Since its first edition, the Latin American Conference on Drug Policy has been installed as a stage for the production of meaning and knowledge, intergovernmental meetings, activism and identification of synergies, which has not stopped growing.
The political impact of these meetings is indisputable, it has left deep traces in the drug policies of each host country, it has strengthened emerging and innovative positions of other countries in the regional concert; and has empowered many civil society actors.
After the great discussion on the decriminalization of the consumption of substances that was promoted by the Latin American Conference and installed in the local public opinion, the Supreme Court of Justice of Argentina decided, unanimously of all its members, to declare through the Arriola Judgment the unconstitutionality of the second paragraph of Article 14 of the Narcotic Drugs Act (No. 23.737) that represses the possession of narcotics for personal consumption. Currently, the inclusion of the decriminalization of personal consumption in the new Argentine Penal Code is being considered, paying attention to the Arriola Judgment.
Rio de Janeiro was the headquarters in 2010. The awakening of funding by the Federal State of many programs to reduce harm and risks of substance use occurred as a result of the conference, as well as the strengthening of community experiences in various territories with populations in situation of social vulnerability.
Coinciding with the debate promoted by the Conference in Bogota in 2012, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, advocated at the VI Summit of the Americas for the preparation of a report by the Organization of American States, with the mission of preparing material for a hemispheric debate on the disappointing results and the worrying consequences of current drug policies in the Americas, as well as exploring new approaches to respond more effectively to the phenomenon.
In 2014, Costa Rica was very sensitive to the debates generated by the Latin American Conference, with the presence of the vice president of the nation at the closing of the event. Confedrogas served as a starting point for the elimination of penalties for women who introduce drugs to penal centers and create inter institutional networks for their reinsertion; the approval of the Harm Reduction model as a Public Health policy; and the decriminalization of cannabis self-cultivation.
Dominican Republic was not left behind, after the Conference of Santo Domingo in the last edition of Confedrogas. The Minister of Women sealed within the scope of the Conference its commitment to women imprisoned for drug offenses. This had a great impact in the media and managed to install in the public agenda the revision of a model of drug control that has deepened the exclusion and continues to reinforce the stigma, discrimination and abuse that affect people who use drugs.
More than 2,900 attendees have participated in the previous editions; more than 900 articles have been published in newspapers, websites, radio and television in more than 30 countries; 64 satellite events that show the relevance of a single event that has a huge impact on the strengthening of civil society working on drug policies and related issues; the participation of women, people who use drugs, people who had previously been deprived of their freedom, victims of organized crime; the construction of consensus; the improvement of social debate in the media and public opinion, and the development of innovative public policies.