"Declining US aid, a weakened drug certification process, and the willingness of some countries, especially Bolivia, to resist US pressure suggests that the US cannot continue to dictate the implementation of policy as it did in the 70s and 80s." 

The US war on drugs has been temporary and limited geographically; nonetheless, its legacy has been profound. The United States has spent 20 years and more than a trillion dollars trying to curtail drug cartels throughout Latin America. The war has also cost thousands of Latin American lives while the problem has simply been pushed to different countries. Several Latin American countries have started to debate alternatives to the US war on drugs--it is clear that a new approach is needed.

In this article about the US war on drugs and its legacy in Latin America, Eric L. Olson, Associate Director of the Latin American Program, is quoted on the need for an alternative to the current war on drugs and what the first step might be. 


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