Sanho Tree is a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and has been director of its Drug Policy Project since 1998. The project works to end the domestic and international “War on Drugs” and replace it with policies that promote public health and safety. The project focuses on the attendant collateral damage caused by the drug war policies in the Philippines, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico, Afghanistan and other countries while linking these policies back to the dysfunction of domestic politics and US foreign policy.
The project also works on domestic drug policy with a focus on tax and regulate models of cannabis control. Most importantly, the project develops new mechanisms to bypass the political paralysis that normally prevents a genuine debate about drug policy. Establishing humane and sustainable alternatives to the drug war fits into the IPS mandate as one of the major contemporary social justice issues at home and abroad.
Tree’s other interests include the culture wars, third-rail politics, and political messaging. He has been featured in over a dozen documentary films and has appeared in hundreds of print and broadcast interviews. Mr. Tree is also a former military and diplomatic historian and he has collaborated in the past with Dr. Gar Alperovitz on The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an American Myth (Knopf, 1995). From 1996-97, he assisted entertainer Harry Belafonte and he was also associate editor of CovertAction Quarterly, an award-winning magazine of investigative journalism. In the late 1980s he worked at the International Human Rights Law Group.