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Why drug policy in Latin America needs to change: two scholars explain

Latin America’s drug war, in action. Carlos Jasso/Reuters

The Global Commission on Drug Policy has recommended ending all civil and criminal penalties on drug users in its 2016 report. The authors of the report propose a number of alternatives to incarceration for low-level, non-violent drug-related crimes. They also encourage governments to stem the criminal drug market by regulating illicit substances.

In Latin America, 50 years of militarised enforcement have led to record levels of violence, corruption and social exclusion. The region is now a global leader in calling to end this punitive approach.

What should be done about the global “war on drugs”? In our video explainer, the two scholars, Graciela Touze (Argentina) and Lilian Bobea (Dominican Republic), explain what’s behind global drug policy, expose its racist origins and devastating impacts, and offer better options for the future.

Graciela Touze and Lilian Bobea were interviewed at the 6th Latin American and 1st Caribbean Drug Policy Conference by documentary filmmaker Xenia Grubstein.

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