Sanho Tree is a fellow and director of the Drug Policy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. The project works to replace the domestic and international “war on drugs” with policies that promote public health and safety while providing economic alternatives to the prohibition drug economy. The intersection of race and poverty in the drug war is at the heart of the project’s work. In recent years the project has focused on the U.S. drug war in Colombia and its attendant “collateral damage.” Establishing humane and sustainable alternatives to the drug war fits the Institute for Policy Studies’ view as one of the major contemporary social justice issues at home and abroad.
Tree is a former military and diplomatic historian, but his current work focuses on U.S. involvement in the conflict in Colombia. He was featured in John Stossel’s ABC documentary on the drug war which aired in July 2002, and he appeared on Politically Incorrect in April of that year. Currently he serves on the boards of Witness for Peace, Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Common Sense Legislative Group.
In the past he has collaborated with Dr. Gar Alperovitz on The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an American Myth. From 1996 to 1997, Tree helped entertainer Harry Belafonte draft his memoirs, and he continues to work with Belafonte on international issues.
Tree is a former associate editor of Covert Action Quarterly, an award-winning magazine of investigative journalism. In the late 1980s he worked at the International Human Rights Law Group. He is a graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.