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 concept of ‘alternative development’ has dominated the intersection of drug control and development historically – but has been subject to growing critique. We explore how can it evolve into meaningful promotion of sustainable livelihoods for impacted communities, including possibilities for transitioning into legally regulated drug crop products.