This side event at the 2023 SDG summit underscores that without a major reframing of the 'world drug problem' and a focus on sustainable development priorities, there is a risk of falling short of achieving the 2030 Agenda.
WOLA discusses the coca market crisis in Colombia, exploring its many potential causes and urging authorities to seize the opportunity to provide aid, improved civilian governance and avenues for economic development.
As momentum for drug policy reform grows in Colombia, the growers of northern Cauca insist on a clear demand: that profits from legal regulation do not go to armed groups or big business, but to the growers themselves.
Huge profits from the drug trade are financing illegal industries responsible for destroying much of the Amazon, highlighting the often overlooked and complex relationship between drug prohibition and environmental degradation.
Falling prices have plunged thousands of coca-growing families into hardship, underscoring the need for sustainable solutions to rural communities' precarious dependence on this unstable illicit market.
While the longer-term impacts of the ban on the global heroin supply will greatly depend on potential subsequent bans on cultivation and trade, the livelihoods of thousands of landless labourers are in danger.
While it is not yet clear whether the Taliban's opium ban will remain, policymakers must consider the huge risk of increased overdose deaths in Europe if the heroin supply does dry up, and urgently begin contingency planning and delivery of interventions.