Hemispheric Forum: Current Perspectives on Illicit Drug Policies

Hemispheric Forum Panel
May 10, 2012

During a recent trip through Mexico and Honduras, US Vice President Joe Biden stated that although the idea of legalization was worth discussing, "there is no possibility the Obama/Biden administration will change its policy on legalization." On May 11 CHDS held the fifth in a series of Hemispheric Forums, focusing on illicit drug policies, during which participants addressed  this subject from a variety of perspectives. The moderator was Dr. Howard Wiarda, CHDS Associate Director for Research and Publications.

The Honorable Marilyn A. Quagliotti, Deputy Director for Supply Reduction in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy spoke  on current US Drug Policy. Her talk was followed by presentations by Dr. Craig A. Deare, the Interim Dean of Academic Affairs/ Dean of Administration at the College for International Security Affairs; Mr. Peter Hakim, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Inter American Dialogue; and Mr. Timothy Lynch, Director for the Project on Criminal Justice at the Cato Institute.

General (ret.) Barry McCaffrey, discussed measures needed across the Western Hemisphere to combat the flow of illicit drugs, and the final speaker, Ambassador Adam Blackwell, Secretary of Multidimensional Security at the Organization of American States, spoke on the 2012 Summit of the Americas mandate to the OAS regarding policy alternatives.

The presentation ended with a 30-minute question and answer session and final statements from the panelists. The forum was open to the public and streamed live.