The Report on the Drug Problem in the Americas, published on 17 May by the Organization of American States (OAS), represents an opportunity to rethink the international debate on drugs and organized crime.
Mandated at the 2012 Summit of the Americas in Colombia, the report explores new approaches to the ‘war on drugs’, amid growing dissatisfaction about its enormous implementation costs and increasing levels of drug-related violence.
Overall, the report opens up the previously deadlocked debate on the best way to tackle drugs and organized crime. It considers alternatives to a ‘war on drugs’, sets standards for an evidence-based debate, and generates common understandings about the challenges that, in one way or another, are posed to all countries of the Americas. It will almost certainly impact the upcoming debates at the OAS General Assembly in Antigua, Guatemala in June 2013, and inform the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem.