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Drug Policies and the Politics of Drugs in the Americas

pp 1-9

Date:

Introduction: Drugs and Politics in the Americas: A Laboratory for Analysis

  • Beatriz Caiuby LabateAffiliated withCenter for Research and Post Graduate Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS)Center for Economic Research and Education (CIDE)Nucleus for Interdisciplinary Studies of Psychoactives (NEIP)CIESAS Occidente Email author 
  • , Clancy CavnarAffiliated withNucleus for Interdisciplinary Studies of Psychoactives (NEIP)Healthright360 Dual Diagnosis Program
  • , Thiago RodriguesAffiliated withNucleus for Interdisciplinary Studies of Psychoactives (NEIP)Institute of Strategic Studies (INEST), Universidade Federal Fluminense

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Abstract

It has become a truism that drug prohibitionism is a failure. The 100-year history of the repression against the production, trade, and consumption of a certain number of psychoactive drugs has not reached its declared goals. Those drugs that preoccupied and mobilized the pioneer prohibitionists at the dawn of the twentieth century are today just a fraction of the great amount of illegal substances crossing transborder routes and being used today. Since the initial national antidrug laws and the first international treaties, the variety, quantity, and potency of available illegal drugs has increased; the number of criminal organizations dedicated to this potent market has increased; and multiple levels of violence has spread worldwide from the Andean heights to the streets and slums of the world’s most crowded metropolises.