International drug control mechanisms are focused on the elimination of drug production, use and trafficking, through the operationalization of repressive public policies criminalizing these substances and their non-medical use. The implementation of these policies has had a detrimental impact on other global development objectives.
The last five years have seen major changes and intense debates on drug policies in South Africa. These changes have included the introduction of harm reduction services to the decriminalization of cannabis use through a Constitutional Court judgement. During the time there has been dynamic advocacy to address setbacks on the ground against people who use drugs.
In the midst of the South African debate on drug control, this event will present the history and effects of drug policy on health and standing development gaps.