1. Events
  2. drug policy

Views Navigation

Event Views Navigation


Lecture: Addicted to Failure Why the Drug War Has Failed and Prospects for Reform

Howard University Founders Library Room 300A 400 Howard Place NW, Washington, DC

When Bart Simpson ran for class president, he began his campaign with an attack on his rival: "My opponent says there are no easy answers. Well I say he's not looking hard enough!" This is toughest problem with elected officials and drug policy — they think voters want (and can only understand) easy answers.

After decades of a simple-minded "war" paradigm, drugs stubbornly refuse to surrender while more users, producers and traffickers have been drawn into the drug economy. This talk will examine why the war on drugs has failed, what some alternatives might look like, and most importantly, how legislators can vote for change without risking their seats through "swiftboating" type campaign smears.

This lecture is presented by Howard University's Department of African American Studies. For contact information call: (202)806-7242.


Sanho Tree is a former military and diplomatic historian whose current work focuses on policies concerning international drug control, counterinsurgency, and counterterrorism. He was associate editor of CovertAction Quarterly, an award-winning magazine of investigative journalism, and worked at the International Human Rights Law Group in the last 1980s. He serves on the boards of Witness for Peace and the Andean Information Network.



Is The War On Drugs Coming to An End?

IPS Conference Room 1301 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC

Tipping points are easy to identify in retrospect, but much more difficult to predict in advance. What prospects does an Obama administration pose for the disastrous war on drugs? Using a multimedia presentation, IPS Fellow Sanho Tree will examine the confluence of factors that could spark a change in the political consensus supporting the drug war as well as the obstacles to change. Sanho returned from Colombia in March, 2009. 

Space is limited so please pre-register!

Discussion: Free Trade Agreements, the Peasant Economy, and Illicit Crops in Colombia

IPS Conference Room 1301 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC

The illicit cultivation of coca in Colombia is not as profitable a business as one would imagine. A new study by Colombian development expert Andrés García, reveals that the majority of small farmers growing coca in the areas studied were earning less than the legal minimum wage. Why do they persist in cultivating coca for illicit use? They simply do not have a viable economic alternative, according to Mr. García’s report. Indeed he found that the majority of peasants used the money to buy basic social services, such as healthcare, which were not provided by the state.

Andrés García’s research was funded by Oxfam and conducted in the departments of Nariño and Cauca. Mr. García will share his experience working directly with coca growing communities and explain what anti-narcotic programs have failed — and which have failed miserably.  He will also look at the potential impact of the proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement on illicit coca cultivation.

For more information contact Sanho Tree or call (202) 787-5266.

This presentation is cosponsored by the Institute for Policy Studies, Oxfam America, and the U.S. Office on Colombia.




Brown Bag: ‘The Big Scam: John Ross Discusses How Washington Gave Mexico A Drug Problem’

IPS Conference Room 1301 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC

IPS’ Drug Policy Project invites you to a brown-bag discussion with John Ross. Militarization of the border has turned Mexico into an annex of "The Wire." Drugs stay in the country longer these days and invariably leak into the Mexican marketplace, fomenting intense commercial rivalries between the cartels.

New Directions DC: A Public Health and Safety Approach to Drug Policy

Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2043 45 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC

Join us for the first-ever full day conference on drug policy reform on Capitol Hill. The event will bring together a host of disciplines — public health, law enforcement, stakeholders, advocates, and treatment providers — to discuss what it really means to get serious about treating drug use as a health issue instead of a criminal justice issue.

A Conversation About Drug Policy with Judge James P. Gray

IPS Conference Room 1301 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC

Opposition to the war on drugs spans the political spectrum and often produces strange bedfellows. Join IPS Drug Policy Project Director Sanho Tree as he interviews Judge James P. Gray (Retired Orange County Superior Court Judge). 

Addicted to Failure: US Drug War Policy in the Americas

Since the 1960s, the US has squandered about trillion dollars on a failed drug war. Internationally, much of our "war" has taken place in Latin America where eradication planes have defoliated millions of acres in Colombia, US-trained police have filled prisons, and prohibition has fueled murderous gang wars. To foster a greater understanding of this issue Witness for Peace is hosting a speaking tour of Sanho Tree, IPS fellow and Director of the Institute's Drug Policy project through Eugene, Portland, Corvallis, Seattle, and Olympia.

Film: The Exile Nation Project

The Land of the Free punishes or imprisons more of its citizens than any other country. This collection of testimonials from criminal offenders, family members, and experts on America’s criminal justice system puts a human face on the millions of Americans subjugated by the US Government's 40 year, one trillion dollar social catastrophe: The War on Drugs; a failed policy underscored by fear, politics, racial prejudice and intolerance in a public atmosphere of "out of sight, out of mind."

Author Event: A Secret History of Coffee, Coca & Cola

Busboys & Poets - 14th & V 2021 14th Street NW, Washington, DC

Featured with SanhoTree of IPS and Coletta Youngers of WOLA, The Institute for Policy Studies and Teaching for Change's Busboys and Poets Bookstore, welcomes Ricardo Cortes to discuss and sign his new book.

Governing the Global Drug Wars

IPS Conference Room 1301 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC

Join the report editor John Collins and drug policy expert Coletta Youngers for the Washington DC Report Launch followed by an audience discussion of the international drug control system.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy Annual Conference

Red Lion Hotel on the River 909 North Hayden Island Drive, Portland, OR

Fellow and Director of IPS Drug Policy Project, Sanho Tree will be one of many speakers addressing the hottest topics in policy, harm reduction, leadership, organizing, and advocacy at SSDP2017.