Debate on alternatives to the war on drugs, which TNI has promoted for years, is finally received unprecedented attention as several Latin America presidents put it on the agenda of the highest level intergovernmental meeting in the hemisphere.
The Chinese Government's opium substitution programmes in northern Burma and Laos have prompted a booming rubber industry, but the beneficiaries have been a small few with many others losing their lands as a result.
This report summarises the lessons of TNI's 10 years of work in the field of international drug policy, emphasising drug controls that respect human rights: the rights of farmers caught in the illicit economy to a life in dignity; decriminalisation of drug use; and the promotion of harm reduction approaches where they are proven to save lives.
The 2008 UN World Drug Report tries to hide the failures of drug control policy behind a bad history lesson. Instead of a clear acknowledgement that the UN’s own 10-year targets have not been met, it offers a narrative of 100 years of success, fabricating a comparison with Chinese opium production and use at the turn of the 20th century.