Well beyond the event per se, the “UNGASS process” has become an admirable catalyst for debate and dissemination of information to various decision makers who had limited or no knowledge about the very complex and multifactorial nature of the drug phenomenon. Those of us who have accompanied the process from civil society started by promoting a change in the perception both of the very definition of the drug public “problem”, and the interventions aimed at tackling it. This means accepting the fact that the market exists and is undergoing considerable growth, in spite of the current efforts carried out under the prohibitionist model. The debate should be based on this reality rather on the “drug-free world” utopia, as was the case only two decades ago. If Latin America wishes to stop absorbing the associated costs of drug supply and demand incurred by drug prohibition, it must then move on towards policies based on reality and not on dogmatic or moralistic positions. In order to do so, legal regulation is a small move in the right direction. Read paper
Adam Barra is graduated in International Relations from the UDLA Mexico and holder of a Masters degree in Public Policy and Administration from the New York University and the University College London; he currently serves as Officer at the Latin American Drug Policy Programme of United Mexico Against Delinquency (MUCD).
This paper was prepared for the EU-LAC Foundation Newsletter on "The Drug World Problem" of March 2016. This is a translation of the responsibility of the EU-LAC Foundation; to read the original version in Spanish, please follow the link here.