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US Estimates Highest-Ever Colombia Coca Production

US Estimates Highest-Ever Colombia Coca Production

New US government estimates of coca production in Colombia indicate the South American country is growing more of the drug-producing crop than ever before, a development that is likely driving changes in underworld dynamics across the Americas and the globe.

Criminalizing Drug Use Has Been Counterproductive: Report

Criminalizing Drug Use Has Been Counterproductive: Report

A new report criticizes the criminalization of drug use and concludes that the mass incarceration of small-time drug offenders has been inefficient and has led to a crisis in penitentiary systems across the hemisphere.

Report Highlights Continued Growth in LatAm Drug Consumption

Report Highlights Continued Growth in LatAm Drug Consumption

The latest annual report from the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) describes a continuing trend of growing drug use in the Americas, and encourages countries to seek "non-punitive" solutions for dealing with this issue.

As Youth Drug Use Rises, Chile Tries Treatment Rather Than Punishment

As Youth Drug Use Rises, Chile Tries Treatment Rather Than Punishment

Substance abuse by at-risk children and adolescents in Chile is becoming an increasingly difficult challenge that can have a negative effect on the country's development.

Delays in Uruguay Marijuana Law Leave Door Ajar for Drug Trafficking

Delays in Uruguay Marijuana Law Leave Door Ajar for Drug Trafficking

Three years after Uruguay became the first South American country to create a legal market for marijuana, seven out of every ten cannabis consumers still acquire the product on the black market. The delays in the implementation of the legalization law have left the door open for drug trafficking, and it appears that the illegal marijuana trade will remain a lucrative business for at least the near future. 

Though it is not on the agenda of the Sixth Summit of the Americas, to be held April 14-15 in Colombia, the question of drug legalization will be on everyone's minds. Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina has called for countries to debate a new strategy and other leaders in the region, most notably Colombia's Juan Manuel Santos, have joined him. US President Barack Obama will have to face down them and others in a rare show of unified defiance from US' allies in the region. InSight Crime examines the thorny subject in this series of special reports.