report advocates the removal of both civil and criminal penalties for drug use and possession.
Prohibition of drugs has had "little or no impact" on the rate of drug use, the report says, with the number of drug users increasing by almost 20 per cent between 2006 and 2013 to 246 million people.
The Global Commission on Drug Policy panel includes former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, British businessman Richard Branson and the former presidents of Switzerland, Colombia, Mexico and Brazil.
The report warns prohibition of drugs fuels mass incarceration and executions in contravention of international law and drives human rights abuses by those who supply drugs.
It cites examples of successful decriminalisation policies, offering Portugal as the best example, which replaced criminal sanctions for drug use with civil penalties and health interventions 15 years ago.
The Committee also denounces the "barbaric actions" of Philippino President Rodrigo Duterte, who calls on the public to execute those involved in the drugs trade. More than 3,600 people were killed during Mr Duterte's first 100 days in office as part of his brutal crackdown on drugs. Fist tap Big Don.