New Count the Costs briefing on the environmental costs of the war on drugs

Continuing our engagement with organisations and individuals outside the drug policy sector, we are today pleased to announce the publication of the Count the Costs environment briefing. We intend to use the briefing to encourage environmental NGOs – such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the World Wildlife Fund – to take a public stand on the drugs issue and advocate for reform. And we urge drug policy reformers and those in the environmental movement to use the briefing to encourage campaigns and policy people in green NGOs to engage with drug policy.

Examining a range of environmental issues surrounding the war on drugs, the briefing includes several case studies as well as sections on:

  • The futility of drug crop eradications
  • The aerial fumigation of drug crops, a practice that is still permitted in the world’s second most biodiverse country, Colombia
  • The deforestation that occurs as law enforcement drives drug crop producers into ever more remote and ecologically valuable regions
  • The pollution caused by unregulated, illicit drug production methods

While some of the consequences of the war on drugs are relatively well known and understood by those aware of the issue, the environmental impacts of current drug policy are seldom given proper consideration. This must change. As this briefing outlines, if these environmental costs are to be minimised or avoided, alternative forms of drug control must be explored.

The briefing is available online as a PDF, with print copies available on request.