All Content: Drug Policy

Women Behind Bars: Photo Essays Show The Human Cost of Current Drug Policy in the Americas

Analysis & Commentary
Across Latin America, the effects of disproportionate punishment for low-level, non-violent drug offenses are particularly severe for women. The following women were convicted and imprisoned for drug offenses in Colombia and Costa Rica. These are their stories.

Women, Drug Policies, and Incarceration in the Americas

A Joint Project to Promote More Humane and Effective Policies
Analysis & Commentary
In collaboration with gender and human rights organizations from throughout the world, IDPC, Dejusticia and WOLA have convened a group of leading experts to address the harmful effects of incarceration on women in the Americas.

Women, Drug Policies, and Incarceration

A Guide for Policy Reform in Latin America and the Caribbean
Publication
This guide presents public policies to address the harmful mass incarceration of women for drug offenses in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Societal Cost of Locking Up Women for Low-Level Drug Offenses

News
A working group of human rights experts, legal specialists, and government officials throughout Latin America has published a policy roadmap for the region to reduce the unjust levels of women’s incarceration for drug offenses.

Producers of Prohibited Plants Convene in Holland

News
Around 60 producers of coca, poppy and cannabis from 15 different countries and their representatives are expected to convene in The Netherlands this week to raise awareness of the poverty and conflict caused by the global war on drugs.

Increasing Incarceration for Drug Offenses in Latin America

Discourse vs. Reality
Analysis & Commentary
According to new research, incarceration for low-level drug offenses in increasing throughout Latin America.

Latin America’s Crackdown on Drugs Defies Its Progressive Rhetoric

Analysis & Commentary
Support for excessively harsh drug laws stems from very real concerns in Latin America that drug markets generate instability and violence. However, data from previous CEDD research shows that the incarcerated are mainly low-level drug offenders, whose arrests have little or no impact on the drug trade, as they are the easiest to replace.

WOLA, O’Neill Institute to Examine Public Health Approaches to Legalizing Marijuana

News
The project will help develop guidelines on how states, countries, and other jurisdictions that opt to legalize cannabis for medical or recreational purposes can create regulatory frameworks, consistent with the goals of legalization, that will work effectively to protect and promote the public health.

New Studies Reveal Increase in Incarceration for Drug Offenses in the Americas

News
Despite the current debate in Latin America on the need to rethink drug policy, mass incarceration for nonviolent drug offenses has increased across the region.

The Impact of Drug Policy on Human Rights in the Americas

Video
Drug policy reformers from throughout the hemisphere present on how drug policies have violated human rights.

Latin America Informal Drug Policy Dialogue 2015: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Analysis & Commentary
Focusing on the Caribbean region, the thirteenth Informal Drug Policy Dialogue in Latin America, was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from 23-25 April 2015.

Uruguay’s Big Step Toward Regulating its Cannabis Market

Analysis & Commentary
Uruguayan authorities have laid out plans for the biggest step yet in the country’s efforts to regulate all levels of the cannabis market: cultivation for commercial sales. Two companies have been selected to grow cannabis for sale in pharmacies, and that the first commercial offerings will likely be available in mid-year 2016.

Twilight Hour of Coca Fumigation in Colombia Shows its Injustice, Ineffectiveness

Analysis & Commentary
Thursday, October 1, will mark the end of Colombia’s aerial herbicide spraying of coca crops, representing a hard-fought victory against an ineffective, unjust, and destructive drug control policy.

"Building on Progress" in Bolivia

Kathryn Ledebur on Bolivia's Unheralded Drug Policy Success
Publication
Bolivia's government has rejected the U.S. model of illegal drug control—and cultivation of coca has dropped by 34%. Adam talks with Kathryn Ledebur of the Andean Information Network, co-author of a new report with WOLA.

The Impact of Mass Incarceration on Women in the Americas: Opportunities for Sentencing Reform

Video
As part of a Congressional briefing sponsored by WOLA and the Open Society Policy Center, advocates for reform highlight the injustice and inefficacy of current drug law and sentencing reform.

The Impact of Drug Policy on Human Rights

The Experience in the Americas
Publication
This joint report analyzes the effects of drug policy in the Americas, including the militarization of law enforcement, the criminalization of consumption, the weakening of due process guarantees, mass incarceration, disproportionate penalties, and restrictions on access to health care.

New Report: Bolivia’s Innovative Coca Policy Secures Major Drop in Cultivation

Building on Progress: Bolivia Consolidates Achievements in Reducing Coca and Looks to Reform Decades-old Drug Law
Publication

Workshop on Mass Incarceration of Women Across the Americas

Finding New Approaches to Grassroots and Global Advocacy
Analysis & Commentary
On July 16, 2015, WOLA and the Open Society Foundations (OSF) convened a Workshop on the Mass Incarceration of Women Across the Americas, bringing together experts and advocates from Latin America and the United States.

Bolivia’s Innovative Coca Policy Secures Major Drop in Cultivation

Bolivian Experience Holds Lessons for Andean Countries, Offers Alternative to Forced Eradication
News
Bolivia has seen a decline in coca cultivation for the fourth consecutive year, according to new United Nations data. An analysis of this data by WOLA and the Andean Information Network (AIN) reveals that the country’s coca policy—which relies on “cooperative coca reduction” rather than forced eradication—is responsible for the drop.

Building on Progress

Bolivia Consolidates Achievements in Reducing Coca and Looks to Reform Decades-old Drug Law
Publication
For the fourth consecutive year, Bolivia has reduced its coca cultivation without resorting to harmful forced eradication programs.