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The United Nations is supposed to be negotiating a solution to the ‘world drug problem’, and it’s not going well

Nearly 200 civil society organisations are expressing serious concerns with the preparations for the upcoming United Nations General Assembly Special Session on drugs.

Will UNGASS 2016 be the beginning of the end for the ‘war on drugs’?

Held this April, will the United Nations General Assembly Special Session be the turning point for the international drug control system?

Is capitalism fuelling the war on drugs?

In the Americas, state policies, under cover of an anti-narcotics struggle, lead to terror and displacement. And this terrifying violence overwhelmingly favours transnational capital. Español

Decriminalising drugs is not just talk – meet the countries actually experimenting with it

Faced with a mountain of human rights abuses caused by criminalising people who use drugs, some states are turning their backs on punitive approaches. But where can they turn to? Español

In the US war on drugs, “equal justice under law” rings hollow

Our massive criminal punishment system is infected at all points by racial injustice. And the ‘war on drugs’ has only accelerated mass incarceration.

What if we had opportunities? Johana's story

Johana is one of the women incarcerated in the Buen Pastor prison in Bogotá, Colombia, for involvement in selling drugs. This is her story. Español

Women are bearing the brunt of our most punitive drug policies

From Colombia to Thailand, drug policy reforms are urgently needed to end the mass incarceration of women for drug offences. Here’s what we can do about it.

9 things we’ve learned from a 50-year war on drugs

Across the Americas, the model of prohibition has fuelled inequality, bloodshed, and the mass violation of human rights. We need to understand why it has failed. Español

Myths, moralism, and hypocrisy drive the international drug control system

Why are Colombia and Bolivia acceptable theatres for violent weaponised counter-narcotics operations, and not Poland or Canada? Our international drug policies reflect a bias towards the global north, with damaging consequences for the south. Español

"Nobody wants to live in a drug-free world": an interview with Carl Hart

"There has never been a drug-free world, and there never will be one." In this exclusive video-interview, professor Carl Hart discusses the sensationalism and race panic behind the war on drugs in the United States. (17:25 minutes).

Pandora’s box: the real impact of drug policies

Policies that should simply have been health strategies, have actually opened the door to a punitive system which has accelerated violence, socio-economic gaps, and international asymmetries. Can we close ‘Pandora’s box’? Español

Unravelling the human cost of global drug policy

Why has drug prohibition had so many negative effects on communities and human rights? What changes are needed? openDemocracy and the Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) introduce a new partnership.

Failed by the system: Sara's story

Sara is one of the women incarcerated at Costa Rica's Buen Pastor prison, for involvement in the drug market. This is her story. (Photo Essay).

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