Sanho Tree is a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and has been Director of its Drug Policy Project since 1998. A former military and diplomatic historian, his current work encompasses the reform of both international and domestic drug policies by promoting alternatives to the failed prohibitionist model. In recent years the project has focused on ending the damage caused by the drug wars in Colombia, Bolivia, Mexico, Afghanistan, and the Philippines. Establishing humane and sustainable alternatives to the drug war fits into the IPS mandate as one of the major contemporary social justice issues at home and abroad.

He has been featured in more than a dozen documentaries and frequently lectures at universities and conferences around the world.  He previously collaborated with Dr. Gar Alperovitz on The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an American Myth (Knopf, 1995).  He was also associate editor of CovertAction Quarterly, an award-winning magazine of investigative journalism, and worked at the International Human Rights Law Group in the late 1980s.  Currently, he serves on the board of the Andean Information Network.

Latest

poverty-war-on-drugs-philippines

One Year Into Duterte's Bloody Regime

There are countless reasons why President Duterte’s Drug War isn’t helping Philippine society—and a $140 million reason President Trump might be willing to look the other way.
Getting Over the Wall

How Drugs Will Get Under, Over, and Around Trump's Wall

A wall may be a powerful symbol, but it won't be a useful tool in the war on drugs, Sanho Tree explains in an interview with Vice.
drug-war-trafficking

How the War on Drugs Has Made Drug Traffickers More Ruthless and Efficient

In this interview with Vox, IPS drug policy expert Sanho Tree explains how evolution could have predicted the failure of the war on drugs.

A Border Wall Basically Sets an XPRIZE for Criminals to Penetrate Our Border

No matter how tall or deep Trump's wall is, it will not stop the flow of drugs or traffickers into the U.S., in fact it will heighten the national security risk.

Trump's Border Wall Won't Solve Our Heroin Crisis

Prohibition breeds heroin substitutes that are often more dangerous and more difficult to stop, Tree tells CCTV.

Duterte's Extrajudicial Killings Will Only Make the Philippines' Drug Problem Worse

Ramping up the risk premium through harsher tactics only makes drug trafficking more profitable, IPS drug policy expert Sanho Tree told CCTV.
coca-tea-food-drugs

The False Dichotomy Between Food and Drugs

Western civilization's arbitrary categorization of drugs into UN treaties flies in the face of thousands of years of traditional medicine, Sanho Tree tells Free Culture Radio.

The Global Consensus on Drugs is "Shattered"

Drug policy expert Sanho Tree tells CCTV that two different worlds are developing. While the Americas are moving towards legalization, other countries are clamping down harder on drug laws.

How the U.S.-Led War on Drugs Ravaged Central America

IPS drug policy expert Sanho Tree says strategies to address underlying drivers, including inequality and systemic lack of opportunities in Central America, is key to developing alternatives to the war on drugs.
[VIDEO] Peru’s Cocaine War: Traffickers vs. Farmers

What's Being Done to End the War on Drugs? Live Chat Recap.

IPS' drug policy expert answers questions about the drug war in a live chat in New Zealand
Sanho Tree talks about drug policy.

How America's War On Drugs Unintentionally Aids Mexican Drug Cartels

U.S. drug policy has been an "excerise in futility"
Bottle of pills over twenty dollar bills

Crackdowns Not Effective Against Global Drug Trafficking

The war on drugs "turns relatively cheap products into something worth more then their weight in gold," says Sanho Tree on CCTV America.
Uruguay’s Legalization of Marijuana

Uruguay's Legalization of Marijuana

CCTV interviews Sanho Tree, drug policy expert, on Uruguay's "historic and counterintuitive" decision to be the first country in the world to legalize the production and sale of marijuana.
What Not to Do on Camera

What Not to Do on Camera

Romney's words may have left us with the impression of a debate win, but he failed to restrain his signature off-putting smirks.
What Drives U.S. Policy in Central America?

What Drives U.S. Policy in Central America?

On Al-Jazeera's Inside Story roundtable discussion, IPSer Sanho Tree discusses how the U.S. State Department gets to play judge, jury, and executioner in Honduras.
[VIDEO] Peru’s Cocaine War: Traffickers vs. Farmers

[VIDEO] Peru's Cocaine War: Traffickers vs. Farmers

The government of Peru is getting tough on traffickers and encouraging farmers to plant alternative crops, but will it work?

Third Rail Politics at the 2011 Seattle Hempfest

The way things get done in Washington, D.C. depends on closed door whispering. It is time to develop a non-binding straw poll to put partisan concerns aside for the sake of America.

A Peaceful End to the War on Drugs?

The international war on drugs isn't stopping drug use or trafficking -- but it is ruining lives. Drug policy expert Sanho Tree on what we can do differently.

Central America: 'Deadliest Non-War Zone'

The Department of Defense has announced that Mexico will receive $51 million for fiscal year 2011. According to military officials the drug war has grown to rival the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. We ask if throwing more money at the situation, or even more American troops, work? Institute for Policy Studies' Sanho Tree explains.

Colombia Is No Model for Mexico's Drug War

Far from breaking morale, the tactic of taking out the heads of trafficking groups gives junior thugs a shot at becoming the kingpin--if only briefly.

Project Director

Drug Policy

sanho@ips-dc.org

202-787-5266

Topics of Interest

Border Wall, colombia, DEA, DOJ, Drug War, Duterte, Mexico, Philippines, United Nations