Search results

7 items
  1. Has the US just called for unilateral interpretation of multilateral obligations?

    Rick Lines, Damon Barrett
    17 December 2014

    These are interesting times for drug law reform, which, as it gathers pace, is asking important questions of international law. A UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs is set for 2016 just as national reforms are challenging international treaties that form the bedrock of a global prohibition regime that has dominated since the turn of the twentieth century. States parties to the three UN drug control conventions must now confront the legal and political dilemmas this creates. This is the situation in which the US now finds itself following cannabis reforms in various states that are at odds with these treaties.

  2. Into the breach: Drugs, control, and violating bad laws in good ways

    Rick Lines
    27 November 2014

    An October statement on drug control from the US State Department has prompted much comment and speculation at home and abroad. Delivered by Ambassador William Brownfield, the ‘Brownfield Doctrine’, as it has been named by some commentators, lays out a four pillar approach the United States will follow in matters of international drug control.

  3. Thumbnail

    Atracción fatal: la doctrina de la flexibilidad de Brownfield y la reforma global de las políticas de drogas

    Martin Jelsma, Damon Barrett
    19 November 2014

    Las reformas estatales sobre el cannabis, que han cobrado impulso este mes, han puesto al descubierto la incapacidad de los Estados Unidos para atenerse a las disposiciones del fundamento jurídico del sistema global de control de drogas: la Convención Única de 1961 sobre Estupefacientes. Esto es algo que debería propiciar un diálogo muy necesario sobre la reforma de unos acuerdos internacionales que tienen ya muchos años. Pero aunque aparentemente ‘acoge con satisfacción’ el debate sobre la reforma de las políticas de drogas a escala internacional, se trata de un diálogo que el Gobierno federal estadounidense de hecho desea evitar.

  4. Fatal attraction: Brownfield's flexibility doctrine and global drug policy reform

    Martin Jelsma, David Bewley-Taylor, Damon Barrett
    18 November 2014

    State-level cannabis reforms, which gathered steam this month, have exposed the inability of the United States to abide by the terms of the legal bedrock of the global drug control system; the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. This is something that should force a much-needed conversation about reform to long- standing international agreements. But while ostensibly 'welcoming' the international drug policy reform debate, it is a conversation the US federal government actually wishes to avoid.

  5. Pushing treaty limits?

    Wells C. Bennett
    19 October 2014

    Suppose the United States government helps to negotiate, and subsequently champions, certain framework treaties – ones justly viewed as imposing significant constraints on all signatories. Down the road, the United States occasionally even calls out counterparties for their looser policy innovations, when the latter push the outer boundaries of what’s permitted under the treaties; a treaty-created monitoring body does likewise in its annual reporting. This pattern essentially holds year in and year out and from one presidential administration to the next.

  6. brookings-paper

    Marijuana legalization is an opportunity to modernize international drug treaties

    • Wells Bennett, John Walsh
    14 October 2014

    Two U.S. states have legalized recreational marijuana, and more may follow; the Obama administration has conditionally accepted these experiments. Such actions are in obvious tension with three international treaties that together commit the United States to punish and even criminalize activity related to recreational marijuana. The administration asserts that its policy complies with the treaties because they leave room for flexibility and prosecutorial discretion.

  7. Thumbnail

    El control de drogas visto desde Washington

    Martin Jelsma
    09 July 2014

    william-brownfieldLa reforma al control de drogas que se está emprendiendo en las Américas, y que presiona los límites del marco jurídico mundial establecido en tres convenciones de la ONU, se ha convertido en un tema delicado. La despenalización de la tenencia para consumo personal en varios países de América Latina y el establecimiento de una sala supervisada para inyección en Vancouver, Canadá, han provocado disputas legales prolongadas con la Junta Internacional de Fiscalización de Estupefacientes (JIFE), el órgano cuasi-judicial para la aplicación de los convenios.