Sanho Tree is a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and has been Director of its Drug Policy Project since 1998. A former military and diplomatic historian, his current work encompasses the reform of both international and domestic drug policies by promoting alternatives to the failed prohibitionist model. In recent years the project has focused on ending the damage caused by the drug wars in Colombia, Bolivia, Mexico, Afghanistan, and the Philippines. Establishing humane and sustainable alternatives to the drug war fits into the IPS mandate as one of the major contemporary social justice issues at home and abroad.

He has been featured in more than a dozen documentaries and frequently lectures at universities and conferences around the world.  He previously collaborated with Dr. Gar Alperovitz on The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an American Myth (Knopf, 1995).  He was also associate editor of CovertAction Quarterly, an award-winning magazine of investigative journalism, and worked at the International Human Rights Law Group in the late 1980s.  Currently, he serves on the board of the Andean Information Network.


Danny Glover Supports Landmark Reparations Fund in Chicago Suburb

The Hollywood actor spoke at an Evanston townhall in support of a new policy to use revenue from marijuana legalization to narrow racial economic gaps.

World Drug Day and the Movement to Legalize Marijuana

On World Drug Day, Sanho Tree discusses marijuana legalization around the world and how countries are confronting drug abuse and trafficking.

Has the U.S. ‘War on Drugs’ Failed?

Derek Maltz and Sanho Tree debate the one-trillion-dollar ‘war on drugs’ and Trump’s dream of a border wall with Mexico.

The Heat: Canada’s decision to legalize marijuana

Canada recently became the first industrialized nation to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.

Donald Trump is Flirting With Fascism

His language is right out of the Nazi playbook.

The War on Drugs Breeds Crafty Traffickers

By making drugs ever more valuable, increasingly punitive prohibition policies have only amplified the motivational feedback loop of the very people lawmakers are trying to stop.

VIDEO: Trump’s Wall Would Make the Opioid Crisis Worse

The president says his signature border policy would stop drugs. Instead, it would lead to more deadly adulterants and overdoses.

VIDEO: Trump Is All in on the Philippine Drug War

Trump has lavished praised on Duterte’s extrajudicial murders — and Duterte’s envoy to the U.S. is developing a little project called Trump Tower Manila.

One Year Into Duterte’s Bloody Regime

There are countless reasons why President Duterte’s Drug War isn’t helping Philippine society—and a $140 million reason President Trump might be willing to look the other way.

How Drugs Will Get Under, Over, and Around Trump’s Wall

A wall may be a powerful symbol, but it won’t be a useful tool in the war on drugs, Sanho Tree explains in an interview with Vice.

How the War on Drugs Has Made Drug Traffickers More Ruthless and Efficient

In this interview with Vox, IPS drug policy expert Sanho Tree explains how evolution could have predicted the failure of the war on drugs.

A Border Wall Basically Sets an XPRIZE for Criminals to Penetrate Our Border

No matter how tall or deep Trump’s wall is, it will not stop the flow of drugs or traffickers into the U.S., in fact it will heighten the national security risk.

Trump’s Border Wall Won’t Solve Our Heroin Crisis

Prohibition breeds heroin substitutes that are often more dangerous and more difficult to stop, Tree tells CCTV.

Duterte’s Extrajudicial Killings Will Only Make the Philippines’ Drug Problem Worse

Ramping up the risk premium through harsher tactics only makes drug trafficking more profitable, IPS drug policy expert Sanho Tree told CCTV.

The False Dichotomy Between Food and Drugs

Western civilization’s arbitrary categorization of drugs into UN treaties flies in the face of thousands of years of traditional medicine, Sanho Tree tells Free Culture Radio.

The Global Consensus on Drugs is “Shattered”

Drug policy expert Sanho Tree tells CCTV that two different worlds are developing. While the Americas are moving towards legalization, other countries are clamping down harder on drug laws.

How the U.S.-Led War on Drugs Ravaged Central America

IPS drug policy expert Sanho Tree says strategies to address underlying drivers, including inequality and systemic lack of opportunities in Central America, is key to developing alternatives to the war on drugs.

What’s Being Done to End the War on Drugs? Live Chat Recap.

IPS’ drug policy expert answers questions about the drug war in a live chat in New Zealand

How America’s War On Drugs Unintentionally Aids Mexican Drug Cartels

U.S. drug policy has been an “excerise in futility”

Crackdowns Not Effective Against Global Drug Trafficking

The war on drugs “turns relatively cheap products into something worth more then their weight in gold,” says Sanho Tree on CCTV America.