In 1971, US President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs. More than four decades later, some countries have started to change their approach.

In Ireland, the drugs minister announced plans to move towards the decriminalisation of heroin, cocaine and cannabis. In Mexico, a recent Supreme Court ruling opened the door to the legalisation of marijuana. And earlier this month, the US released more than 6,000 nonviolent drug offenders from prison.

So, is it time to end the war on drugs?

In this week's Arena, Johann Hari, journalist and author of Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, debates with former US Republican Congressman Ernest Istook.

Watch UpFront on Al Jazeera English on Fridays at 19:30 GMT.

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Source: Al Jazeera