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  1. Coca leaf: Myths and Reality

    • Tom Blickman
    05 August 2014
    Primer

    Many myths surround coca. Every day press accounts around the world use the word coca in their headlines, when in fact they refer to cocaine. TNI's Drugs and Democracy Team exposes the myths and reality surrounding the coca leaf.

  2. Drugs minister calls for legalising cannabis for medicinal use

    12 August 2014
    Other news

    Liberalised drug laws should be introduced to legalise the widespread use of cannabis to relieve symptoms of certain medical conditions, including the side effects of chemotherapy, the drugs minister Norman Baker will say. Amid concerns that "credible people" are having to break the law to secure the only substance that can help to relieve their condition, Baker is writing to the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to call for a review of the medicinal properties of cannabis.

  3. Costa Rica: A new model for prison standards in Latin America?

    28 August 2014
    Other news

    Prison overcrowding is a widespread problem in Latin America, primarily because of harsh drug-sentencing laws and inadequate budgets, but Costa Rica may be setting a useful example for dealing with it. In most countries, guards control the perimeter, but groups of prisoners or criminal gangs organize and control life inside the prison compound. Rehabilitation and re-integration programs are limited.

  4. Nonsense to arrest for a spliff

    Icaria Editorial
    11 August 2014
    Other news

    The attorney general, Patrick Atkinson, must move with dispatch to determine, as the justice minister, Mark Golding, suggests, whether the police can proceed by issuing summonses to, rather than arresting, persons who are to be prosecuted for possession of small amounts of marijuana. The idea makes sense in the face of the Government's declared policy to decriminalise ganja use, but has added urgency following last week's death, apparently the result of a severe beating while in a Montego Bay police lock-up, of Mario Deane, who was arrested for a ganja cigarette. (See also: Ganja decision should not be based on votes)

  5. Uruguay delays implementation of legal framework for marijuana sale

    06 August 2014
    Other news

    In December 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize the production and sale of marijuana. But this pioneering decision is presenting a number of challenges when it comes to implementation. The new law states that cannabis can be grown at home, acquired with a prescription at a pharmacy for registered users, or bought through cannabis clubs. While marijuana production is on the rise, the government has yet to put any of these legal frameworks in place. Meanwhile, home-growing is on the rise in anticipation of the final measures being introduced.

  6. jamaica-flag

    About drug law reform in Jamaica

    30 August 2014
    Primer
  7. insite

    Global Experiences with Harm Reduction for Stimulants and New Psychoactive Substances

    04 August 2014
    Report

    The Expert Seminar on the Global Experiences with Harm Reduction for Stimulants and New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), an initiative of the Transnational Institute (TNI) and Forum Droghe, took place in Rome on May 20, 2014 at Università Pontificia Lateranense. A total of 23 people attended the meeting, representing research and academic institutions as well as non-governmental organizations working in the field.

  8. About drug law reform in Peru

    30 August 2014
    Primer

    This page was originally published in August 2014, and last updated in June 2016.

    According to, Peruvian laws consumption or possession of controlled substances for personal use is not punishable, it is estimated that 60 percent of detentions on drug charges are related to use or simple possession. Moreover, the penalties for drug related crimes are relatively high and disproportionate, and infringe upon fundamental rights such as freedom, due process and other judicial guarantees. The penalty for small scale sales of drugs is between one to eight years in prison, according to the Criminal Code.

  9. Medicinal cannabis and the caregiving community giving it away for free

    14 August 2014
    Other news

    Even though, in 1998, the Home Office granted GW Pharmaceuticals a license to grow cannabis in order to develop cannabinoid-based medicines, Britain is not following suit. Norman Baker, Lib Dem minister of state for crime prevention, called for more liberalised drug laws, and specifically the legalisation of cannabis grown for medicinal use. A coalition spokesman rejected his suggestion outright. And so those seeking cannabis for medicinal purposes must continue to chase it in the same way as recreational users, through the black market.

  10. About drug law reform in Colombia

    30 August 2014
    Primer

    This page was originally published in August 2014, and last updated in June 2016.

    Although the legislative trend in Colombia has tended towards the criminalization of possession and consumption of psychoactive substances, decriminalization prevailed when it comes to jurisprudence. In addition, while the government of former President Álvaro Uribe Vélez (2002-2010) insisted on prohibiting, persecuting and punishing drug consumption through legislative and judicial channels, the country’s health sector, influenced by more progressive trends for dealing with consumption, made important progress in the areas of risk and harm reduction.

  11. About drug law reform in Mexico

    30 August 2014
    Primer

    This page was originally published in August 2014, and last updated in June 2016.

    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.

  12. About drug law reform in Costa Rica

    30 August 2014
    Primer

    This page was originally published in August 2014, and last updated in June 2016.

    In contrast to other Central American countries, the possession of drugs for immediate personal use is not a criminal offence in Costa Rica. In August 2013 the cultivation, manufacture, transport and trafficking of drugs have all been made a criminal offence under the same article, which provides for a prison sentence of between 8 and 15 years without making any distinction between the offences. The government of Costa Rica supports the launch of an open international debate on the issue, but has declared itself against decriminalisation.

  13. Colombian President Santos backs medical marijuana use

    13 August 2014
    Other news

    Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has said he supports the legalisation of marijuana for medical use. He said the measure - which is due to be voted on by Colombian lawmakers - would be a "compassionate response" to pain experienced by people with terminal illnesses. "We look favourably on the initiative on the medical and therapeutic use of marijuana," Santos told a drugs forum in the Colombian capital, Bogota. "It's a way to stop criminals from acting as intermediaries between the patient and a substance that is going to ease their suffering."

  14. About drug law reform in Ecuador

    29 August 2014
    Primer

    This page was originally published in August 2014, and last updated in June 2016.

    Ecuador is going through a process of reform of its legislation on drugs and the related institutional structure. The government of Rafael Correa is pushing forward this process, which began in 2008 with a new constitution that led to the declaration of an amnesty for small-scale traffickers. In February 2014 parliament approved the Organic Criminal Procedures Code. This replaces the criminal offences section of Law 108, a piece of legislation infamous for its harshly disproportionate sentences and drive to prosecute. As a result of the amnesty and the new legislation, thousands of people were freed from prison. Al the beginning of 2015 the National Congress started to debate a proposed Organic Law on the Integrated Prevention of Drugs and the Use of Controlled Substances, a bill which seeks to replace what remains of the old law.

  15. Leading anti-marijuana academics are paid by painkiller drug companies

    26 August 2014
    Other news

    As Americans continue to embrace pot—as medicine and for recreational use—opponents are turning to a set of academic researchers to claim that policymakers should avoid relaxing restrictions around marijuana. It's too dangerous, risky, and untested, they say. Just as drug company-funded research has become incredibly controversial in recent years, forcing major medical schools and journals to institute strict disclosure requirements, could there be a conflict of interest issue in the pot debate? (See also: The real reason pot is still illegal)

  16. Ganja growers demand amnesty on weed arrests

    09 August 2014
    Other news

    A call has been made for the government to declare an amnesty on all arrests for the possession of under one pound of marijuana. The plea from the Ganja Future Growers Producers Association was made following the death of Mario Deane who was in the custody of the State. Deane was arrested and held at the Barnett Street police station lock-up in western Jamaica for possession of a marijuana spliff. While in custody, he was beaten and died in hospital a few days later.

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    Land Conflicts and the Criminalization of Peasant Movements in Paraguay

    • FIAN International, La Via Campesina
    30 August 2014
    Report

    On June 15, 2012, seventeen people— farmers and police officers—were killed in Curuguaty, Paraguay. This report focuses on the enabling conditions in the land governance structure that allowed this massacre to take place, detailing a climate of violence and impunity, the absence of protections for small and landless farmers, and the use of state repression in the service of the country’s powerful landed elite.

  18. Marijuana crime: Are police turning 'a blind eye' to pot charges?

    12 August 2014
    Other news

    In Canada there appears to be "just a lack of enthusiasm on the part of police" to enforce possession laws. "There's a huge amount of discretion. It's kind of the new vagrancy charge, really," said Neil Boyd, professor and director of Simon Fraser University's school of criminology. A phone survey conducted by Ipsos Reid between Jan. 30 and Feb. 7, 2014, suggested that 70 per cent of 3,000 Canadians polled want to see pot possession either legalized or decriminalized.

  19. This is your federalism on drugs

    27 August 2014
    Other news

    Conservative Republicans often talk about the need to constrain the power of the federal government. On everything from environmental regulation to education policy, Republican officeholders argue that individual states should be able to adopt their own policy priorities, free from federal interference. Yet many of these same people are silent when the question turns to marijuana. In 2012, voters in Colorado and Washington state voted to legalize marijuana possession within their states. This November, voters in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia will get the chance to follow suit. (See also: Let states decide on marijuana)

  20. Les clubs de cannabis passent un nouveau cap

    18 August 2014
    Other news

    Le chemin qui mène à la régularisation du cannabis se poursuit malgré les récentes réserves de l’Office fédéral de la santé publique (OFSP). «Le Conseil d’Etat est conscient de la réalité quotidienne de nos villes. Il ne s’interdit pas de réfléchir à de nouvelles pistes», explique le magistrat genevois MCG Mauro Poggia. Ce dernier a mandaté une commission présidée par l’ex-conseillère fédérale Ruth Dreifuss pour étudier la faisabilité des Associations de consommateurs de cannabis (ACC).

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