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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 national and regional entities in their aim to decriminalize possession of all drugs, and emphasize alternative approaches to regulated access to a variety of currently illicit drugs
  • support ongoing efforts related to UNGASS 2016 and continue building sustainable advocacy capacity among grantees and partners
  • encourage the development and implementation of drug policy education and build a research base to strengthen the scientific grounding of the drug policy field
  • promote a more nuanced approach to drug policy as it relates to poverty
  • create spaces for new actors to join the movement, ensure advocates are well informed, and assist grantees in creating more effective organizations