Creates a positive example for modernizing the UN drug conventionsTNI/WOLA press release
Friday, January 11, 2013
Today the Plurinational State of Bolivia can celebrate a rightful victory, as the country can become formally a party again to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, but without being bound by its unjust and unrealistic requirement that “coca leaf chewing must be abolished.” This represents the successful conclusion of an arduous process in which Bolivia has sought to reconcile its international treaty obligations with its 2009 Constitution, which obliges upholding the coca leaf as part of Bolivia’s cultural patrimony.Read more...
The role of the drugs trade in criminal violence and policy responses in Guatemala, El Salvador and HondurasLiza Ten VeldeTNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Papers Nr 19
Mexico has occupied the limelight when it comes to media attention focusing on drug-related violence in Latin America. However, it is actually Central America's Northern Triangle – consisting of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – currently experiencing much higher rates of violence and increasing Drug Trafficking Organization (DTOs) activity, thus providing an illustration of the 'balloon effect' previously experienced by Mexico itself after the implementation of Plan Colombia which was conceived at the end of the 90's. Together the countries of the Northern Triangle now form one of the most violent regions on earth.
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Recent developments in cannabis regulation
Cannabis is the most widely produced and consumed illicit substance globally. A significant number of states have long engaged in soft defection from the UN drug control regime in relation to tolerant policies on the personal possession, cultivation and use of cannabis. Recently, there has been growing debate within political circles on the benefits of regulated cannabis markets. This has been driven by a number of factors including the continuing illegality of supply, the associated and often violent involvement of criminal elements and the use of finite criminal justice resources. In this section you will find an overview of our most recent blogs on the issue.Read more...
Shifts in the Latin American drug policy debate
There is a growing recognition that current war-like strategies have failed. At the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena in April the Organisation of American States (OAS) was given a mandate to study the effectiveness of current drug policies and look into alternatives. Using the political momentum, next steps can be discussed at both a high level international conference in Lima on June 25-26, and the thematic debate of the UN General Assembly on 'Drugs and Crime as a Threat to Development' in New York on the occasion of the UN International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on June 26. The Drugs & Democracy Programme sheds its light on policy developments in Latin America with a new briefing "A Breakthrough in the making?".Read more...
Evaluation and prospects of international drug control
This joint project led by TNI and the International Drug Policy Consortium aims to promote an evidence-based and best practice approach to policy making in the field of drugs. The international drug control framework based on a restrictive interpretation of the UN drug conventions is often a barrier to innovative and effective drug policies. Objective and open debate is hampered by polarized ideological positions of a ‘war on drugs’ versus legalization. This dichotomy obscures the fact that much experience has been gained regarding more innovative and less repressive approaches. This project aims to generate discussion and support effective and humane approaches through a series of expert seminars, informal dialogues and specific briefings on legislative issues and alternative control measures.
The globalisation of control and regulation of an ancient stimulant
Khat has been consumed for hundreds if not thousands of years in the highlands of Eastern Africa and Southern Arabia. Outside that area, khat use was first observed during the 1980s, but has only attracted wider attention in recent years. Where khat has been studied extensively, namely Australia, the UK and until recently the Netherlands, governments have steered clear of prohibition because the negative medical and social harms do not merit such controls. Where strict bans on khat have been introduced they have had severe unintended negative consequences and failed to further the integration, social incusion and economic prosperity of Somali communities in particular, which chew khat most widely. Experiences from North America and Scandinavia show that a ban will not solve problems associated with kath but tend to increase them.Read more...
The International Workshop and Conference on Alternative Development (ICAD 2011-2012)
The International Workshop and Conference on Alternative Development (ICAD 2011-2012), an initiative of the Thai and Peruvian governments, will take place on 6-12 November 2011 in Thailand and will discuss the progress of and best practices on alternative development. A high-level international conference in Peru in February 2012 will aim to build a consensus on the future direction of alternative development among all stakeholders. The ICAD process – in which TNI participates – aims to develop a set of International Guiding Principles on Alternative Development, which could serve as an authoritative reference. A new paradigm and concerted strategy will be discussed for development-oriented drug control programmes worldwide. TNI has followed the discussions on alternative development closely and critically and published a range of policy briefings on the issue.Read more...
IDPC supports Bolivia re-accession with a reservation allowing for the traditional use of the coca leaf
The Bolivian government denounced the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs on June 29, 2011, indicating its intention to re-accede with a reservation allowing for the traditional use of the coca leaf. The decision was triggered by Bolivia’s need to balance its obligations under the international drug control system with its constitutional and other international legal commitments. The move follows the rejection of Bolivia’s proposal to amend the Single Convention by deleting the obligation to abolish coca leaf chewing earlier this year. The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) called on countries to oppose Bolivia’s decision. This intervention is extremely unhelpful, and arguably an abuse of the Board’s mandate. The International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) supports the difficult decision taken by the Morales administration.Read more...
Global Commission on Drug Policy calls for reform of international drug control
On June 2, 2011, the Global Commission on Drug Policy presented its report in New York, calling to break the taboo on debate and reform of international drug control policies. The high-profile panel calls the global war on drugs a failure and recommends a paradigm shift towards harm reduction, decriminalization and legal regulation of cannabis. TNI has been closely involved in the initiative and its Latin American predecessor in an advisory capacity. Martin Jelsma of TNI’s drugs policy programme wrote a background paper for the Commission’s meeting in Geneva earlier this year: The development of international drug control: lessons learned and strategic challenges for the future.Read more...