Drug policy is a politically sensitive and unwieldy issue. The ‘war on drugs’ is still the predominant global drug policy paradigm. Introducing innovative, evidence-based ap-proaches that take adequate account of the side effects of drug policies is still hampered by ideological prejudices. In the long term, the task at the international level is to establish an alternative discourse regarding development-oriented drug policy, in which the voices of civil society actors should be heard as well. Policy-makers should be advised to design drug policy in a way that further development is oriented towards the needs of the target groups at both the producer and the consumer ends of the value chain. Drug policy in the areas of cultivation should not ‘purely’ be seen as a drug control strategy but as a contribution to the long-term transformation of drug economies into legal economies. The success and progress of national and international drug policy should therefore be measured against social and poverty-related indicators. On the consumption side, health issues and harm reduction measures should be brought to the fore.