• Programa de Política de Drogas (PPD)

Drug Policy in the Americas: A redefinition of the problem and the State’s role

What should the state’s role be in regards to the drug phenomenon? How would it be possible to determine the progress of public policies insofar as they protect citizens from the drug phenomenon as currently structured? We attempt to answer these questions, and pose others, in order to directly influence public drug policies in countries where international and national institutions currently have a regime of prohibition. It should be noted that to date, this regime has not fulfilled the promises made or the expectations raised years ago. On the contrary, it has created collateral problems, not only undermining the state’s capacity to address this phenomenon but also other equally pressing ones.

This report is an attempt, based on the best available evidence, to develop a conceptual proposal for the state’s role in response to a new definition of the drug problem. The conceptual proposal is accompanied by a policy analysis technique to form a platform of indicators to monitor drug policies in the Americas. In countries in the Americas, it is difficult to find a homologous, integral drug policy in terms of scope and perspectives. Although there are many reasons for this, we will focus on two. First of all, the drug phenomenon and the definition of the societal problem related to this phenomenon differ at the regional and sometimes even national level. For example, Mexico is a country involved in the production, use, distribution and transport of drugs, meaning that the problem must be defined from a drug trafficking perspective.

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