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Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work

The United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) in 2016 is an unprecedented opportunity to review the future of the global drug control regime

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Bouncing Back: Relapse in the Golden Triangle

ASEAN's 'drug free' strategy is failing and needs a new approach.

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Cannabis and the Conventions

The question facing the international community today is no longer whether or not there is a need to reassess the UN drug control system, but rather when and how ...

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Unscheduling the coca leaf

The coca leaf has been chewed for centuries in the Andean region – and does not cause any harm. Yet the leaf is treated as if it is comparable to…

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  • Making a mountain out of a molehill: myths on youth and crime in Saint Lucia

    Marcus Day
    Briefing Series on Drug Markets and Violence, Nr 3
    December 2014

    dmv3-e_coverCaribbean states face challenges of youth involvement in crime, violence, gangs and other anti-social activities. It is not uncommonly heard the “drug problem” is to be blamed for this. This briefing wants to show this relation is far more complex and often misunderstood.

     

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  • Marijuana legalization is an opportunity to modernize international drug treaties

    Wells Bennett and John Walsh
    Brookings Center for Effective Public Management
    October 2014

    brookings-paper-102014Two U.S. states have legalized recreational marijuana, and more may follow; the Obama administration has conditionally accepted these experiments. Such actions are in obvious tension with three international treaties that together commit the United States to punish and even criminalize activity related to recreational marijuana. The administration asserts that its policy complies with the treaties because they leave room for flexibility and prosecutorial discretion.

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  • Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work

    Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP)
    September 2014

    CoverReportThe upcoming United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) in 2016 is an unprecedented opportunity to review and re-direct national drug control policies and the future of the global drug control regime. As diplomats sit down to rethink international and domestic drug policy, they would do well to recall the mandate of the United Nations, not least to ensure security, human rights and development.

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  • Scheduling in the international drug control system

    Christopher Hallam Dave Bewley-Taylor Martin Jelsma
    Series on Legislative Reform of Drug Policies Nr. 25
    June 2014

    dlr25While often viewed as an obscure technical issue, the problem of scheduling lies at the core of the functioning of the international drug control system. Scheduling – the classification of a substance within a graded system of controls and restrictions, or 'schedules' – must take place in order for a substance to be included in the international control framework, and determines the type and intensity of controls to be applied. For this reason, the topic is of central importance.

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  • Bouncing Back: Relapse in the Golden Triangle

    Tom Kramer Ernestien Jensema Martin Jelsma Tom Blickman
    Transnational Institute
    May 2014

    TNI's indepth examination of the illegal drug market in the Golden Triangle, which has a witnessed a doubling of opium production, growing prison populations and repression of small-scale farmers. This report details the failure of ASEAN's 'drug free' strategy and the need for a new approach.

  • The Rise and Decline of Cannabis Prohibition

    The History of Cannabis in the UN Drug Control System and Options For Reform
    Dave Bewley-Taylor Tom Blickman Martin Jelsma
    Transnational Institute / Global Drugs Policy Observatory
    March 2014

    rise-decline-coverThe cannabis plant has been used for spiritual, medicinal and recreational purposes since the early days of civilization. In this report the Transnational Institute and the Global Drug Policy Observatory describe in detail the history of international control and how cannabis was included in the current UN drug control system. Cannabis was condemned by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as a psychoactive drug with “particularly dangerous properties” and hardly any therapeutic value.

    application-pdfDownload the report (PDF 5MB) | Résumé en français (PDF) | Download the press release (PDF)

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  • Time for UN to open up dialogue on drug policy reform and end counter-productive blame-game

    Press release by TNI/GDPO
    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

    As the UN International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) launches its annual report on Tuesday, 4 March, amidst an unprecedented crisis in the international drug control regime, leading drug policy reform experts have called on the INCB and related UN institutions to urgently open up a constructive dialogue on international drug policy reform.

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  • Cocaine: towards a self-regulation model

    New developments in Harm Reduction
    Grazia Zuffa
    Series on Legislative Reform of Drug Policies Nr. 24
    February 2014

    dlr24By taking cues from users’ self-regulation strategies, it is possible to design innovative operational models for drug services as well as drug policies, strengthening Harm Reduction as an alternative approach to the disease model. A significant body of research on cocaine users recruited outside captive populations – that is, studies based on samples of users who have not been enrolled through drug addiction services – has been carried out in many European countries and outside Europe. These studies show a variety of patterns and trajectories of use other than “addictive” use.

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  • Eyes Wide Shut: Corruption and Drug-Related Violence in Rosario

    Ross Eventon
    Briefing Series on Drug Markets and Violence, Nr 1
    December 2013

    dmv1_coverIn Rosario, Argentina, the presence of criminal organisations involved in drug trafficking was a low priority for the government until New Year’s day 2012, when the killing of three innocent civilians by members of a gang sparked press attention.

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  • Uruguay’s pioneering cannabis regulation marks the tipping point in the failed war on drugs

    Press release by TNI
    Tuesday, December 10, 2013

    Uruguay’s senate voted today (10 December) to approve the world’s first national legal framework regulating the cultivation, trade and consumption of cannabis for medical, industrial as well as recreational purposes. The historical vote is expected to inspire and spread cannabis reform initiatives around the world and to have a major impact on upcoming UN-level drug policy evaluations.

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Drug Law Reform in Latin America is a project of the TNI Drugs & Democracy programme

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UN Drug Control

In 2011 the 1961 UN Single Convention on drugs will be in place for 50 years. In 2012 the international drug control system will exist 100 years since the International Opium Convention was signed in 1912 in The Hague. Does it still serve its purpose or is a reform of the UN Drug Conventions needed? This site provides critical background.