• Is the INCB dangerous to your health?

    Five ways the UN's drug watchdog fails on health and human rights
    Daniel Wolfe, director of the International Harm Reduction Development Program, Open Society Foundations
    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

    raymond-yans2In what has become a chilling annual exercise, the UN's drug watchdog the International Narcotics Control Board released its annual report today. The INCB describes itself as a "quasi-judicial" group of experts charged with monitoring compliance with international drug control treaties, but the report's drug war bias and egregious omissions makes us wonder who is judging the judges.

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  • How does a Cannabis Social Club work?

    A visit to Trekt Uw Plant in Antwerp
    Balázs Mészáros & Lena Oddball (HCLU)
    Monday, February 18, 2013

    trekt-uw-plantWhat was originally a small group of friends, has become a feasible alternative to the cannabis black market in the north of Belgium. Our guest author guides us through Antwerp’s cannabis social club. Belgium legalised the possession and use of small amounts of cannabis for personal use a decade ago. Since that time, smokers can not only carry up to 3 grams in public but can also legally grow one plant per person at home.

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  • Insite - Not Just Injecting, But Connecting

    The only legally-operating injecting facility in North America
    Peter Sarosi, Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU)
    Thursday, January 17, 2013

    insite-injectingLast year the HCLU’s video advocacy group travelled to Vancouver, to make a film about Insite, the only legally-operating injecting facility in North America. When we arrived at Hastings Street, in Vancouver's downtown Eastside, where Insite is located, we were taken aback by the magnitude of the street drug scene we found there.

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  • Schijnheilig bezwaar van Nederland tegen het kauwen van coca bladeren

    Nederland keert zich tegen het herintreden van Bolivia in het VN verdrag met een voorbehoud die het traditionele gebruik van coca toe staat in het land
    Martin Jelsma Tom Blickman
    Transnational Institute (TNI)
    Vrijdag, 11 januari 2013

    coca-chewing2De Nederlandse regering heeft bij de Verenigde Naties bezwaar aangetekend tegen de herintreding van Bolivia in het Enkelvoudig Verdrag inzake verdovende middelen uit 1961. Bolivia was vorig jaar uitgetreden en wil opnieuw toetreden met een voorbehoud die het traditionele inheemse gebruik van coca in het land een internationale legale dekking geeft.

    > Zie ook: Wij zijn schijnheilig over coca kauwen, NRC Handelsblad Opinie, 17 januari 2013

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  • Objections to Bolivia's reservation to allow coca chewing in the UN conventions

    The United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Italy and Canada notified their objections
    Tom Blickman
    Friday, January 4, 2013

    support-coca-chewingSweden joined the United States and the United Kingdom in objecting to the re-accession of Bolivia to the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs after Bolivia had denounced the convention and asked for re-accession with a reservation that allows for the traditional age-old ancestral habit of coca chewing in the country. Italy and Canada also objected, but the objection of Sweden is particularly disturbing.

    Foglia di coca, la congiura degli ipocriti, versione in italiana

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  • Portugal: Ten years after decriminalization

    Drug use did not skyrocket in the years following decriminalization
    Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU)
    Monday, November 26, 2012

    portugal-hcluIn 2001, a small European country, Portugal, took a brave step, changing its drug policies and refocussing its efforts away from arresting and criminalising drug users, towards smart public health interventions. How did the political establishment of a Catholic-Conservative country come to such an agreement about decriminalization? How does the system work? Is it effective?

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  • UN International Guiding Principles on Alternative Development: Part II

    Coletta Youngers
    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

    icad-peru-logoThe International Guiding Principles on Alternative Development approved last week at an international meeting in Lima, Peru, represents a lost opportunity to promote equitable economic development in some of the world’s poorest regions. The final document on the Guiding Principles bears little resemblance to the document that was originally drafted in November 2011 in Thailand by a group of more than 100 governmental and non-governmental experts.

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  • An opportunity lost

    Guiding Principles on Alternative Development and the ICAD Conference in Lima Peru
    Pien Metaal
    Monday, November 19, 2012

    At the International Conference on Alternative Development (ICAD), held in Lima from 14 to 16 November, the Peruvian Government supported by the UNODC claimed that currently in Peru the surface planted with alternative development crops is superior to the amount of coca, used for the production of cocaine. Allegedly, the 80 thousand hectares with cocoa and coffee have successfully replaced an illicit economy, or prevented it to establish itself.

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  • The will of the voters

    Colorado and Washington have put legal marijuana on the map
    John Walsh
    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    yes-ballot2012Now that the voters in Colorado and Washington have approved marijuana legalization initiatives, attention has turned quickly to questions surrounding implementation—and in particular to speculation over how the federal government might react. This is entirely understandable, since it is no secret that the newly approved state initiatives conflict with federal law.

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  • Disproportionate penalties for drug offenses in Mexico

    Study shows that federal resources are dedicated to the investigation, prosecution, and conviction of minor drug-related cases
    Catalina Pérez Correa Kristel Mucino
    Monday, November 12, 2012

    The story of the Mexican drug war has generally focused on the violence perpetrated by drug cartels and the apparent inability to bring so many criminals to justice. Unfortunately—while it’s true many have evaded justice—there remain many more people who use drugs and those with very low levels of involvement in the drug trade, who have been swept up in recent crackdowns.

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