The aim of this review is to provide an overview and analysis of the contents of the 2010 UNODC World Drug Report and highlight a number of key issues of interest and concern. The authors begin with a critique of Mr. Costa’s contribution to the publication and often the only part of the 300-page document that receives significant attention: the Executive Director’s Foreword. They also reflect briefly upon his tenure at the UNODC between 2002 and 2010.
Foreign minister Maria Angela Holguín’s statement of last Sunday 10 October is of great importance. According to this statement, Colombia should take the discussion about the drugs policy to a global level and to the UN’s Security Council. According to her criteria it doesn’t make sense that whilst certain developed countries decriminalize and legalize certain use, we continue to “imprison peasants who own half a hectare of coca leaf cultivation”.
In all the important international forums – the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, CICAD, UNASUR, MERCOSUR, the EU-LAC Co-operation Mechanism – Uruguay has maintained an unwavering position, arguing for the need and the democratic right to launch a debate that should lead to the current war on drugs model being consigned to the past.
The economic, social and environmental crises have exposed the current dominant economic model as unsustainable. Now is the time to be proposing alternatives and demonstrating in practice how they could work.
In the context of recent regional and hemispheric developments, also in Chile the issue of legalizing marijuana has become prominent at the level of the media, academia and civil society organizations in general.
The Reclaiming Public Water (RPW) Network held its first global strategy seminar since the network was launched in autumn 2005. See the inspiring and informative video debate amongst global social movement leaders as they assess progress and challenges in the dynamic international movement to reclaim Public Water.
Understanding the consequences of drug legalisation versus prohibition is important for policy. Most recently this subject has gained much political attention not only globally, but specifically in the Netherlands. This study will provide a contribution to the legalisation debate based on a microeconomic analysis of the effects of illegal markets. The research question is how to design a coherent soft drugs policy framework that maximizes social welfare within the Netherlands that precludes most historical, sociological and political debates. In particular, attention is restricted to ‘soft drugs’ better known as cannabis derived products like hashish and marijuana.
Researchers, research funders and policymakers should give greater voice to the risks and harms associated with particular cannabis policies and to the evaluation of alternative regulatory frameworks. Given the decades of research and experience with cannabis prohibition, it seems reasonable to reorient the cannabis policy debate based on known policy-attributable harms rather than to continue to speculate on questions of causality between cannabis use and mental illnesses such as psychosis, depression, and related disorders, that will not be definitively answered any time soon
Dan Werb, Greg Rowell, Gordon Guyatt, Thomas Kerr, Julio Montaner, Evan Wood
01 April 2010
This report consists of a scientific review that illustrates the relationship between drug law enforcement and drug-related violence. Violence is among the primary concerns of communities around the world, and research from many settings has demonstrated clear links between violence and the illicit drug trade, particularly in urban settings. While violence has traditionally been framed as resulting from the effects of drugs on individual users (e.g., drug-induced psychosis), violence in drug markets and in drug-producing areas such as Mexico is increasingly understood as a means for drug gangs to gain or maintain a share of the lucrative illicit drug market.
The California ballot initiative that would have legalized marijuana under state law was defeated at the polls Tuesday, garnering about 46 percent of the vote. Over the course of the campaign, the measure achieved notoriety in Latin America , and provoked anxiety on the part of the Colombian and Mexican governments in particular. WOLA has long promoted more effective and humane drug policies in the Americas, and in recent years we have seen the debate begin to open, not least in response to Prop 19. So what does Prop 19's defeat foretell for the debate over alternatives to marijuana prohibition?
The 53rd Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was a rather uneventful event. After the High Level Segment in 2009, the final agreement on the new Political Declaration and the unprecedented addition of an Interpretative Statement on harm reduction, this year’s CND would be a generally low-key affair. One of the most controversial issues were the comments of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) on the trend to decriminalize possession for personal use in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. Both Argentina and Mexico voiced strong objections. This CND also was marked by the imminent departure of Mr. Costa as Executive Director of the nited Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Transnational Institute, Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
24 February 2010
The UN's International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) annual report released today, which criticizes Argentina, Brazil and Mexico for moving to decriminalize the possession of drugs for personal consumption, clearly oversteps the INCB's mandate and constitutes unwarranted intrusions into these countries' sovereign decision-making.