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  • Reguleer wiet, en niet alleen de achterdeur

    Een zorgvuldige nieuwe wetgeving zou eigen teelt, cannabis clubs en coffeeshops met gereguleerde achterdeur mogelijk moeten maken
    Tom Blickman
    Woensdag, 25 februari 2015

    oped-spong-nrc-thumbDe advocaten Spong, Smeets en Vis houden een pleidooi voor het reguleren van de achterdeur van de coffeeshops in een opiniestuk in het NRC. Zij zetten zich af tegen de criminologen Fijnaut en De Ruyver die bepleiten dat cannabis social clubs het alternatief zijn voor de coffeeshop. De advocaten noemen de cannabis club "een doodlopende weg". Met het reguleren van de achterdeur is niets mis, maar waarom zou het daartoe beperkt moeten blijven? Waarom zouden coffeeshops het monopolie op de verkoop van wiet moeten hebben?

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  • The United Nations General Assembly Special Session on drugs in 2016

    In the war on drugs, as was the case with the HIV epidemic, the poorest and most vulnerable around the world are paying the greatest price
    Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch
    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

    In April 2016, representatives of the world’s nations will gather to evaluate drug policy in a United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS). While prohibitionist policies are still the norm, a rising tide of voices are demanding evidence based responses that respect human rights, promote public health, and reduce crime.

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  • CND decision to schedule ketamine would undermine WHO treaty mandate

    The UN Commission considers to bring ketamine under the control of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances contrary to WHO recommendations
    Martin Jelsma
    Monday, February 16, 2015

    The 58th Session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in March 2015 has been asked to consider a Chinese proposal to place ketamine – an essential medicine used for anaesthesia – in Schedule I of the 1971 Convention (E/CN.7/2015/7 and E/CN.7/2015/81). Ketamine is the only available anaesthetic for essential surgery in most rural areas of developing countries, home to more than 2 billion of the world’s people. Scheduling ketamine under any of the 1971 treaty schedules will reduce its availability and further deepen the already acute crisis of global surgery.

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  • The road to the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs in 2016

    Special Sessions of the General Assembly are called to review and debate a specific issue – in this case the “world drugs problem”
    Steve Rolles (Transform)
    Wednesday, January 28, 2015

    UN forums in recent years have witnessed more and more governments expressing their frustrations with the failing global war on drugs. This failure goes way beyond just the goals of drug control systems to reduce illicit drug production and use. The key driver of calls for change has been the catastrophic negative impacts of the war on drugs on public health, human rights, development and security.

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  • Putting numbers to faces: a new map of substance misuse, homelessness and offending in England

    Mental health, access to housing and effective offender rehabilitation must all figure in our response to complex needs
    Sam Thomas
    Monday, January 19, 2015

    Statistics can be a limited and limiting way to understand social issues. When we focus on how many people are affected by a problem, or how much the government spends on tackling it, we start to see numbers instead of people. The opposite is also true, though: without statistical evidence, it’s hard to understand the scale of a problem.

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  • Does your politician have a drug policy problem?

    Tell your politicians you won’t sit by while they continue to harm themselves and others
    Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC)
    Wednesday, January 7, 2014

    "Your politician is showing all the symptoms of 'Drug Policy Abuse,'" reads the CDPC website. "They refuse to engage in an open and honest discussion of drug use, and instead rehash outdated, fear-based policies, dismissing research that supports new and innovative approaches." The site goes on to gravely implore readers, "It’s time you had 'the talk.'"

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  • Has the US just called for unilateral interpretation of multilateral obligations?

    It would be unfortunate to see established rules of international law become collateral damage in the fallout of the end of the war on drugs
    Rick Lines and Damon Barrett
    Thursday, December 18, 2014

    These are interesting times for drug law reform, which, as it gathers pace, is asking important questions of international law. A UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs is set for 2016 just as national reforms are challenging international treaties that form the bedrock of a global prohibition regime that has dominated since the turn of the twentieth century. States parties to the three UN drug control conventions must now confront the legal and political dilemmas this creates. This is the situation in which the US now finds itself following cannabis reforms in various states that are at odds with these treaties.

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  • The 'Fifth Stage' of Drug Control

    International Law, Dynamic Interpretation and Human Rights
    Rick Lines (University of Essex)

    Writing in 1996, Norbert Gilmore noted that ‘little has been written about drug use and human rights. Human rights are rarely mentioned expressly in drug literature and drug use is rarely mentioned in human rights literature.’ [1] Almost twenty years later, the literature examining drug control issues through the lens of international human rights law has grown, but the total body of peer reviewed commentary and analysis in this area would barely rank the issue as a footnote in the broader human rights lexicon.

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  • Into the breach: Drugs, control, and violating bad laws in good ways

    Rick Lines
    Thursday, November 27, 2014

    An October statement on drug control from the US State Department has prompted much comment and speculation at home and abroad. Delivered by Ambassador William Brownfield, the ‘Brownfield Doctrine’, as it has been named by some commentators, lays out a four pillar approach the United States will follow in matters of international drug control.

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  • Fatal attraction: Brownfield's flexibility doctrine and global drug policy reform

    Martin Jelsma Dave Bewley-Taylor Damon Barrett
    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    State-level cannabis reforms, which gathered steam this month, have exposed the inability of the United States to abide by the terms of the legal bedrock of the global drug control system; the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. This is something that should force a much-needed conversation about reform to long- standing international agreements. But while ostensibly 'welcoming' the international drug policy reform debate, it is a conversation the US federal government actually wishes to avoid.

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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.