Rethinking the War on Drugs

Mexico's increasingly brutal drug-trade has prompted an urgent report by the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy. Headed by the former presidents of Colombia, Brazil and Mexico, the commission offers a fresh, market-oriented approach for overhauling the U.S. and Latin America's impotent "war on drugs." The strategy: "reduce demand for drugs in the main consumer countries" like the U.S. and Mexico with a youth-targeted paradigm that "must focus on health and education—not repression." To curtail demand, the report calls for the decriminalization of marijuana coupled with a prevention campaign emphasizing its adverse health-affects-a policy the authors say would resemble current tobacco regulation.