This article was originally published in the Latin American Journal of Citizen Security (Revista Latinoamericana de Seguridad Ciudadana, URVIO), a product of The Latin American School of Social Sciences (Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, FLACSO).
While the United States continues its “war on drugs”, Latin American leaders are increasingly questioning the underlying premises of present policies and are calling for debate on alternative approaches. Meaningful drug policy reform will no doubt be a long and messy process. Nonetheless, some governments –such as Bolivia and Uruguay– and even some U.S. states are moving forward with their own reform efforts. Drug policy reform is now at the forefront of the regional agenda and, as a result of an initiative launched in Latin America, is on the UN agenda as well. One point is clear: Washington can no longer dictate the region’s approach to drugs.