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Institute for Policy Studies
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  • January 4, 2013

    Al Jazeera English

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    SANHO TREE: If you want someone to stop doing something, it's important to understand why they're doing it to begin with -- and forced eradication models around the world treat these farmers as mere criminals . . . so you force these families into food insecurity . . . If forced eradication teams come in and destroy your livelihood in the space of an hour, you're left with a panicked situation: How do I feed my kids next week, next month, next year? And what is the one crop that these people know how to grow, for which there are willing buyers, that's relatively easy to transport, unlike heavy products like pineapples?  

    So they're going to re-plant. So that's a recipe for failure. Whereas under the Bolivian plan now, each family has a regulated plot, 40 meters by 40 meters, that gives them some food security, and a reasonable but modest income. With that you can save a little money, and you can diversify local economies.

    INTERVIEWER: . . . What about the gains for the drug traffickers who want to bring the coca into the export markets?

    SANHO TREE: Bolivia only contributes less than 1% of the cocaine that is imported into the United States. . . . Contrast that with Columbia, the U.S.'s main ally in the region, which provided 90% of the cocaine imported into the U.S. a dozen years ago, and now after years of the forced eradication policies, provides 95% of the cocaine imported to the U.S.

  • November 18, 2012

    BBC News

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    This month, two US states voted to legalise, regulate and tax marijuana. From advertising and marketing to drugged-driving enforcement, we ask what's ahead.

    "It's a tipping point for sure," says Sanho Tree, director of the drug policy project at the Institute for Policy Studies.

    "If these two states go ahead and legalise recreational use and the sky hasn't fallen, that opens up more political space."

  • November 7, 2012

    NOW Magazine (Toronto, Canada)

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    Certainly it’s an open question whether it’s in Canada’s interest to spend an unknown amount of money on anti-smuggler actions in the Caribbean. Sanho Tree, an analyst at the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies, says high seas interdiction led years ago to the drug cartels’ transporting merchandise overland through Mexico and other Central American countries, creating upheaval, corruption and deaths.

    Most of those caught on drug-smuggling craft by the U.S. are the “expendable” small fry who don’t have a lot of info about their employers to share with the feds, he tells NOW. “The drug cartels expect to lose a certain amount [of merchandise] through interdiction. It’s the cost of doing business.”

  • October 22, 2012

    washingtonpost.com

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    Last month, the presidents of Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala – all three conservatives who have diligently fought the drug war alongside the U.S. – sent a letter to the Secretary General of the UN asking for a fundamental reevaluation of international drug policies. All three have talked about ending drug prohibition and exploring regulatory alternatives because the drug war provides an astronomical “price support” to drug traffickers against which many governments cannot compete.

  • October 22, 2012

    The American Prospect

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    "Romney has cited few concrete differences between his foreign-policy vision and that of the president beyond calling for astronomically higher defense spending and saying he would not 'apologize for America.' Analyst Sanho Tree summarizes Romney’s approach: 'Me too, but I'll be even more belligerent because Obama is a wimp.'”

  • October 3, 2012

    The Atlantic

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    "Under the PRI there were tacit agreements. You bribe away officials, you don't engage in turf battles, and so on," said Sanho Tree of the Institute for Policy Studies. "This doesn't work in the long run. You have to deal with rule of law and these illegal groups. But that's a long process and [Calderón] didn't have the institutions to do that."

  • October 3, 2012

    The Atlantic

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    At the root of the issue is the overhaul of earlier approaches to Mexico's drug war.

    But when Calderón used Mexico's military to take on the country's powerful and well-armed drug trafficking organizations, he had little sense of what the consequences of a full-on war would be. "Under the PRI there were tacit agreements. You bribe away officials, you don't engage in turf battles, and so on," said Sanho Tree of the Institute for Policy Studies. "This doesn't work in the long run. You have to deal with rule of law and these illegal groups. But that's a long process and [Calderón] didn't have the institutions to do that."

  • June 8, 2012

    Al Jazeera

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    This is supposed to be a law enforcement programme [within the State Department]. What kind of law enforcement gets to play judge, jury and executioner in a matter of minutes? This is summary justice, on injustice in this case. - Sanho Tree, the director of the Drug Policy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies

  • May 14, 2012

    OpenDemocracy

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    As Sanho Tree of the Institute for Policy Studies explains: "The drug war has tried in vain to keep cocaine out of people’s noses, but could result instead in scorching the lungs of the earth."

  • April 11, 2012

    StopTheDrugWar.org

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    "I think the US strategy of Brownfield and the State Department will be to say that legalization was brought up and rejected by the Latin American leaders," offered Sanho Tree, director of the Drug Policy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. "They will use dichotomous rhetoric, they will try to maneuver the discussion into either prohibition or heroin in vending machines, but this is about the whole spectrum of regulatory possibilities. That's what we need to be talking about instead of that false dichotomy."

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