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We support a shift in the drug policy paradigm from today’s punitive approach to one rooted in human rights and public health.
Prohibition-based policies have led to a rise in drug-related violence, prison overcrowding, and an increase in HIV epidemics. The Global Drug Policy Program supports organizations that put forward alternatives.

Global Drug Policy Program

Since 2008, the Global Drug Policy Program has promoted drug policies rooted in human rights, social justice, and public health. We work with policymakers and grassroots groups advocating to end the injustices of the drug war, through research, dialogue, engagement, and action.

Current drug policies are failing. Worse, they’re causing enormous harm to individuals, communities, and entire nations. Around the world, poorly designed drug laws that seek to punish production, possession, use, and even dependence have fueled violence, instability, human rights violations, and health crises. The vast majority of research indicates that in countries which have ended the senseless criminalization of people who use drugs, crime and addiction did not increase. In fact, alternative drug policies that support health services and human rights and that divert low-level offenders from the criminal justice system have proven to be incredibly successful at helping individuals and communities.

Recently, governments, policymakers, academics, and civil society groups have begun calling for a new approach, and reforms in some countries have spurred unprecedented momentum for change. Pressed by drug war–fatigued Latin American leaders, the UN General Assembly plans to hold a review of the drug control system in 2016 (UNGASS).

Through grant-making and programmatic efforts, the Global Drug Policy Program supports reforms that promote security, social justice, human rights, and public health. In advance of UNGASS our civil society partners are working with governments to promote real debate on drug law reform. We and our partners research the impact of current drug policies, as well as alternative approaches that have yielded more positive results. 

Program grant making has the following objectives:

  • support drug policy reform movement at the national and international levels
  • expand the range of stakeholders with a commitment to drug policy reform
  • foster technical capacity-building and knowledge transfer on drug policy
  • aupport the involvement of credible development organizations and experts in drug policy reform
  • support the development of an evidence base and practical strategies for the reform of disproportionate punishments against low-level targets, displacement and abuse of the rural poor, alternative livelihood programs, and licit uses of cannabis and coca leaf to address poverty