Will 2016 be the year for Ganja internationally, as we move towards the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) 2016?Vicki HansonFriday, January 29, 2016
The issue of ganja played very prominently in Jamaica in 2015 with some advocates trumpeting the dawn of a “new green golden kingdom”, while some opponents predicting the doom of our youths to the “green demon”. However, a sober analysis of the situation will reveal that even though there were indeed some victories in relation to how we treat with ganja in Jamaica, there is still a lot more to achieve and pitfalls to be mindful of in relation to our policy on establishing a fully legally regulated ganja industry.Read more...
The Spanish Supreme Court effectively closes the grey legal loopholes that allowed Cannabis Social Clubs to operateTom BlickmanWednesday, December 30, 2015
The Spanish Supreme Court has convicted the president, an administrator and two members of the Association of Cannabis Users "Pannagh" in Bilbao, for running a Cannabis Social Club. The penalty for the first two is 1 year and 8 months in prison, as well as a fine of € 250,000, and for the other two – which among other functions weighed and packaged cannabis – a penalty of 6 months in prison. The Supreme Court overturned the acquittal of the four by a Court in Bilbao in March 2015. Among the convicted is Martin Barriuso, one of the main promoters of Cannabis Social Clubs in Spain who wrote a briefing for TNI on the issue.Read more...
Steve Rolles (Transform)Tuesday, December 8, 2015
A significant positive outcome has already emerged from next year’s UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs in the form of much more direct engagement in key drug policy issues from a range of UN agencies - beyond the prohibitionist silo of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Civil society organisations have, for years, been attempting to highlight the negative impacts of the international drug control system on issues relating to the core UN pillars of human rights, development, and peace and security.Read more...
It is beyond time for Latin American governments to step up and match their discourse with actionCatalina Pérez Correa & Coletta A. YoungersThursday, November 12, 2015
“We were having dinner—my daughter, grandchild, and me,” says Ramona, a 67-year-old Mexican woman who is serving a sentence of four-and-a-half years in one of Mexico’s most dangerous prisons. “I was lying on the couch watching a soap opera … when I realized that there were several men inside the house yelling at me to hand over the drugs.”Read more...
The UNODC claims that the briefing is not a final or formal document, and does not amount to a statement of its policy positionSteve Rolles (Transform)
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime has responded to the 'leak' of its paper calling for the decriminalisation of drug possession for personal use. The document was to be presented by the UNODC at the International Harm Reduction Conference in Kuala Lumpur, and an embargoed copy had already gone to select media (the norm for such publication events). When it was then pulled at the last minute, the BBC, which had already filmed a news segment on it, decided to release it anyway. Richard Branson was filmed for the segment, and was sufficiently annoyed when the UNODC backtracked, that he broke the story himself on his blog.
Recent History and a Look toward the FutureJorge Vicente Paladines RodríguezWednesday, June 10, 2015
Ecuador has entered a new era in drug policy and legislation. Twenty-five years after the last major legal reform, brought about by the famed Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances Law (Ley de Sustancias Estupefacientes y Psicotrópicas, Law 108), which took effect on September 17, 1990, the National Assembly is about to debate—for the second and final time—the draft Law on Prevention of Drugs and Use or Consumption of Substances Classified as Subject to Oversight (Ley de Prevención de Drogas y Uso y Consumo de Sustancias Catalogadas Sujetas a Fiscalización.)Read more...
On the way to UNGASS 2016Drugreporter HCLUWednesday, April 8, 2015
This March, our video advocacy team attended the 58th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the largest drug policy gathering in the world, to find out how governments and NGOs feel about the prospects of drug policy reform. We produced a series of short thematic videos, to give you an overview of the current state of political debate on the burning issues of international drug control.Read more...
UN Debates on DrugsAnn FordhamWednesday, April 1, 2015
"There must be no new thinking and no new ideas." This statement is not necessarily one that you might expect from an intergovernmental forum on a hot topic of international policy - except perhaps when that policy is about drugs. This statement sadly, but also neatly, encapsulates the sense of frustration that I can often feel at the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) - the annual meeting of the UN on all matters related to drug control, which took place last month in Vienna.Read more...
The UNDP argues that “new approaches are both urgent and necessary”George MurkinMarch 17, 2015
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN agency charged with developing strategies to reduce global poverty, has strongly criticised current international drug policy, highlighting the disastrous costs it is producing – particularly for the world’s poor. In the agency’s formal submission to the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs (PDF), launched at the annual UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs which began last week in Vienna, the UNDP argues:Read more...
UN legal opinion adds confusion while China changes its scheduling proposalMartin JelsmaFriday, March 6, 2015
The Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna will decide next week between two opposite proposals by China and the WHO about international control of ketamine, an essential anaesthetic in human and veterinary medicine. China originally proposed bringing ketamine under the 1971 Convention’s most severe control regime of Schedule I, which would dramatically affect its availability for surgery in poor rural settings and emergency situations. The WHO Expert Committee reviewed all the evidence and advised against any international control of ketamine, arguing it would trigger a public health disaster.Read more...
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