17th June marks the 40 year anniversary of the “War on drugs” as was declared by US President Richard Nixon. Since then, this war has failed to reduce drug use and cultivation of drugs destined to be used in the illicit drug market. In Latin America, these drug policies have also led to the marginalisation of drug users, high levels of criminalisation of crop growers and the overloading of criminal justice systems, according to 74 expert organisations from the continent.

In a declaration, supported by various Latin American groups, IDPC calls for a new focus in drug policies that encompasses social development, education, universal healthcare, and human rights and fundamental freedom.

“After 40 years, we have gathered enough evidence demonstrating that the current strategy is not only failing, but also worsening the situation”, said Coletta Youngers, IDPC consultant in Latin America. “It is high time to implement policies that tackle the social causes of drug use and drug trafficking”.

The declaration is available in below in Spanish.

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