Columbia, Universidad Mayor Seal Alliance with Drug Policy Discussion

July 02, 2021

The recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health and Chile’s Universidad Mayor was celebrated at an event during which researchers from both universities held an academic discussion regarding the legalization of drugs.

“This agreement will solidify that which started out as a fairly simple exchange of ideas. The team from [Universidad Mayor’s] Research Center on Society and Health, CISS, that works with [CISS Director and Mailman faculty member] Esteban Calvo has made an excellent contribution, and this alliance will provide greater structure and enhance the work that has already been done,” Ana Jiménez-Bautista, Director of Field Practice at Mailman, said during the opening of the event.

In turn, the President of Universidad Mayor, Rubén Covarrubias, highlighted the importance of mutual collaboration between universities. “We live in a distant, very diverse country on this planet, and we believe that we have realities that can be of interest to top-notch research universities such as Columbia,” he said. “We are very proud of everything that Dr. Calvo and his team have done, through our vice-rectory for research. They cover transcendent, deep issues that concern us.”

With regard to the event’s topic, “drug policy is a social issue, which can consume countries,” Covarrubias noted. “If we do not act supported by science and research, with those who know and have studied the issue, countries can begin to decline.”

Thus, as yet another demonstration of the fruits of this joint work, Pía Mauro, Mailman Professor of Epidemiology, and CISS Professor Álvaro Castillo presented their research on drug use and policy in Chile, which looked to contribute to the debate “To Legalize or Prohibit Drugs?”