Drugs and development: drug policies and the Global South

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In its historical emphasis on supply containment and focus on plant- rather than synthetic-based narcotics, the treaty framework is structurally biased against the low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). LMICs carry a disproportionate responsibility for supply control and they lack sovereignty in the design and implementation of domestic drug policies. This comes at a heavy financial and social cost to poor and unequal countries, with implication for development prospects. Those programmes that are intended to eliminate illegal cultivation, manufacture and trafficking are counter-productive in both ‘hard’ militarised and ‘soft’ alternative development forms and they have failed to reduce global drug volumes. Trends of rising drug consumption in LMICs have been met with repressive state responses. Like coercive supply-side strategies, punitive approaches to demand control create an environment that is inimical to human security, fundamental rights and for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch handbook on international drug policy
EditorsDavid R. Bewley-Taylor, Khalid Tinasti
Place of PublicationCheltenham, UK ; Northampton, MA
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781788117067
ISBN (Print)9781788117050
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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