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.
The review was mandated by Heads of State at 2012 Summit of the Americas. The new study should enrich the already-vibrant hemispheric debate over drug policy alternatives, including the option of legal, regulated markets for cannabis.
After analysing the regional debate and national-level reforms, this report concludes with policy recommendations that should be undertaken to maintain the momentum and advance drug policy reforms in the region.
The focus of the symposium will be on capacity building for research, hence young researchers in the social and health sciences and education and experienced researchers with new data to present are particularly invited to participate.