Drug Policy

The right to live and die without pain in the Americas

The right to live and die without pain in the Americas

Living and dying without pain is a very important component of the right to health. Consequently, States have an obligation not only to remove obstacles that prevent patients from obtaining palliative drugs, but also to promote more flexible programs and policies that facilitate access to these medicines.

Worlds apart: Access to essential medicines for pain relief

Worlds apart: Access to essential medicines for pain relief

We need to understand that the person battling addiction is facing an illness that needs public health policies just as much as those facing the end of life. The experience of pain, whether we experience it ourselves or we watch a loved one suffer, should remind us of the fragility of life and the need for compassion and empathy.

Innovative approaches to the drug problem and imprisonment

Innovative approaches to the drug problem and imprisonment

The experiences of Uruguay, Costa Rica and Ecuador show that it is possible and useful to apply innovative approaches to drug-related incarceration. However, they also highlight the limits of these programs and their failure to prevent further criminal activity. 

The gap between discourse and practice for drug policy reform in Latin America

The gap between discourse and practice for drug policy reform in Latin America

The drug policy reform movement, albeit with its internal diversity, has one main premise: prohibition of drugs has failed to achieve its goal of reducing both demand and supply for illicit substances. And that failure has come at a painful cost, with massive negative consequences to the poor and vulnerable, by creating an illicit market and fueling organized crime.

The State Created a Vicious Cycle for Coca Producing Communities

The State Created a Vicious Cycle for Coca Producing Communities

The war on drugs, especially against coca, has been used in Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru as a tool to stigmatize, isolate, and criminalize populations that cultivate coca, either for cultural or economic reasons. It is not an exaggeration to say that prohibition has exacerbated the poverty and marginalization that these peripheral communities where coca is produced already suffered.

Dying in Pain in the Global South

Dying in Pain in the Global South

In spite of the imminent increment in its demand and importance as a human rights issue, access to opiate based medications is still limited in the global South. Although the administration of morphine forms part of the list of essential medications recommended by the World Health Organization, and its production is relatively inexpensive, as there are no patents, its access is generally restricted.

Why do Women Bear the Costs of Drug Policy?

Why do Women Bear the Costs of Drug Policy?

There is nothing more erratic than a policy focused on persecuting the easily exchangeable parts of the drug trafficking market. It is a strategy of a futile battle that ignores the life conditions and reasons that motivate the decision of thousands of women to take part in these illegal chains.

What Could Happen If Latin America Questions the Utopia of a World without Drugs at the UN?

What Could Happen If Latin America Questions the Utopia of a World without Drugs at the UN?

The prohibitionist utopia of a “world without drugs” expressed in the Conventions on Narcotic Drugs signed in 19611971, and 1988, is just that: an unreachable utopia. This realization has led to a debate in Latin America over the past five years regarding the need for drug policy reform.