Beyond the Drug War, Inst/Policy Studies
The Obama administration could learn valuable lessons from some of its Latin American counterparts.
First, it could recognize that the international drug control policies implemented over the past several decades have failed to make any significant dent in the supply of illicit drugs.
Second, it could adopt measures that reduce the harm caused by both drug use and the "war on drugs."
Completely eliminating the demand or production of illicit drugs is simply not achievable. The challenge, therefore, is to put into place policies that mitigate the harm caused by drug use to individuals, families, and communities, and the harm or negative consequences caused by illicit drug production and the policies intended to contain it.
The issue of proportionality of sentencing is a major problem in the United States and the Latin American countries "persuaded" to follow its lead (more often than not as a result of threats of losing U.S. trade benefits and economic assistance). In addition to disproportionate sentences for crimes committed, the United States has long pushed for the criminalization of drug consumption and has continued to hold fast to that approach even as many European and other countries have increasingly treated drug abuse as a public health problem.
Because drugs are bad doesn't mean prohibition is good.
Supporting prohibition and being pro-human rights is a contradiction.
The international conventions are an 'immoral and unjust contradiction' manufacturing quantifiable harms.
They must be changed. It is an imperative. /Blair