• Drugs and violence in the Northern Triangle

    The upsurge in violence in Central America’s Northern Triangle is often named in one breath with the drugs market. While violence clearly thrives from an illegal trade met with exclusively repressive state responses, assumptions on cause and effect are frequently flawed or blurred.
  • June 26, International Day against Drug Abuse and Illic...

    June 26 is the United Nations' International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Activists across the world gather under the banner "Support, Don't Punish: Global Day of Action".
  • Scheduling in the international drug control system

    Scheduling is mostly priotised in it's repressive pole, though present debates are increasingly highlighting the need to modify the balance of the system in order to affirm the importance of the principle of health.
  • Bouncing Back

    TNI's indepth examination of the illegal drug market in the Golden Triangle, which has a witnessed a doubling of opium production, growing prison populations and repression of small-scale farmers. This report details the failure of ASEAN's 'drug free' strategy and the need for a new approach.
  • The Rise and Decline of Cannabis Prohibition

    Cannabis was condemned by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as a psychoactive drug with “particularly dangerous properties” and hardly any therapeutic value. Ever since, an increasing number of countries have shown discomfort with the treaty regime’s strictures through soft defections, stretching its legal flexibility to sometimes questionable limits.

TNI’s Drugs & Democracy programme has been analysing trends in the illegal drugs market and global drug policies. It has gained an international reputation as one of the leading drug policy research institutes and as a serious critical watchdog of UN drug control institutions. Read more about this project

Articles

Reforming the global drug-control system: The stakes for Washington

Washington's new narrative defends the integrity of the UN drug control conventions, while allowing more flexible interpretations
See video

Cannabis regulation and UN treaty reform

2nd European Harm Reduction Conference 2014 in Basel; "Cannabis regulation and UN treaty reform", speech by Martin Jelsma, Transnational Institute, Amsterdam

Repressive policies only stoking Asean's drug problem

The strategy of Asean's 10 member countries to become "drug free" by 2015 is failing dramatically. In the last decade, opium cultivation in the region has doubled, drug use -- especially of methamphetamines, a powerful synthetic stimulant -- has increased significantly, and there remain strong links between drugs, conflict, crime and corruption.

Publications

Drugs, armed conflict and peace

This policy briefing analyses the results of the partial agreement on drugs reached at the talks being held in Havana between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, and the Colombian government.

Cocaine: towards a self-regulation model

Grazia Zuffa
By taking cues from users’ self-regulation strategies, it is possible to design innovative operational models for drug services as well as drug policies, strengthening Harm Reduction as an alternative approach to the disease model.

Informal Drug Policy Dialogue 2014, Athens

The eleventh Informal Drug Policy Dialogue took place in Athens. Topics amongst others were the national drug policy and drug situation in Greece, current affairs in Vienna,  global cannabis policy developments and the upcoming UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs in 2016.  

Events

July 2014

Has the US' War on Drugs Been Lost?

The paradox of the "repressive-only" approach - the tougher the government acts, the more profitable the drug trade becomes - is being increasingly pointed out by the media, opinion leaders, and politicians. Does Europe have an approach, and is it any more effective than the American one?
May 2014

Mind Your Eye 2014

This year the Mind Your Eye conference will deal with the impact the drug problem has on businesses and on security, as well with alternatives to deal with the drug problem.
May 2014

Global Experiences with Harm Reduction for Stimulants and New Psychoactive Substances

The objective of this seminar is to compare the findings on innovative tools for the prevention of problematic cocaine use patterns, with experiences with harm reduction measures for stimu­lants in other regions of world.

News

Heroin returns to Golden Triangle

2 June 2014
Poppy cultivation has rapidly expanded in the Myanmar and Laos parts of the Golden Triangle, to feed new demands for heroin, chiefly in China, according to a report released Monday."After a decade of decline, Southeast Asia is now once again a major opium growing region," it claims.

Policy Reform Needed to Stem Burma’s Resurgent Drug Trade

2 June 2014
The resurgence of the illicit drugs trade in Burma in recent years is the result of flawed drug control policies by Burma and its neighbors, a new report says. It urges regional governments to reform their repressive policies in order to better address the trade’s underlying causes, such as rural poverty, and the impact of a rise in drug use.

Regional anti-drug policies exacerbating problem: study

2 June 2014
The steep rise is opium cultivation across Southeast Asia and its associated problems over the past five years is being encouraged by draconian anti-drug policies instituted as part ASEAN's strategy to become "drug-free" by 2015, a non-government organisation says in a new report.