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    Drug users and the law in the EU

    • European Monitoring Centre for Drugs, Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)
    01 March 2002

    dif0302Drug laws in the European Union (EU) seek continuously to strike a balance between punishment and treatment. The three United Nations (UN) conventions on drugs, limit drug use exclusively to medical or scientific purposes. While they do not call for illicit use of drugs to be considered a crime, the 1988 Convention — as a step towards tackling international drug trafficking — does identify possession for personal use to be regarded as such.

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    A State Terrorist, Still at Large

    Murray Karpen
    12 January 2002
    Article

    A little over 25 years ago, my daughter, Ronni Karpen Moffitt, was murdered by Chilean terrorists in Washington. This past summer one of those terrorists was freed after serving his prison term.

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    Against Dictators: Use Law, not War

    John Cavanagh
    13 December 2002
    Article

    The argument over what action to take against Saddam Hussein is driven by the rhetoric of war. But can peaceful, legal action against Iraq's ruthless dictator be effective? The long campaign to bring Augusto Pinochet of Chile to justice offers an encouraging precedent.

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    Recent developments regarding drug law and policy in Germany and the European Community

    • Lorenz Böllinger
    21 March 2002

    publicationRecent developments in drug policy can be regarded as taking place in stages based on certain changeable paradigms: the abstinence paradigm, the medicalization paradigm and the acceptance paradigm. For the time being there seems to be a slow transition from the first to the latter, implying that elements of all three are presently active in a diversity of policies and strategies, differing between states and regions of the German federal state and the European Union as well as between different levels of drug policy and drug care.

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    New Dawn in Brazil

    Marcos Arruda
    01 December 2002
    Article
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    Decriminalization of Drug Use in Portugal

    • Mirjam van het Loo, Ineke van Beusekom, James P. Kahan
    01 July 2002

    publicationDrug use is an increasing problem in Portugal. In response, following the advice of a select committee, the Portuguese government has recently issued a number of laws implementing a strong harm-reductionistic orientation. The flagship of these laws is the decriminalization of the use and possession for use of drugs.

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    Conflict flares in the Bolivian tropics

    • Drugs and Democracy
    01 January 2002
    Policy briefing

    An impressive reduction of the coca-cultivated area has been achieved within the framework of Plan Dignidad, but this ‘success’ has exacted a heavy toll in terms of the impoverishment and criminalisation of the Bolivian coca leaf-growing peasantry, or cocaleros, as they are known.

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    Arms are not Tomatoes

    Martin Broek
    01 September 2002
    Article
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    Geopolitics, Globalization and Alternative Regionalisms

    Thomas E. Reifer
    01 September 2002
    Article
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    A Failed Balance

    • Martin Jelsma, Ricardo Vargas
    01 March 2002

    In the area of failed alternative development (AD) projects, the Andean region has its sorry share to contribute. The constant peasant uprisings n the Bolivian Chapare and the social tensions rife among cocalero peasants in the South of Colombia are woeful indicators of such failure. In January, TNI attended a conference in Germany, hosted by the German government and UNDCP. The purpose was to critically evaluate experiences in AD and draw conclusions for its future.

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    In 1961, the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs prohibited planting crops having no medical or scientific purpose, fixing a period of 15 years - for opium - and 25 years - for coca - as deadlines for their ultimate extinction. Those targets were clearly not met. In 1998, ignoring decades of lack of success in addressing the issue of illicit crops, the UN set the year 2008 as yet another deadline by which to eliminate coca and opium. At the UN Special Session on drugs, AD was identified as a key instrument to be used in fulfilling this objective, as part of an integral anti-drugs strategy. The strategy's other components were eradication and law enforcement. Experience has demonstrated that the simultaneous use of these means - commonly known as the 'carrot and stick approach'- is counterproductive.

    This issue of Drugs & Conflict is dedicated to this central theme in international drug control policies. Supply reduction, one of AD's objectives, has proven a failure in the Andean region. To what was this failure due? What may be expected of AD programmes in the future, given the accumulated experiences?

    In reference to eradication pacts and AD projects undertaken in the Putumayo (Colombia), Ricardo Vargas points out that there is no fair compensation between what is expected of peasants: destroying the main source of their livelihood, and what the state offers them in exchange: non-viable projects doomed to fail and the impending threat of fumigation should deadlines not be met. International anti-drugs policy forces the Colombian government to measure its results by the number of hectares eradicated, without regard for the region's specific development conditions.

    State institutions in Colombia have no capacity to operate effectively in the Putumayo. Locked into a crisis combining US pressure to intensify aerial spraying, a collapsed peace process and guerrilla action against the economic and services infrastructure, the central government is not in a position to guarantee the adequate running of AD programmes. To add fuel to fire, there is now the argument that finance for terrorism must be combated. This further erodes the social and economic rights of the peasants and down-plays the impact of aerial spraying on health and the environment.

    In spite of widespread recognition of the failure of current 'carrot and stick' policies (a mixture of AD and repression), a 'zero option' mentality persists and deceit about success still abounds. The final declaration issued at the German policy conference is not radical in this sense. It does, however, offer some leaps forward in terms of fine tuning the AD concept, based on a better understanding of livelihood decision making processes, the importance of regular evaluations and, the acceptance of the reality that the communities most affected have not been allowed to participate sufficiently in their own development process. The declaration also manages to define somewhat more precisely the troublesome balance between AD and repressive law enforcement. It is worth noting that the UNDCP participated actively in the conference, displaying real willingness to seriously exchange opinions on these issues. This yields a modicum of optimism regarding the possibility that international bodies can learn to identify best practices and see the need to separate these from the current repressive policies, increasingly recognised as more harmful than drugs themselves.

  12. European Cannabis Policies Under Attack

    • Tom Blickman
    01 April 2002
    Policy briefing

    A strong attack against the European practice of 'leniency' regarding cannabis use and possession took place at the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) session (11-15 March, 2002) in Vienna. There was an orchestrated attempt to pass a CND resolution to put a dam against the 'leniency'.

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    Public Management Success in Rio Grande do Sul

    Dieter Wartchow
    01 May 2002
    Article
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    Water in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Accountable, Effective, Sustainable and Democratic

    David Hall, Emanuele Lobina, Odete Maria Viero, Helio Maltz
    01 August 2002
    Article
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    Globalisation from the Middle? Reflections from a Margin

    Peter Waterman
    01 November 2002
    Article
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    Anti-Davos Gets Up Steam

    Boris Kagarlitsky
    05 February 2002
    Article
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    Who Controls EU Trade and Investment?

    Olivier Hoedeman
    01 September 2002
    Article
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    European Water Corporations and the Privatization of Asian Water Resources

    Charles Santiago, Monitoring Sustainability of Globalization (MSN), Malaysia
    01 September 2002
    Article
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    Another Integration is Possible: Sovereignity Yes, FTAA No!

    Marcos Arruda, Sarah Anderson
    01 November 2002
    Article

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