All Content: drug policy

Interview with Coletta Youngers: Breaking Down the Vienna Consensus on Drugs

In this short video, attendees at a high-level United Nations drug policy meeting identify enduring problems in the organization's ruling conventions and practices.

Women, Drug Policy, and Incarceration in the Americas

This roundtable, organized by the Permanent Mission of Uruguay to the OAS, CIM/OAS, IDPC, and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) explored the increased participation of women in all spheres of the illicit drugs market, as well as the gender dynamics of their involvement.

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Holds First Ever Hearing on Drug Policy

On March 25, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights held its first ever hearing to analyze the impact of current drug policy on human rights.

Histórica audiencia sobre políticas de drogas en la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH)

Audiencia será llevada a cabo el martes 25 de marzo a las 2 p.m. EST
Por primera vez, la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) llevará a cabo una audiencia sobre daños causados por las políticas de drogas.

Colombia, the United States, and Security Cooperation by Proxy

An emerging security cooperation model: Colombia is training third countries with U.S. funds
Colombia is increasingly training third countries' militaries and police forces, often with U.S. funds. This trend raises concerns about transparency, human rights, civilian control, and replication of a highly questioned "drug war model." This report presents new information about this growing practice.

Launching Legal Marijuana: Regulatory Challenges and Options

A Rapporteur's Report on the Workshop
Analysis & Commentary
In October 2013, WOLA and the Drug Policy Alliance hosted the leading legislators and drug policy reformers in the Americas for a conference on creating and regulating legal marijuana programs.

Conference: Perspectives on Colombia’s Peace Process and Opportunities for U.S. Engagement

In this event, Colombian and U.S. analysts, human rights defenders, and policymakers came together to discuss the status of the peace process and the role of the United States after an eventual agreement.

U.S. Policy in Colombia: Success Story or Cautionary Tale?

Analysis & Commentary
Washington's pursuit of trade with Colombia — encapsulated by the recent U.S.-Colombia free-trade agreement — is abetting human rights abuses and marginalizing Colombian activists.

Behind the Staggering Rise in Women's Imprisonment in Latin America

Harsh drug laws are driving a surge in the number of women imprisoned in Latin America
Analysis & Commentary
Unjust drug laws are behind much of the surge in Latin America's female prison population.

NPR: "Why the Timing is Right for Uruguay to Legalize Pot"

In an interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep, WOLA's John Walsh discusses the details of Uruguay's new marijuana policy, including the country's plans to regulate its production and distribution.
Analysis & Commentary
Uruguay is poised to legalize the production and sale of marijuana to regulate the drug and scale back its black market. Steve Inskeep talks with WOLA's John Walsh about the country's plans for implementation.

Uruguay Becomes First Nation to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana

December 10 Vote Made History
Uruguay's vote will place it in the history books.

Promoting Human Rights-Based Drug Policies in Latin America

WOLA's Youngers Presents at Regional Drug Policy Summit
Analysis & Commentary
Presenting at a side event at CICAD, the drug policy arm of the Organization of American States, WOLA's Coletta A. Youngers outlines the foundation of a human rights-based drug policy

Shifts in Cultivation, Usage Put Bolivia’s Coca Policy at the Crossroads

Analysis & Commentary
In a briefing in the World Politics Review, WOLA's Coletta Youngers explains how Bolivia's innovative drug policy has placed the government in complex political waters, balancing the demands of coca growers while still reducing coca produced for illicit markets.

Obama-Santos Meeting Should Highlight Human, Labor Rights Issues in Colombia

Human Rights Groups Call on White House to Pressure Colombian President on Continued Rights Violations, Express Support for Peace
Analysis & Commentary
On December 3, 2013, President Obama will meet with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. Obama should emphasize U.S. support for the peace process and press for more progress on human rights.

Open letter to Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas

Fourth Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA IV)
Analysis & Commentary
In this letter, human rights organizations from throughout the hemisphere call for drug law reform on the eve of the Fourth Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security (MISPA).

Promoting Peace, Labor Rights, and Social Inclusion in Colombia

WOLA November Colombia Update
Analysis & Commentary
Over the past several months, WOLA has worked with policymakers in DC and grassroots organizations in Colombia to ensure U.S. and Colombian laws protect human rights and promote social justice.

What does it mean to have a human rights-oriented drug policy?

Analysis & Commentary
The war on drugs has failed; what are the alternative policies that can take its place?

Ambassador Milton Romani Gerner Receives 2013 WOLA Human Rights Award for Pioneering Approach to Drug Policy

On October 24, 2013, Ambassador Milton Romani Gerner received the WOLA Human Rights Award for his dedicated work in Uruguay and the international community to pioneer new approaches to drug policy. Click here to see the acceptance speech that he gave that evening.