ONLINE EVENT: Rethinking Drug Policy in the Americas


Event Summary This event has passed.

The Report of the Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission, published this month, offers a frank evaluation of US counternarcotics policy in the Americas and recommendations for its reform. The report concludes that, while there have been some promising results, these policies have caused considerable harm to vulnerable populations and failed to produce meaningful change in the consumption and production of drugs. The release of the report on the cusp of a presidential transition provides an alternative approach for the Biden Administration, US Congress and its regional partners to rethink drug policy, but it has also provoked pushback from those who defend the current approach.

Why have illegal drugs remained abundant and drug trafficking organizations thrived despite aggressive enforcement measures? What tangible reforms can be made to US agencies overseeing these efforts and to bilateral partnerships in the Americas? What are the unique implications of such recommendations for Colombia, Mexico, and the Northern Triangle?

To answer these questions and more, the Dialogue is pleased to host the event “Rethinking Drug Policy in the Americas.” Follow this event on Twitter at #DrugPolicyAmericas and @The_Dialogue

We invite participants to submit questions using the Q&A function in Zoom, the event hashtag on Twitter OR to email questions to


Juan Manuel Santos

Former President of Colombia; member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy (@JuanManSantos)

Shannon K. O’Neil

Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission chair; Vice President and Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow for Latin American Studies, Council on Foreign Relations (@shannonkoneil)

Clifford M. Sobel

Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission vice chair; Former Ambassador of the United States to Brazil


Michael Camilleri

Director, Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program, Inter-American Dialogue (@camillerimj)

Related Links