The NeoConOpticon report, released by the Transnational Institute (TNI) and Statewatch, reveals the extent to which Europe’s largest defence and IT contractors are benefiting from a €1.4 billion EU “security research” programme that has the explicit aim of fostering a European Homeland Security industry to compete globally with the USA in a fast growing market.
The World Drug Report 2009 was the first publication of note to come from the UNODC since the High Level Segment of the 52nd session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. As such, it was eagerly anticipated for not only what it would say about the trends in world drug markets, but also what it might reveal about the outlook of the senior management of the Office itself after the UNGASS review.
The trend of "drug decriminalization" is quickly taking shape in Latin America. Increasingly, many countries are leaning toward decriminalization as an alternative approach, hoping that it will be effective both in reducing consumption and dealing with associated health problems.
Many countries in the region – most recently Mexico – have decriminalized small amounts of drugs for personal use. The moves have followed decisions by left-leaning governments to limit cooperation with the US in recent years.
Intercambios Asociación Civil applauds the attempt of the Supreme Court Judges to distance the criminal law from drug users, but warns that attention will have to be paid to how judges in the lower courts and police apply these criteria.
On August 25, 2009, Argentina’s Supreme Court of Justice of Argentina unanimously declared to be unconstitutional the second paragraph of Article 14 of the country’s drug control legislation (Law Number 23,737), which punishes the possession of drugs for personal consumption with prison sentences ranging from one month to two years (although education or treatment measures can be substitute penalties). According to the Court, the unconstitutionality of the article is applicable to cases of drug possession for personal consumption that does not affect others.
A City Council majority is backing a plan to legalise the sale of cannabis, which could see two thirds of the market taken away from criminal gangs. A memorandum drawn up by council staff, is proposing that state-licensed shops sell the drug in small quantities at 50 kroner per gram – similar to the current street price.
TNI’s Drugs & Democracy programme analyses drug policies and trends in the illicit drugs market. TNI examines the underlying causes of drug production and consumption and the impacts of current drug policies on conflict, development,and democracy. The programme facilitates dialogue and advocates evidence-based policies, guided by principles of harm reduction and human rights for users and producers.
How is it possible that in the 21st century the world has the capacity to feed every single human being on the planet, yet the majority of people in Africa and the rest of the Global South go rampantly hungry?