Information about the Observatory

GDPO LogoNational and international drug policies and programmes that privilege  harsh law enforcement and punishment in an effort to eliminate the cultivation, production, trade and use of controlled substances – what has become known as the ‘war on drugs’ – are coming under increased scrutiny. The Global Drug Policy Observatory aims to promote evidence and human rights based drug policy through the comprehensive and rigorous reporting, monitoring and analysis of policy developments at national and international levels. Acting as a platform from which to reach out to and engage with broad and diverse audiences, the initiative aims to help improve the sophistication and horizons of the current policy debate among the media and elite opinion formers as well as within law enforcement and policy making communities. The Observatory engages in a range of research activities that explore not only the dynamics and implications of existing and emerging policy issues, but also the processes behind policy shifts at various levels of governance.

Our Projects

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Featured Publications

Featured Publications

Improving global drug policy: Comparative perspectives and UNGASS 2016




Brookings Institute, April 2015

As the world prepares for the 2016 Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS 2016), an increasing number of countries around the world now find the regime’s emphasis on punitive approaches to illicit drugs to be problematic and are asking for reform. In this moment of global disagreement, the Brookings project on Improving Global Drug Policy provides a unique comparative evaluation of the effectiveness and costs of international counternarcotics policies and best approaches to reform.

See the collection here

GDPO Quarterly News - October 2014 – January 2015

During October, November and December, the GDPO team were involved in a range of activities, including fieldwork and a number of seminars and workshops.  At the beginning of October, with colleagues from TNI and GDPO Technical Advisor, Romesh Bhattacharji, Dave headed to the foothills of Himalayas in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.  Here, as part of ongoing research for the second edition of the TNI-GDPO report Rise and Decline of Cannabis Prohibition, they visited the remote village of Malana.  Isolated for much of the year due to heavy snowfall, Malana is well known for producing high quality cannabis, although cultivation of the drug is technically forbidden under Indian law.


To read more, and to see previous quarterly news reports, click here

GDPO Situation Analysis

The GDPO Situation Analysis provides the diversity of stakeholders within the drug policy arena with concise, cutting edge assessment of key topics, enabling informed engagement with pertinent developments and debates. Presented in a focused and standardised format, the SA flags risks, opportunities and future trends in crucial issue areas, delivering to readers actionable information and evidence based insight.

Click here to read all our Situation Analysis