WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
15 Oct 2009

Congress to Take Up New Drug Policy Commission Today:Time to Re-Examine Decades-Old Drug Control Policies

This afternoon, Thursday, October 15th, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere will mark-up a bill that would create an independent "Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission" to recommend how to improve U.S. domestic and international drug control policies.

The mark-up will be followed by a Subcommittee hearing on "Assessing U.S. Drug Policy in the Americas," at which WOLA Senior Associate John Walsh will testify.

WOLA encourages reporters to cover today's mark-up and hearing, which could represent a significant step toward a serious – and overdue – reconsideration of U.S. drug control policy.

The aggressive enforcement-led attack on drug supply that has been the central theme of U.S. drug policy for three decades, at home and abroad, has failed to deliver the hoped-for results, and has generated enormous collateral damage.  Civil society and governments across Latin America are contemplating their own drug policy reforms, and the direction of the U.S. debate will be important for the entire hemisphere.

For more information contact:
Kristel Mucino, WOLA, Communications Coordinator
617-584-1713, mucino.kristel@gmail.com

DATE and TIME:            Thursday, October 15, 2009, 2 pm

LOCATION:                   Room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building

SUBJECT:                      Assessing U.S. Drug Policy in the America

                                   Panel I
                                   The Honorable Mary Bono Mack
                                   United States House of Representatives
                                   Panel II
                                   The Honorable Mark Schneider
                                   Senior Vice President
                                   Special Adviser on Latin America
                                   International Crisis Group
                                   (Former Director of the Peace Corps)

                                   John Walsh
                                   Senior Associate, Andes and Drug Policy
                                   Washington Office on Latin America

                                   Ray Walser, Ph.D.
                                   Senior Policy Analyst for Latin America
                                   Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies
                                   The Heritage Foundation