WOLA Testimony to US Congressional Committee

27 June 2008

On June 19, 2008, WOLA Senior Associate John_Walsh testified before Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress (chaired by Senator Jim Webb, Democrat of Virginia) on U.S. drug policy. Walsh stated that decades of forced eradication of coca crops in Latin America has had little impact on cocaine production and trafficking, while leaving "a trail of social conflict, political unrest, violence and human rights violations” across the region. In his prepared statement, Walsh said that U.S. drug policies should focus more on harm reduction, which refers not just to reducing the harm caused by drugs to users and their families and communities, but also reduction of the damage caused by misguided, counterproductive policies meant to control drug production and transit.