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.
Seven former Brazilian justice ministers have declared their support for the decriminalization of drug possession for personal use, mirroring a regional shift in thinking on drug policy that the Brazilian government has so far resisted.
Introduced by four expert panelists from Afghanistan, Serbia, Uruguay and Mexico, the debate seeks to break the taboo and discuss whether the 'war on drugs' has been a successful approach to counter the global drug problem.