All Content: Drug Policy

The Seven Steps of Drug Policy Reform in Ecuador

Recent History and a Look toward the Future
Analysis & Commentary
Ecuador has entered a new era in drug policy and legislation. Taken in the context of past reforms, what does the latest legislation mean?

Women Across the Americas Incarcerated for Minor, Non-Violent, Drug-Related Crimes at an Alarming Rate

Photo Essay and Website Shed New Light on the Societal Cost of Failed Policies
News
Today, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), and the Center for Law, Justice and Society (Dejusticia) announce the launch of a new investigative website and photo essay to shed light on the human and societal cost of current drug policies in the Americas.

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 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 are all serving reduced sentences at Costa Rica’s Buen Pastor Prison for having admitted their involvement in the drug market. These are their stories.

Ending Coca Fumigation in Colombia is the Right Call

Can Colombia Now Seize the Opportunity to Create a More Humane and Sustainable Approach to Reducing Coca Cultivation?
Analysis & Commentary
As the decades-long program of spraying coca crops with herbicides comes to an end, WOLA reflects on the history of flawed policy and what should replace it.

WOLA Joins Call to Prioritize Human Rights in Global Drug Policy

News
As the United Nations prepares for the first comprehensive review of global responses to drug problems in nearly two decades, a broad coalition of more than 100 organizations is pushing for the international body to make human rights the cornerstone of new drug policies.

The House Defense Bill Would Give Central America US$50 Million In New Military Aid

The proposed aid, not part of the "Alliance for Prosperity," follows the old drug-war model
Analysis & Commentary
The House Armed Services Committee threw an extra US$50 million in drug war aid for Central America into the 2016 Defense bill.

Uruguay’s Drug Policy: Major Innovations, Major Challenges

A Brookings/WOLA Paper
Publication
In a paper produced for a Brookings Institution policy brief series, John Walsh and Geoff Ramsey review Uruguay’s pioneering policies that legalize and regulate every level of the market for cannabis.

Even if Glyphosate Were Safe, Fumigation in Colombia Would Be a Bad Policy. Here's Why.

Analysis & Commentary
On April 27, Colombia's Health Ministry called on the government to end aerial spraying of coca crops over concerns that it could cause cancer. But even if it was safe, spraying is an absolutely ineffective policy.

A Legacy to Build On: New Attorney General Has Opportunity to Expand Drug Policy Reforms

Analysis & Commentary
Loretta Lynch, the new United States Attorney General, inherits a changing drug policy landscape. Serious drug policy reform is possible in the coming years if she commits to building on her predecessors advances.

The UN Analyzes the Human Rights Impact of Drug Policies Ahead of Global Summit

Analysis & Commentary
The involvement of the UN Human Rights Council in the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) in 2016 is a major achievement.

Can Glyphosate Cause Cancer? A Nail in the Coffin of Coca Fumigation

Herbicide Used in Controversial Aerial Spraying Program Likely Causes Cancer
Analysis & Commentary
New findings linking glyphosate and cancer have serious implications for aerial spraying of coca crops in Colombia.

4 Ways to Promote Development and Reduce the Cultivation of Prohibited Plants

WOLA, colleagues present on alternative development at the UN
Analysis & Commentary
WOLA's Coletta Youngers joined civil society colleagues at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna to present alternatives to failed drug policies.

Can Washington Still Dictate Drug Policy in the Americas?

Analysis & Commentary
In an article for NACLA, WOLA's Coletta Youngers and Adam Schaffer analyze how while the drug war has continued in Latin America, the momentum in favor of reform is building in unexpected places.

New Threats against Afro-Colombian Communities, Human and Labor Rights Groups Raise Concern

In a note to policymakers, WOLA documents new human and labor rights violations
Analysis & Commentary
U.S. officials must take action in the wake of continued threats against human and labor rights defenders in Colombia.

Latin America Drug Policy Dialogue 2014: Santa Marta

Analysis & Commentary
At the 11th Informal Drug Policy Dialogue, civil society experts and government officials came together to discuss preparations for the UNGASS in 2016.

Advocating for Drug Policy Reform at the United Nations

UNGASS in 2016 will offer the highest-level debate on drug policy in recent history
Analysis & Commentary
In April 2016, the United Nations will convene a General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) specifically related to drugs. Click here to learn more about what WOLA is hoping the historic event will achieve, and what we're doing to make our goals a reality.

Advocating for Drug Policy Reform at the United Nations

Analysis & Commentary
Learn more about what kind of drug policy reform WOLA is advocating for at the UNGASS in 2016

Creating Peace on the Ground in Two of Colombia’s Conflict Hot Spots: Chocó and Buenaventura

Video
In this taped event on human rights in Colombia, leading human rights defenders share on-the-ground information on the Colombian conflict and identify ways the international community can support peace.