Activists wave flags in front of the U.S. Capitol to demand that Congress pass cannabis reform legislation on Oct. 8, 2019.
Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images
A cannabis decriminalization bill approved by the House is a sign from Congress that sentiment around the drug is evolving, but it misses a chance to regulate marijuana for the good of all Americans.
According to Oregon law, possessing a small amount of drugs for personal consumption is now a civil – rather than criminal – offense.
Peter Dazeley via Getty
Possessing heroin, cocaine, meth and other drugs for personal use is no longer a criminal offense in Oregon. The idea is to get people with problem drug use help, not punishment.
A T-shirt worn by a cannabis advocate during a court hearing on the legality of the plant in South Africa.
RODGER BOSCH/AFP via Getty Images
Policy makers need to protect and promote the interests of people whose indigenous knowledge and toil developed a thriving national cannabis economy - in the face of harsh police crackdowns.
In this July 2020 photo, a woman is comforted in her home during a wake for her son who was killed along with at least 26 others in an attack by drug cartels on a drug rehabilitation centre where he was being treated in Irapuato, Mexico.
(AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
The American public should understand that the United States has played a critical role in creating and fuelling violence in Latin America via its unsuccessful war on drugs.
Demonstrators protest demanding the resignation of the country’s interim president Jeanine Añez in El Alto, Bolivia, August 14 2020.
Bolivia's drug control strategy was once internationally applauded.
‘ZeroZeroZero’ is a drama based on truth that shows a clear picture of the modern cocaine trade.
The federal government's fight against cocaine distribution wrongly assumes that it's all destined for the US.
Black Lives Matters murals on boarded-up businesses in New York City.
AP Photo/STRF/STAR MAX/IPx
What will it take to change a brutal and militaristic style of policing in America? Political will.
Drying coca, Chapare, Bolivia
© Thomas Grisaffi
Production of coca leaf, the raw material in cocaine, is surging in Peru despite 40 years of forced eradication designed to convince farmers to abandon it. Bolivia shows a better way forward.
Colombia is the world’s second-biggest cut flower exporter.
AP Photo/Fernando Vergara
A program intended to reduce coca production ended up giving two Latin American countries a big boost to their flower power.
A back alley in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, a high-risk COVID-19 area due to the fact the vulnerable populations converge there, is pictured in January 2020.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug users are already among the most marginalized and stigmatized populations in times without a pandemic. Unless we decriminalize drug use, once again they will bear the brunt of another deadly disease.
More than 35,000 people were killed in Mexico in 2019, the deadliest year on record. Violence has spiked as a result of the government’s ongoing assault on drug cartels.
Leonardo Emiliozzi Ph / Shutterstock
A researcher who fled crime-beset Mexico returns to interview the drug cartels behind so much of the violence, asking 33 'narcos' everything about their lives, from birth to their latest murder.
Police crackdown operations are likely to exacerbate the structural inequalities that can influence criminality in the first place.
Nixon’s Operation Intercept in 1969 led to massive traffic jams.
Both presidents brought border traffic and trade to a standstill in hopes of changing Mexican policy in the drug war. And both failed to achieve their goals.
Filipinos hold a funeral march for Kian Loyd delos Santos, who was killed during a police anti-drug operation on August 16 2017.
The UN's new rights focus has the potential to overhaul the punitive nature of the war on drugs.
Soldiers burn cocaine and marijuana in southern Mexico.
The Mexican slow-down in life expectancy improvements coincides with an unprecedented rise in violence.
Understanding the pleasure drugs give people would help to prevent the harms.
Reagent test kits are not as effective as specialist testing. But it’s better than nothing.
With several music festival patrons dying this year the pill testing debate is in full swing. Yet people can already purchase legally available test kits. Do they work?
Pill testing is a rare opportunity to speak to drug users about their drug use.
There are arguments against pill testing. But none are as compelling or evidence-based as the arguments for it.
Use of novel psychoactive substances may have shrunk, but the harms have widened.
The government's own review of its legislation to tackle 'legal highs' reveals the unintended consequences of the law – consequences we predicted.
Even with the best will in the world, there's only so much social policy can do to stop organised crime.