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.

Corruption in Afghanistan - Blame and shame

November 2009

If the international community is serious about dealing with corruption in Afghanistan, they need to revise their own dubious practices.

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.

Indigenous Rights in the Andes and Licit Uses of the Coca Leaf

December 2008

Some Andean governments and the region’s indigenous groups have sought to distinguish clearly between coca, a plant long used by indigenous peoples for health, religious and cultural purposes, and cocaine, an illicit drug. Yet both coca and cocaine have the same status in the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

The Bolivian government’s aim of declassifying coca as a narcotic drug under the UN Conventions has sparked significant international debate.

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.


'Successful' opium control a disaster for farmers and drug users, finds new study

August 2008
A significant decline in opium production in Burma and Laos, which has been heralded as a major success for international drug control policy, is having a devastating effect on farmers and is triggering worrying consequences for drug users according to a new report released today by the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute (TNI).

Report criticizes governments over consumption of coca leaf

March 2008

In a culturally insensitive and irrational move, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has called for the governments of Bolivia and Peru to abolish all uses of the coca leaf, including coca leaf chewing.

In its 2007 annual report, the INCB asks Bolivia and Peru to make possessing and using coca leaf criminal offenses--a move that would affect millions of people in the Andes and Amazon, according to the Transnational Institute (TNI), a group that studies drugs and conflict in the region.

Coca leaf is widely consumed in both countries, both as a part of daily life and in indi