Georgetown University Law Center

McDonough 201
600 New Jersey Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

What to Do After Prohibition?
Regulatory Alternatives in the Americas and the Marijuana Debate in Mexico

This full-day event will provide a general overview of the effects that prohibitionist policies have had on drug consumption, incarceration and violence, particularly in the United States and in Latin America. Following this initial overview, the conference will explore regulatory alternatives in the Americas for marijuana—both for medical and personal use in countries like Canada, Colombia, the U.S. and Uruguay. Finally, the conference will analyze the reform proposals currently being debated in Mexico as well as the Mexican government’s official position. We will have experts from different countries in the Americas discussing the regulatory, public health, social justice and security issues that marijuana prohibition and reform face.

The event will be divided into three panels:

9:00am – 11:00am – Effects of Prohibitionist Policies on Drug Consumption, Incarceration and Violence

The purpose of this session is to examine both the direct and the indirect consequences of prohibitionist policies. We will look at whether or not use and availability of drugs has increased or decreased as well as analyze the human rights, security and incarceration impacts. We hope the panel will help respond to some of the following questions:

  • How effective have current prohibitionist policies been in the different countries in the region?
  • What have been the direct and indirect consequences of these policies?
  • What can we learn from the US experience?
  • What does the scientific and empirical evidence tell us about prohibitionist policies in the last decades?
  • Have current policies met the goals they were created for?

    11:00am – 11:15am – Coffee Break

    11:15am-1:15pm – Regulatory Alternatives in the Americas for Marijuana for Medical & Personal Use

    The purpose of this session is to explore the current regulatory alternatives for medical and personal use of marijuana in the Americas. We will look at the current US landscape, as well as explore models from other countries in the region, such as Uruguay, Canada, and Colombia. We hope the panel will help respond to some of the following questions:

  • What alternatives to prohibition currently exist?
  • What can we learn from the existing models?
  • Are there any emerging best practices?
  • What is the best public health approach to regulation?
  • How can different models adapt to each country and community?

    1:15pm – 2:30pm – Lunch Break

    2:30pm – 4:30pm – Reform Proposals and Debate in Mexico

    The first two panels will explore the consequences of prohibitionist policies as well as the emerging regulatory alternatives in the Americas. This last panel will bring together these ideas and place them in the current Mexican context. The purpose of this session is to explore law reform proposals introduced in the Mexican Congress and the government’s own bill. We hope the panel will help respond to some of the following questions:

  • What goals do medical marijuana reform proposals pursue?
  • What goals do recreational marijuana reform pursue?
  • What are the objectives of a deeper, integral reform?
  • What changes are expected with either or both reforms?
  • What will happen if both the U.S. and Canada continue legalizing and Mexico does not? What are the risks, costs and benefits of not reforming? And what are those of reforming?

Coffee and a light lunch will be served.




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