Drugs Policies

TNI has been working for a radical reform of international drugs policies since 1998 and runs an internationally respected Drugs and Democracy Programme. TNI's call for a new paradigm to tackle drug abuse based on harm reduction, effective alternative development programmes, revision of International Drug Control conventions and full respect for human rights has gained increasing support from civil society, governments and international institutions.

Conference: Potent Substances: on the Boundaries of Food and Medicine

September 2010

Potent Substances will engage historians, anthropologists, scientists and policy‐makers in conversation about the boundaries of food and pharmacy. Three days will be devoted to the following sub‐themes: Old Food and Drugs for New; Boundaries and Expertise; and Arts and the Environment. The long‐term aims are to offer policy and practice recommendations on the boundaries of food and pharmacy relevant to high priority current and likely future challenges, drawing on the interdisciplinary knowledge of the conference participants.


Southeast Asia Informal Drug Policy Dialogue 2010, Bangkok

August 2010

Final report on the Southeast Asian Informal Drug Policy Dialogue, an initiative of TNI and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), that took place in Bangkok, 2010.

Development first: lessons learned in promoting rural development and reducing illicit crop cultivation in Afghanistan and the Andes

December 2009

Organised by The Washington Office on Latin America

In cooperation with

Senator Bob Menendez
Chairman, Subcommittee on International Development
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations


Representative John Tierney
Chairman, Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform


Tom Kramer
Researcher, Drugs and Democracy Program, Transnational Institute (TNI)

Redefining Targets

December 2009

Afghanistan remains the world’s largest producer of opium and has an under-reported but growing heroin-use problem. Current drug control policies in Afghanistan are unrealistic, reflecting a need for immediate signs of hope rather than a serious analysis of the underlying causes and an effort to achieve long-term solutions.

Burma's Cease-fires at Risk

September 2009

In August the Burma army occupied the Kokang region after several days of fighting, ending two decades of cease-fire with the ethnic minority group. The resumption of fighting in northern Burma raises speculation about the other cease-fires. Tensions are rising and the cease-fire groups have put their armed forces on high alert.

Neither War nor Peace report cover

Burma: Neither War Nor Peace

July 2009

Whilst a twenty year ceasefire still holds, there is unlikely to be peace and democracy in Burma without a political settlement that addresses ethnic minority needs and goals.

Coca Myths

Anthony Henman
June 2009

The present issue of Drugs & Conflict intends to debunk and disentangle the most prominent myths surrounding the coca leaf. It aims to clear the air and help steer the debate towards a more evidence-based judgement of the issues.

Towards a world market for coca leaf?

Pien Metaal
June 2009

When we think of people like Pope Paul VI, the Queen of Spain or Britain’s Princess Anne, most of us do not think of them as criminals. But that is what they are, under the current international drug law. Their crime? They all sipped coca tea on their arrival to the Bolivian capital La Paz. Bolivia is planning to submit a formal request to the UN to declassify coca as a narcotic drug, emphasizing in its arguments the traditional uses, such as the chewing of the leaf.

Harvesting trees to make ecstasy drug

February 2009

In June 2008, the Cambodian government set up a media show, burning 1,278 drums of safrole-rich oil—a key ingredient in the manufacture of the illicit recreational drug ecstasy—with the help of the Australian Federal Police (AFP). The amount of oil could have been used to make an estimated 245 million ecstasy tablets with a street value of $7.6 billion in Australia, the AFP claimed. While thick black plumes of smoke went into the air, Australian police officers, who had traveled to Cambodia to assist in the public burning, looked on wearing chemical suits and breathing apparatus.

Withdrawal Symptoms Briefing

August 2008

This TNI briefing aims at contributing to a better understanding of current market dynamics in Southeast Asia, essential for designing more effective and sustainable policy responses consistent with human rights and harm reduction principles.


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