Drug Policies & Human Rights Program

Drug Policies

Motivated by the exacerbated violence, extrajudicial executions and massacres that the “war on drugs” has produced and continues to produce, particularly in the Northern Triangle of Central America and Southeast Asia. The lack of support for the participation of civil society in intergovernmental spaces, the lack of knowledge of international drug policies and their control mechanisms among researchers and the main actors in the private sector.  

We advocate at local, regional and international levels to contribute to reform of the current international drug control model by one based on social, health and human rights aspects.

This reform should focus on overcoming the negative consequences of current policies, funding public domain research on controlled substances, preventing the abuse of all types of substances and regulating illegalized markets.

We manage and promote multidisciplinary studies and research on fungi, plants and psychoactive substances for public welfare, social justice and integral health.


We work at the highest level for the decriminalization, regulation and normalization of the Cannabis plant, recognizing the fact that Cannabis is a vegetal genus with a long ethnobotanical history and multiple proven therapeutic and industrial uses. However, the inclusion of this plant and its derivatives in the strictest classification lists of the international drug control Treaties of the United Nations is based on sophisms and myths that legitimize the systematic violation of the human dignity of People Who Use Drugs (PWUD), especially Cannabis users, which overcrowds prisons for drug-related crimes.

Through our work, we established a broad network of contacts that includes activists, patients, physicians, leading industry players, academics, public servants and politicians.

About the Program

The main objective is to share as much information as possible through different channels, especially with decision-makers, to point out that there are precise alternatives to current drug policies and that each region must adapt them to its own situation.

We have already worked with young people, held meetings with biopsychosocial agents, attended conferences, workshops, symposia and forums at local, regional and international levels. We have gathered several years of analysis, surveys and studies that show widespread misinformation about drug policy (including misleading information from decision makers) and extensive experience in public and political advocacy.

We promote a shift in the drug policy perspective so that the international drug control model moves away from the criminal and punitive point of view and towards one that respects human dignity and human rights. We promote that harm reduction and risk management strategies be enacted and strengthened. The failed and harmful ‘war on drugs’, which has only violated people’s essential rights and caused great social havoc, must brought to an end at international level.

The Knowmad Institut builds bridges for the collaboration of a global network of experts. Our network of experts researches alternatives for the implementation of evidence-based ethical policies to address the political, economic and social problems related to the war on drugs.

We advocate for transparent and measurable policies framed by essential rights, human dignity and social and health aspects. We promote the exercise of community empowerment.

Our Think & Do Tank promotes collective building for capacity building and community advocacy. We accompany and disseminate programmes aimed at peer groups, grassroots social movements, non-governmental organizations and the private sector, for broader participation in political processes at all levels, including at the multilateral level, through social engineering and cross-cutting actions that bring together affected populations, researchers, the health and social sector, law enforcement agencies, policy makers and all stakeholders.



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