Improving global drug policy: Comparative perspectives and UNGASS 2016

28 April 2015

As the world prepares for the 2016 Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS 2016), an increasing number of countries around the world now find the regime’s emphasis on punitive approaches to illicit drugs to be problematic and are asking for reform. In this moment of global disagreement, the Brookings project on Improving Global Drug Policy provides a unique comparative evaluation of the effectiveness and costs of international counternarcotics policies and best approaches to reform.

Brookings Senior Fellows Vanda Felbab-Brown and Harold Trinkunas have gathered leading drug and crime experts to conduct a set of case studies of drug trends and policies in 15 countries in Latin America, North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Two additional functional studies examine legalization breakout scenarios and the possibilities and need for U.N. treaty revision. The studies draw implications for UNGASS 2016 and also for improving drug policies at the national level.

The Transnational Institute (TNI) contributed with two case studies.