First of all, greetings to all ICSDP members and welcome to new members. The ICSDP now has over 215 members from over 40 countries, representing the truly global need for the development of evidence-based drug policies.
A recent trip to Mexico City for the 3rd Latin American and 1st Mexican Conference on Drug Policy highlighted the ongoing impact that the Mexican war on drugs, launched in 2006 by President Calderon, continues to have on Mexican society.
The conference took place days after a brutal drug cartel-initiated mass killing in Monterrey. As one speaker noted, homicide is now the primary cause of death among Mexican youth. Speakers from as far away as Guinea-Bissau, which is now a transit hub for cocaine trafficking from the Andean region, and from across Latin America discussed the need to move beyond regional and national drug policies that continue to be shaped by the powerful influence of the United States. To that end, findings from the ICSDP’s report on the association between violence and drug law enforcement were well-received.
Finally, I wanted to draw attention to Raw Opium, a feature-length documentary that details the global impact of opium, both in its role as an analgesic and as an illegal substance. The film has been screened across the world, and has been shown on PBS in the United States and CBC TV in Canada. Please click here for more information on screenings.