• Nowhere to hide

    It’s high time we measured countries’ performance in drug policy
    Marie Nougier & Dave Bewley-Taylor
    Wednesday, October 30, 2019

    gdpiTraditionally, the UN and governments have measured progress in drug policy in terms of flows and scale; principally the numbers of people arrested, hectares of drug crops eradicated and the amounts of drugs seized. For years now, IDPC and many civil society colleagues (in particular the Global Drug Policy Observatory (GDPO), CELS, the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation, and the Social Science Research Council among others), have advocated against such an approach, because of its inability to truly assess the real impacts of drug control policy – especially for communities affected by the illicit drug trade on the one hand and by drug policies on the other.

  • INCB stronger than ever before on decriminalisation, capital punishment & extrajudicial killings

    ‘There is no obligation stemming from the conventions to incarcerate drug users who commit minor offences’
    Marie Nougier (IDPC)
    Friday, June 28, 2019

    The INCB dedicated one of its latest series of Alerts, from June 2019, to the issue of ‘State responses to drug-related criminality’, covering decriminalisation, proportionate sentencing, the death penalty and extrajudicial killings. The Board has recently taken a more positive stance towards decriminalisation, in particular under the leadership of Werner Sipp in 2016. In April 2017, the INCB had already published an Alert on the issue, although mostly reiterating language included in the UN drug conventions. This month’s Alert goes into further detail, explaining the ‘more differentiated’ approach adopted by member states in recent years – as 26 countries have now moved towards a decriminalisation model.

  • Medical cannabis moving ahead in Thailand, but who stands to benefit?

    The cultivation, distribution, possession and use of kratom will be decriminalised in certain communities
    Chokwan Kitty Chopaka (Highland Network)
    Tuesday, May 14, 2019

    thailand marijuana awakening25th December of 2018 was a historical day for cannabis enthusiasts in Thailand. The (interim) Parliament voted, 166-to-0, to pass new amendments to the country’s Narcotics Act. These legislative changes will allow for the cultivation, importation/exportation, distribution, possession and use of cannabis for medical and research purposes in the Kingdom. The move is regarded by many as a big leap forward, especially as the country still retains a criminal penalty (one year of imprisonment) for the simple use of illicit drugs, including cannabis.

  • Migrants and traditional use

    The coca leaf travels from the Andean Amazon to the European courts
    Pien Metaal, Constanza Sánchez & Natalia Rebollo
    Thursday, April 25, 2019

    boliviablogFor the past several years, Fundación ICEERS, with the support of allied organisations such as the Transnational Institute (TNI), has been assisting in the legal defense of people with a migrant background who are prosecuted in Spain (or other European countries) for the possession or importation of coca leaf for the purposes of traditional use. These people originate from countries with a legal framework allowing for licit traditional use of coca leaf, such as Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and Argentina. These cases have had different outcomes and, when people have been convicted, sentencing has not been uniform. How to reconcile migrant communities’ right to the enjoyment of cultural life (including the use of traditional plants) with international drug control obligations.

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