Anthropology

The impact of drug policy on the environment

Forty years of dogged adherence to drug crop eradication and drug interdiction policies have been instrumental in hounding drug farmers and traffickers into increasingly fragile landscapes.

New research—much of it using newly available real-time satellite imagery of forest loss—is bringing into sharp focus the devastating ecological costs of conventional drug policies, and how these can profoundly undermine international policies designed to protect forests, mitigate climate change, and promote rural development. The international drug control system must share the blame for this devastation. Forty years of dogged adherence to drug crop eradication and drug interdiction policies have been instrumental in hounding drug farmers and traffickers into increasingly fragile landscapes. Although these policies have arguably done little to stem the cultivation and traffic of illicit drugs, it has done much to amplify the environmental devastation and degradation that accompanies them.

Original Article (Open Society Foundation):
The impact of drug policy on the environment​
Artwork Fair Use: Lance Cpl. Patrick J. McMahon

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