For decades, Brazil has had the same drug policy approach. Police, weapons and numerous arrests. It does not take an expert to conclude the obvious: the strategy has failed.

18 Nov 2017

The war raging in Rocinha, Latin America’s largest favela, has already been lost. Rooted in a dispute between gangs for control of drug trafficking, it has disrupted the daily life of the community in Rio de Janeiro since mid-September. With the sound of shots coming from all sides, schools and shops are constantly forced to close. Recently, a stray bullet killed a Spanish tourist. The war is not the only thing being lost.

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The insanity of this policy is striking: it destroys lives, generates worse outcomes for society, is expensive, and has no impact on drug trafficking. Only superstition, prejudice or ignorance could make someone think this is effective.

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