Drug policy innovations in the Americas

13:15 to 14:45, Mozart Room, VIC Restaurant, UN - Vienna

SideEventCNDIn recent years, the Americas have been at the forefront of calls for a meaningful review of traditional approaches to drug control based on tough law enforcement and incarceration. The region has borne many of the costs of this approach, including enduring prison overcrowding, violence, and the proliferation of organised criminal organisations. Past policies have caused considerable health and social harms as well. Forced crop eradication programmes have only contributed to cycles of poverty and punitive responses to drug consumption have expanded in lieu of public health approaches.

Side Event "Drug policy innovation in the Americas"

As a result, some countries in the Western Hemisphere are considering and implementing new, innovative policy options to try and address these harms, while prioritizing public health, social inclusion, and human security. This event will highlight some of these debates, including state responses to drug use; ensuring proportionality in sentencing and alternatives to incarceration; alternative approaches for women detained or convicted of low-level drug offences; and cannabis regulatory reforms across the region.


Catalina Pérez, Professor/Researcher, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), Mexico, and member of the Research Consortium on Drugs and the Law (CEDD)

Rodrigo Uprimny, Director, Dejusticia, Colombia

Luciana Pol, Senior Fellow, Security Policy and Human Rights, Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales, Argentina

John Walsh, Senior Associate, Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), USA

Tom Blickman, Senior Researcher & Project Manager, Transnational Institute (TNI), Netherlands