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U.S. drug policy

In the US, people are drinking themselves to death at record rates

Alcohol is killing people in the United States at a rate not seen in at least 35 years, according to new federal data. Last year, more than 30,700 U.S. people died from alcohol-induced causes, including alcohol poisoning and cirrhosis.

Cannabis on a high in 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – It's been something of a breakthrough year for marijuana, the once shunned intoxicant that is steadily gaining ground as a legal high in parts of the world.

White people are more likely to deal drugs in the US, but black people are more likely to get arrested for it

Here's a pretty astonishing chart on the skyrocketing number of arrests in the United States of African Americans for nonviolent drug crimes.

OAS chief urges new approach to failed ‘war on drugs’

In a wide-ranging speech Tuesday at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza said the 35 OAS member nations no longer see the drug problem as a public safety matter but rather as a public health issue. Authorities also want alternatives to jailing drug addicts, he said.

Advocates of drug policy reform have a new voice in Costa Rica: members of law enforcement

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition's branch in Costa Rica, its first in Central America, will focus on educating the public through public speaking and providing a law enforcement perspective to drug policymakers. “We law enforcement have been the tip of the spear for 50 years, and we have failed in our mission to reduce crime, death, disease and drug use," said LEAP co-founder Howard Wooldridge.

Drug policy in Central America criminalizes poverty, says Costa Rica Public Security Minister

"Anti-drug policies in Central America have not had their desired effect,” Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa said. "I can say that after 20 years experience fighting drug trafficking, ... the cases where white collar criminals are caught, those who never touch the drugs, these cases are scarce.”

US drug czar approaches challenge from a different angle: as a recovering alcoholic

It is a job that has previously been held by law enforcement officials, a military general and physicians. But for now, it is occupied by a recovering addict.

Colombia president supports allowing medical marijuana

BOGOTÁ, Colombia – President Juan Manuel Santos signaled his support Thursday for a bill that would allow the medical use of marijuana in Colombia. The ruling Liberal Party proposed the measure for a vote in the current session of the Colombian Congress, which opened July 20.

President Solís says medical marijuana bill is under consideration

The president has previously expressed his desire to see the marijuana -- the most commonly used illegal drug in Costa Rica -- further decriminalized and has expressed frustrations with the war on drugs and its impact on Central America.

Tico lawmaker presents bill to legalize medical marijuana

Citizen Action Party lawmaker Marvin Atencio wants to make Costa Rica the first country in Central America to legalize medical marijuana and generate millions of dollars for public institutions along the way.

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