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.
As deaths from drug use reach decade long highs and a painful spike in youth violence is linked to the illicit drugs market solutions are clearly in need. This symposium seeks to use evidence and experience to bring informed discussion into the arena of these complex issues.