Drug Policy News & Analysis

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.

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.

Latin America’s Dangerous Shift to Aerial Shootdown Policies in War on Drugs

Analysis & Commentary
As aerial shootdown policies spread throughout Latin America, it is unclear whether they are being implemented with the safeguards necessary to avoid future tragedies.

Peace, Drug Policy, and an Inclusive Society

Eleven Ways Colombian and FARC Negotiators can Reform Drug Policy and Build a Lasting Peace
Analysis & Commentary
WOLA experts provide recommendations to Colombian and FARC negotiators in the peace process.

Human Rights and Drug Policy

In this taped event, panelists discuss the intersection between drug policy and human rights throughout the Americas and explore what a human rights-centered drug policy would look like.

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.

WOLA: Promoting Peace, Justice, and Human Dignity in the Americas

WOLA envisions a future where human rights and social justice are the foundation for public policy in Latin America, in the U.S. relationship with the region; where change happens when people on-the-ground connect with people who make policy, and where people work together across borders to respect human rights and democratic values.

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.

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).

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?

Bolivia is not a Narco-state

Analysis & Commentary
While it continues to struggle with drug trafficking, Bolivia has made large steps reducing coca cultivation and cocaine production in recent years.

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.

Highlights from WOLA's 2013 Human Rights Awards Ceremony and Benefit Gala

On October 24, 2013, WOLA honored Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Ambassador Milton Romani Gerner, and Mexican Journalist Marcela Turati with the WOLA Human Rights Award. "Washington Life Magazine" was there to capture the evening. To see photos and watch the honorees' moving acceptance speeches, please click here.