Paths for Reform: Proposed Options for Alternative Drug Policies in Guatemala

Otto Pérez Molina, then President of Guatemala, asked the Foundation to prepare a report in order to inform his presentations at the World Economic Forum at Davos, where he had been invited to speak on the subject of drug policy reform. Amanda Feilding presented the Foundation’s drug policy proposals to the President and his key advisors in January 2013.

The proposals included:

  • Initiating a campaign of public engagement in order to raise knowledge and awareness, and involve civil society in the process of reform;
  • Creating a legal poppy crop for the production of opioid medicines, in place of the currently illicit crop on which many subsistence farmers depend;
  • Decriminalising possession of drugs for personal use, including the cultivation of a limited amount of cannabis, and working towards a system of legal regulation;
  • Strengthening the legal distinction between minor drug offences and major offences related to transnational organised crime, and lowering or eliminating sentences for minor offences;
  • Developing guidelines for police and prosecutors, prioritising the detection and prosecution of violent and serious crime while assigning low priority to prosecuting minor drug-related offences; and
  • Continuing and expanding talks with regional neighbours and the international community on drug policy reform, including alternative approaches to the international traffic of cocaine.