• Crises and radical thinking on drug policy

    Reform has always been a “two-steps forward, one-step back” undertaking
    Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch, director of Open Society Foundations Global Drug Policy Program
    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    It’s sad that drug policy reform must always be wrapped tragedy but alas – in the context of drugs – crisis has historically been the mother of invention. It was in the face of thousands of overdoses and the highest HIV prevalence in Western Europe that Switzerland introduced effective heroin-prescription programmes, safe injection facilities, needle and syringe-exchange programmes and low-threshold methadone services.

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  • Between collective organisation and commercialisation

    The Cannabis Social Clubs at the cross-roads
    Martín Barriuso Alonso
    Thursday, August 9, 2012

    fumadores-cannabisThe last few years have witnessed a boom in new cannabis user associations in Spain. Although there are no reliable figures for them, most are known to have been created for the collective cultivation of marihuana crops, and are now several hundred-strong. They are mainly found in Catalonia, which is also home to the largest of them: some have existed for only a short time but already have several thousand members.

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  • AIDS 2012 – Time for courage if we are going to turn the tide

    The criminalisation of sex work and drug use fuels the HIV epidemic
    Ann Fordham, Executive Director of IDPC
    Wednesday, August 1, 2012

    hivisnotacrimeAs a participant at last week’s 19th International HIV/AIDS Conference, I was reminded of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s and UNDP Administrator Helen Clark’s call to arms earlier in July that there is a new prescription for the AIDS response: ‘courage is needed’.

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  • Cannabis regulation in Uruguay: "Someone has to be first ..."

    A sophisticated debate on how to manage drug-related problems is underway in Latin America. Will the UN drug control system stay stuck in denial?
    John Walsh Martin Jelsma
    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Uruguay may be poised to become the first country to opt for a state controlled and legally regulated cannabis market for medical as well as recreational purposes, including cultivation and distribution. Announced on June 20, Uruguay’s brave proposal might indeed become the historical breakthrough in the drug policy stalemate that many around the world have been waiting and hoping for. As Uruguayan President José Mujica aptly put it, “someone has to be first.”

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  • Czech Republic exemplifies smart and humane drug policy

    Joanne Csete (OSI Global Drug Policy Program)
    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    prague-clock-tower2There is nothing politically easier in most countries than scapegoating drugs and drug users as the source of all social problems. Politicians can expect a boost in their popularity when they support repressive measures against drugs and are dismissive of public services for people who use illicit drugs.

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  • Cannabis reaches parliament

    The debate on regulating Cannabis Social Clubs in the Basque country
    Martín Barriuso Alonso
    Tuesday, June 26, 2012

    martin-barriuso-pass-flatOn 19 June, 2012, the Ganjazz Art Club in Donostia, one of the oldest Cannabis Social Clubs in Spain, received a visit that was unimaginable a few years earlier: a group of members of the autonomous regional Basque parliament on official business. Its goal was to find out how one of these cannabis users’ associations, that have proliferated over the past few years, operates.

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  • International 'anti-drug' summit in Peru attempts to maintain drug war status quo: Will it succeed?

    Coletta Youngers John Walsh
    Saturday, June 23, 2012

    hasta-la-madreThe global debate on drug policy is getting more interesting, due in no small part to initiatives from Latin America. The Uruguayan government’s June 20 announcement that it will propose legislation to create a legal, regulated market for marijuana is just the latest development to challenge business as usual in the “war on drugs.” The question of alternatives to the drug war took center stage at the Summit of the Americas in Colombia in April, which culminated in an announcement by President Santos tasking the Organization of American States (OAS) with evaluating present policies and laying out other possible options.

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  • Uruguayan government announces unprecedented plan for legal, regulated arijuana markets

    Coletta Youngers
    Saturday, June 23, 2012

    legalizar-uruguay-2012cIn the latest challenge from Latin America to drug war orthodoxy, on June 20, 2012, the Uruguayan government unveiled a proposal that, if adopted by the country’s legislature, would create legal, government-controlled markets for marijuana, as part of a broader strategy to improve citizen security and focus greater attention on the use of harder drugs. The market would be highly regulated, with strict age limits and prohibitions on public use.

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  • Next year we hope to evaluate the implementation of a new Drug Law

    Intercambios
    Friday, June 15, 2012

    intercambios-10“Next year we hope to evaluate the implementation of a new Drug Law”. Graciela Touzé, president of Intercambios, expressed this in the closing remarks of the 10th Conference on Drug Policy that took place this past June 7th in the Senate of the Nation. Throughout the conference it was clear that the officials at the national level are in agreement over decriminalization, that the representatives have come to a consensus on a proposal, and that there exist serious weaknesses in the development of treatments for drug users.

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  • Government opposes Copenhagen City Council on cannabis shops

    In Parliament majority in favour of decriminalization unlikely
    Tom Blickman
    Monday, May 28, 2012

    hash-kobenhavnThe pilot project to have state-run hash and marijuana dispensaries in Copenhagen received a setback after the Justice Ministry turned down the City Council's request to experiment with regulating cannabis in the city. In a letter to the Council, the social-democrat Minister of Justice, Morten Bødskov, wrote that the government will not permit the experiment as they believe that regulating hash and marijuana would likely increase both availability and use, which was unwise given the range of side effects that cannabis has been linked to.

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