Drug policies have traditionally sought to suppress supply and deter use through the application of punitive laws. Today, there is a growing recognition that these drug policies have not only failed to reach their objectives but have resulted in a great deal of collateral damage. Drug policy must be reformed to focus on health, human rights and development objectives, with the aim of making the market less harmful rather than necessarily reducing its size.
David Restrepo critically reviews Colombia’s 2020 legislative proposal to regulate the coca leaf and cocaine markets by providing qualitative analysis of the regulatory regime proposed, its effects across the supply system, and the associated benefit and cost outcomes for Colombia.
Despite falling conviction rates, police discretion in prosecution is having a disproportionate impact among certain groups, including the Māori people, people with prior convictions and people with substance use problems.