Amidst growing recognition that the punitive approaches pursued for decades have caused enormous damage in Latin America, drug policy now figures prominently on the hemispheric agenda. The majority of those incarcerated for drug offenses—consumers or small-scale, non-violent participants in the trade—suffer from disproportionately excessive punishment. Misguided drug laws and their harsh enforcement not only lead to human rights abuses, but also divert resources away from preventing serious violent crime. Through advocacy and research, WOLA is advancing policies that protect human rights and promote public health and citizen security.
As part of our work furthering the drug policy debate in the Americas, WOLA has organized and participated in a series of Informal Drug Policy Dialogues with countries from around the world. The purpose of the Dialogues is to exchange views on current dilemmas in international drug policy and discuss strategies for promoting alternative drug policies that promise to be more humane and more effective. Click here to read about the dialogues.