Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes, Diana Esther Guzmán, Jorge Parra Norato
31 December 2012
In Latin America, trafficking cocaine so it can be sold to someone who wants to use it is more serious than raping a woman or deliberately killing your neighbor. While it may seem incredible, that is the conclusion of a rigorous study of the evolution of criminal legislation in the region, which shows that countries’ judicial systems mete out harsher penalties for trafficking even modest amounts of drugs than for acts as heinous as sexual assault or murder.
Tourists will not be banned from a majority of the Netherlands’ cannabis cafes, despite new residency requirements which came into effect on January 1, according to a survey by NOS television. Coffee shops are required by law to ensure only official residents of the Netherlands are allowed to buy cannabis. However, the legislation gives scope for "local circumstances" to be taken into account. A survey by The Amsterdam Herald found more than a dozen municipalities are not planning to enforce the rule that customers must show evidence that they live in the Netherlands. (See also: Foreigners still welcome in Dutch coffeeshops)
Mexico is the Latin American country that has bore the highest costs from the War on Drugs, suffering from high national rates of violence, corruption in state institutions, and an increase in the power of organised crime groups. As with other countries in the region, implementation of a prohibitionist drug law approach has had the adverse effect of increasing the number of people held in prison for minor drug offences. This page summarises the latest developments in the debate on drug law and drug policy in Mexico.
The three UN Drug Conventions of 1961, 1971 and 1988 currently impose a ‘one-size-fits-all’ prohibitionist approach to drug policy throughout the world. This new report explains in detail how the Conventions could be amended in order to give countries greater freedom to adopt drug policies better suited to their special needs.
India’s strict narcotics laws have been ineffective. Supply and demand for all narcotic and synthetic drugs has risen rapidly after the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) in 1985. All the police does is arrest the most defenceless in the drug chain — drug users, and those who sell small quantities to pay for their addiction.
By legalizing marijuana through direct democracy, Colorado and Washington have fundamentally changed the national conversation about cannabis. As many as 58 percent of Americans believe marijuana should be legal. The political establishment is catching on. Former president Jimmy Carter endorsed taxed-and-regulated weed. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy suggested "to amend the Federal Controlled Substances Act to allow possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, at least in jurisdictions where it is legal under state law."
A settlement deal with the British banking giant HSBC is the ultimate insult to every ordinary person who's ever had his life altered by a narcotics charge. Despite the fact that HSBC admitted to laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels (among others) and violating a host of important banking laws (from the Bank Secrecy Act to the Trading With the Enemy Act), the Justice Department elected not to pursue criminal prosecutions of the bank, opting instead for a "record" financial settlement of $1.9 billion, which as one analyst noted is about five weeks of income for the bank.
The Indian Ideology, is a scathing critique of the dominant celebratory discourse of the Idea of India, or the lionising of the democratic stability, multi-cultural unity and impartial secularity of the Indian state as a miracle. In an e-mail interview with columnist and writer Praful Bidwai, Anderson discusses his book at length.
Le président du groupe de l’Istiqlal à la Chambre des Représentants, Noureddine Mediane, évoque la nécessité pour l’Etat de revoir son système répressif contre les 200.000 familles vivant du cannabis. "La culture du cannabis est toujours considérée comme un sujet tabou au Maroc. Je pense que nous devons rompre avec cet état d’esprit. D’où mon idée de lancer un débat national sur cette culture si répandue dans notre pays. Ce débat doit trancher si nous devons maintenir cette culture ou la faire disparaître définitivement."
Praful Bidwai in an interview explains the main issues at play in current UN climate negotiations, the role of emerging economies, and suggests ideas on how to create political will for effective action in North and South.
A small club of international law firms, arbitrators and financial speculators are fuelling an investment arbitration boom that is costing taxpayers billions of dollars and preventing legislation in the public interest.
The Union minister U Tin Naing Thein called for suggestions on urbanization projects, housing plans for the increased population and plans for homeless persons. He stressed the need to put emphasis on ensuring better socioeconomic status of rural people who make up 70 per cent of the total population and laying down farmland and land use policies.
Colorado marijuana activists, empowered after backing a successful legalization effort in the state, are in the midst of a dialogue about how far to press their success. At a recent forum, advocates talked about whether the movement should continue to step lightly in Colorado politics — being accommodating toward law enforcement and welcoming of strict regulations — or act like a political powerhouse.