BLOW: How the war on drugs has been a systematic failure of policy and political imagination.
There is a growing consensus that the current prohibitionist approach to drugs has not produced the intended outcomes. In terms of value, the global trade in illicit drugs is only surpassed by oil and arms and generates billions for some of the most unsavoury and violent people on the planet.
Despite all the resources that have been expended in trying to eradicate them, drugs have become cheaper, more available and more people are using them than ever before. At the same time, the war on drugs has wreaked untold misery on countries and populations across the planet.
Clearly, something needs to change. We need to move away from the hysteria, racism and cynical politics that have characterized the current one-size-fits-all approach and towards better informed, evidence-based policies.
In this edition, The Elephant takes a look at the inner workings of the heroin trade in Kenya and examines the country’s growing importance as a transit hub for narcotics. We challenge the notion that the region is on the brink of a major drugs epidemic and also reveal the history of regulation of alcohol in Kenya. Finally, we discuss why the war on drugs has failed and look at the alternatives to prohibition being tried out in countries around the world.
THE UNWINNABLE WAR: How the myth of ‘institutions’ has hobbled the fight against graft and wasted precious time and money. Read edition