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.
Brazil has experienced violent confrontations between criminal organizations trafficking drugs and law enforcement, with major unintended negative consequences on development objectives: increased HIV transmission; over-incarceration and a large and powerful violent illegal market. Brazil also introduced major innovations in drug control, such as the Braços Abertos Program in Sao Paulo focused on a harm reduction approach. Furthermore, the National Health Agency recently regulated the medicinal cannabis market, although in a very restricted manner.
The debate in Brazil is currently focused on the litigation concerning the decriminalization of drug use at the Supreme Court, and with the ongoing Congress debate of a broader regulation on industrial and medicinal cannabis. To bring in new perspectives to this discussion, the Transnational Security Studies Center of PUC-SP and International Development Policy will host an event to present the findings of the Special Issue “Drug Policy and Development: Conflict and Coexistence” and open a discussion with national experts on the future of drug policy in Brazil.