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How Authoritarianism Fuels the War on Drugs

Screen shot of four people in a Zoom meeting
1:28:05

As the world has been gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic, the global “war on drugs” has continued in ways that are both surprising and tragically familiar. Indeed, as recent examples from across the globe have shown, the drug war is already often used as an excuse for authoritarian measures with ulterior motives.

Recently, in a live stream moderated by the Open Society Global Drug Policy Program’s Matt Wilson, three essential voices on this topic—Sheila Coronel, the director of the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism; Geoff Ramsey, director for Venezuela at the Washington Office on Latin America; and Aqeela Sherrills, director of the Newark Community Street Team—discussed the link between the drug war and authoritarianism, as well as the lessons reformers and civil society actors can use to promote justice instead.

Watch the video above to learn more.

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