The Policy Analyst is an academic publication produced by the students of the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy at the University of Erfurt. It seeks to engage in multidimensional discussions, covering topics that range from the war on drugs to the economics of conflict and intercultural development, and present analyses made through the lenses of different disciplines, including but not limited to Political Sciences, Economics, Law and Sociology.
War on Drugs
Over the past 40 years, drug trafficking has had a major impact on the lives of millions of people, not only in the countries where the narcotics are produced but also elsewhere. Although there have been major efforts to combat drug trafficking, the traditional War on Drugs – initiated in the 1970s by former U.S. President Richard Nixon – has proved ineffec-tive and has resulted in catastrophic collateral effects. Instead of causing a reduction in the drugs market, millions of people have died caused by drug-related violence, more than one trillion dollars have been spent in an attempt to cut off the sources of supply, and new drug-related trade routes that have destroyed the social fabric of various regions and jeopardized democracy have emerged.
In response to the failure of traditional drug policies, the Global Commission on Drug Policy, an independent group led by international leaders, has advocated for a new and more progressive approach to tackle the issue as a public health problem instead of as a criminal activity. Their proposal aligns with a worldwide change in the collective mindset of people toward drugs. According to a recent survey from Gallup, for the first time in history, more than 50% of U.S. citizens are in favor of the legalization of marijuana. In accordance with this trend, some countries like Uruguay, The Netherlands, Portugal and some states in the U.S.A. have been implementing ground-breaking reforms decriminalizing drugs.
With the drug policy summit to be held in the UN General Assembly in 2016, it is high time to review current policies and our understanding of drug use. The pressing questions are:
- How should drug policies be designed and implemented in different countries?
- Is the Global Commission right in regarding it is a matter of public health or should it be considered a criminal problem?
- Which side effects might the approach proposed by the Global Commission have?
- How will drug cartels react if governments follow this trend of decriminalization of drugs and how should negotiations with drug cartels be structured?
- How can the international community promote the exchange of best practices and experiences on innovative approaches to drugs?
- How can the problem best be tackled, on a global or local level?
The Policy Analyst would like to invite you to contribute to this discussion by looking at drug policies as a multidimensional topic. Academic papers and opinion pieces will be published respectively under the sections “Global Perspectives” and “Points of View” in our following issue.
Please check the Brandt School’s website (http://www.brandtschool.de/home/current-students/journal-policy-analyst.html) for further requirements (length, style, etc.) and submit your work to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1st, 2014.
We are looking forward to your contributions.