The seventh meeting of the Informal Drug Policy Dialogues in Latin America took place in Montevideo, Uruguay. The first Informal Dialogue also took place in Montevideo in September 2007. The meeting was supported by Uruguay’s National Drug Board (Junta Nacional de Drogas, or JND). The two days of dialogue were divided into four sessions that centered on the following issues: (1) Micro-trafficking and proportionality of sentences; (2) Challenges to reforming drug policies; (3) Marijuana in Latin America: Has the time come to open the debate?; and (4) Options and debates in international and regional organizations. There was also a discussion on the impact of the decriminalization of drug consumption in Portugal.
The eighth meeting of the Informal Drug Policy Dialogue series took place in Lisbon on January 21-22, 2011, a joint initiative of Transnational Institute (TNI) and Diogenis, Drug Policy Dialogue in South East Europe that has replaced the Andreas Papandreou Foundation (APF) in co-operation with the Portuguese Institute on Drugs and Drug Addiction (IDT). Over 50 policy makers, practitioners, academics, and representatives from NGOs and governmental organisations attended the meeting, and discussed the Portuguese decriminalisation model, cannabis policy reform, and the agenda and global initiatives at the 54th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
Prior to the Dialogue an Expert Seminar on Threshold Quantities was held in cooperation with the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drugs Addiction (EMCDDA). The issues under discussion were the advantages and disadvantages of threshold quantities as a policy and legislative tool and it was hoped that this seminar would provide a springboard to inform current debate and to assist the elaboration of evidence-based drug law reform proposals now and in the future.
Intercambios Civil Association and the Social Sciences School of the University of Buenos Aires launched the book “Encarcelamientos por delitos relacionados con estupefacientes en Argentina” (Imprisonment for drugs related offenses in Argentina) by Alejandro Corda on the 29th of August, 2011.
Two years after the Declaration of Latin Judges in Oporto, in line with the report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy in June 2011, judges from several Latin countries drafted the Rome Declaration insisting that the “global war on drugs” has been a failure in view of the very serious consequences it has entailed for individuals and society worldwide.
Martin Jelsma, Tom Blickman and Pien Metaal participated in the Fifth Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy, ISSDP Conference 2011, organized by Trimbos Institute in Utrecht (The Netherlands) the 23 and 24 of May.
The year 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the bedrock of the current UN drug control system. TNI will host a side event at the 54th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. Several speakers will critically examine the significance and shortcomings of the Convention, explain how plants and traditional use are treated under its provisions, and discuss the current state of affairs of Bolivia's amendment proposal on coca chewing.
The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the Transnational Institute (TNI) invited a group of 20 experts for a round-table discussion at the WOLA office in Washington DC . The main question on the table: can the concept of “harm reduction” be applied to supply-oriented challenges to better address the harms associated with illicit drug production and distribution, but also minimize the harms that stem from drug control itself?