Has the US' War on Drugs Been Lost and what Lessons Should Europe Heed?

26 November 2014

With a greater number of casualties than the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns combined, and very meagre results, the US is starting to reconsider the "War on Drugs", waged since the '70s.

Published at

The paradox of the "repressive-only" approach - the tougher the government acts, the more profitable the drug trade becomes - is being increasingly exposed by the media, opinion leaders, and politicians. Does Europe have an approach, and is it any more effective than the American one? Should European policies on the matter be more coordinated in tackling the societal challenges which are the causes and consequences of drug use? What is the record of countries that have adopted a decriminalisation approach? Is the "War on Drugs" part of the US' global responsibility, and is it also likely to change as a result of power shift and American global disengagement?     

Citizen’s Controversy with Dana Spinant, Head of Unit for Anti-Drugs Policies at the European Commission, and Martin Jelsma, Coordinator of the Drugs and Democracy Programme of the Transnational Institute (TNI).  

The debate was moderated by Marco Giuli, Research Fellow, Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation.

The debate was held in English.