Burma/Myanmar is undergoing yet another humanitarian crisis while entering a new critical political stage. In the Kokang region, an opium ban was enforced in 2003, and since mid-2005 no more poppy growing has been allowed in the Wa region. Banning opium in these Shan State regions where most of the Burmese opiates were produced, adds another chapter to the long and dramatic history of drugs, conflict and human suffering.
More than 90 environment, development, human rights, and anti-debt organizations from around the world want the Bank to have no say in setting up this key new tool for helping poor nations address climate change.
The municipality of the Dutch city of Utrecht recently announced two scientific experiments on cannabis policy. One experiment will be to set up a closed club model for adult recreational cannabis users. Cannabis smokers will grow their own marijuana in a cooperative, a move which would go against the government's drive to discourage coffee shops. The other experiment concerns treatment for people who are vulnerable to psychotic disorders.
The peoples of North Africa and the Middle East are looking for less, not greater militarisation of their countries. It is time for U.S. policy to recognize that reality and reject proposals for a 'no fly' zone.
Debate over the 10-year-plus war in Afghanistan tends to focus on how and when it "can be won," obscuring the fundamental question of whether it was morally acceptable in the first place. Now as the US gets closer to consolidating its imperial presence in the region for decades to come, the high cost to the Afghani people continues to be ignored.
TNI has been closely involved with the Global Commission on Drug Policy which presented its report in New York on June 2. Some years ago we published a report, entitled Cracks in the Vienna Consensus in which we argued that cracks were appearing in the supposedly universal model under the UN treaty system. In reality, the global system is based on a highly fragile consensus of Vienna, where the UN drug control system is headquartered, and the painstaking negotiations every year to keep up the appearance of unity have become the symbol of paralysis and frustration.
The parliamentary report recommends “controlled legalisation” of the cultivation and consumption of cannabis in France. The report, compiled by a working group of the Socialist Party, headed by the former minister of the Interior Daniel Vaillaint, recommends that the cultivation and sale of cannabis should become a state-controlled activity, like the sale of alcohol and tobacco, and concluded that the government cannot continue to “advocate the illusion of abstinence”.See also: Légaliser le cannabis, mode d’emploi, Journal du Dimanche, 16 Juin 2011 (in French)
Under legislation spearheaded by the conservative government, only Dutch residents will be allowed to enter cannabis-selling coffeeshops. The Dutch government announced on Friday, 27 May, that it will push ahead with plans requiring those purchasing marijuana in the country’s coffeeshops to first obtain an official pass — a move designed to curtail tourists from buying the drug. The announcement hit the international headlines.
Distinguishing between drug possession for personal use and supply and trafficking is widely acknowledged as one of the most difficult and controversial issues facing drug legislators and policy makers.
The free market approach to food security has depended too heavily on an unsustainable system of cheap food imports and high fossil-fuel consumption. It's time to counter this by supporting environmentally efficient small farms, and increasing investment in agro-ecological research.
The breakdown in the ceasefire of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) with the central government represents a major failure in national politics and threatens to escalate to serious humanitarian crisis if not immediately addressed.
The seventh meeting of the Informal Drug Policy Dialogues in Latin America took place in Montevideo. And centered on the following issues: Micro-trafficking and proportionality of sentences; Challenges to reforming drug policies; Marijuana in Latin America; and Options and debates in international and regional organizations.