Drugs, Politics and culture: Perspectives from Brazil-Mexico


Drugs, Politics and culture: Perspectives from Brazil-Mexico

14 July 2015

This congress is a joint initiative between the Center for Research and Post Graduate Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Guadalajara, with the Brazilian Platform on Drug Policy (BPDP) and the Nucleus for Interdisciplinary Studies of Psychoactives (NEIP), both from Brazil.

The congress focuses on the traditional and contemporary use of drugs in indigenous, mestizo, and urban communities in Mexico and Brazil. It promotes a debate about the changes and continuities of traditional, religious, and ritual uses of psychoactive substances, and the current dilemmas and perspectives of the use of drugs in global contemporary culture, including uses considered problematic. It focuses on the role of culture in molding the “experience” in different settings. Informal and cultural means of control, and their relationship with formal and legal controls, will also be explored.


  • Similarities and historical peculiarities regarding drug use;
  • Traditional drug use and minorities’ rights;
  • Traditional, religious, and ritual uses of psychoactive substances and contemporary/Western recreational or problematic uses of “drugs”;
  • Therapeutic and medicinal use of psychedelic substances;
  • The potential of the production of poppy as legal medicine in Mexico;
  • Narco-culture in Mexico and “drug cultures” in Brazil;
  • The impact of prohibition on treating dependency;
  • The impact of prohibition on the penitentiary system;
  • The impact of prohibition on security and violence, such as the UPPs in Brazil and the militarization of Mexico;
  • The dialogue between scientific knowledge and drug policy;
  • Experiences with prevention and harm reduction policies and initiatives;
  • Involuntary treatment for crack in Brazil and drug courts in Mexico;
  • Crack in Brazil and methamphetamines in Mexico;
  • Civil society, media, and academics in the movements for drug policy reform;
  • Regulating medical, recreational, and ritualistic use of cannabis and its’ derivatives;
  • The impact of marijuana regulation in the United States on Latin America;
  • Alternative drug policies in Latin America and in the international context;
  • The perspectives and the roles of Mexico and Brazil in the 2016 UNGASS.

Click here for more information.

Keep up-to-date with drug policy developments by subscribing to the IDPC Monthly Alert.