CICAD new drug strategy - a step forward

31 May 2010

At its 47th regular session from May 3 to 5, 2010, the OAS’s Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) adopted a new hemispheric drug strategy, replacing the last one adopted in 1996. Despite much skepticism as to what would be the final result, the strategy is in fact a significant step forward. The language is greatly toned cown from the previous “drug war” rhetoric, the first point calls for “Full compliance with international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” and point six of the introduction underscores the importance of civil society participation. There are frequent references to developing policies that are evidence based. While the term harm reduction is not included in the document, the alternative language adopted in Vienna is used. The CICAD member countries are now working on an Action Plan, a task being coordinated by the government of Mexico.