There is mounting evidence that neoliberal policies are losing legitimacy. The translation of such disaffection into positive commitment to an alternative, however, requires deeper disengagement from the dominant order and practical participation in creating alternatives. A social order built on escaping the pressures of democracy while at the same time depending on the capacities of many desiring democracy is unlikely to be stable. Thus the opaque and indirect forms of power typical of neoliberal rule are simultaneously sources of vulnerability and dependence, and breeding grounds for the power to subvert and transform.
The 2008 Constitution of Ecuador enshrines the rights of nature and the human right to water. Juan Carlos Romero, former official at the water public utility EPMAPS, argues that guaranteeing the human right to water is not only about providing a service, but also requires mainstreaming environmental, social, financial and political sustainability into the company's activities.
These are crucial days for TTIP. The US-EU trade deal, which would legally enforce the privatisation of the NHS, is facing extraordinary levels of public protest on both sides of the Atlantic. But while opponents focus on the battle at hand, a separate Canadian trade deal could allow TTIP's worst abuses by the backdoor.
Cannabis is the world’s most widely used illicit drug. But for how much longer? In a short space of time we have moved from absolute global prohibition of the drug, with the emergence of legalised and regulated production and retail not in just one nation (Uruguay) but also, surprisingly, in two US states (Colorado and Washington). Do these and other new permissive models in Spain and Belgium, for example, point to a tipping point in the debate? Could cannabis step out of the shadows and join the ranks of alcohol and tobacco, the world’s most popular legal and regulated drugs?
The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is a great innovation of the Treaty of Lisbon, enabling EU citizens to call directly on the European Commission to propose a legal act, if they can obtain the support of one million of their fellow citizens. The "Weed like to talk” campaign, launched by three French university students this year, aims to collect one million signatures from at least seven EU countries to call for a common cannabis policy based on a legally regulated market.
You have signed the Self-organised European Citizens’ Initiative against TTIP and CETA! To succeed, we need at least one million signatures across Europe and must reach a minimum number of signatories in at least seven EU member states. Help us reach this goal:
Maxime Combes of Attac France interviews Gonzalo Berron and Brid Brennan on the eve of the debate at the 26th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the need for a new legal framework to end corporate impunity.
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.
In May 2000, a Fortune Magazine piece claimed triumphantly that the “liquid everybody needs – and will need a lot more of in the future – is going private,” and as a result would benefit “multitudes of poor people.”
While in the Americas cannabis policy reform is taking off, Europe seems to be lagging behind. At the level of national governments denial of the changing policy landscape and inertia to act upon calls for change reigns. At the local level, however, disenchantment with the current cannabis regime gives rise to new idea.
The 2014 People's Summit opened yesterday (14 August 2014) with over two hundred delegates from La Via Campesina Africa, the Rural Women's Assembly (RWA), WoMin and the People's Dialogue demanding renewed focus on issues affecting farmers, rural women and mining impacted communities.
Misunderstandings and misreporting of actual and proposed changes to Dutch cannabis policy in 2011 have led some opponents of cannabis reform to suggest the country is retreating from its longstanding and pragmatic policy of tolerating the possession, use and sale of cannabis. This is not the case. In reality, most of the more regressive measures have either not been implemented, have been subsequently abandoned, or have had only marginal impacts.
In 2012, voters in the US states of Washington, Colorado and Oregon were given the opportunity to vote in ballot initiatives for the creation of legally regulated cannabis markets. Washington’s Initiative 502 and Colorado’s Amendment 64 both passed with 55.7% and 55.3% of the vote respectively. Oregon’s Measure 80 failed with 53.4% of those voting rejecting the measure. As calls for and legal processes towards the initiation of cannabis policy reform become more common within US states, it is a timely and useful exercise to reflect upon the campaigns for reform in Washington (WA), Colorado (CO) and Oregon (OR) and examine why the public supported cannabis policy reform in some instances and not others.
As the UN International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) launches its annual report on Tuesday, 4 March, amidst an unprecedented crisis in the international drug control regime, leading drug policy reform experts have called on the INCB and related UN institutions to urgently open up a constructive dialogue on international drug policy reform.
Cannabis was condemned by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as a psychoactive drug with “particularly dangerous properties” and hardly any therapeutic value. Ever since, an increasing number of countries have shown discomfort with the treaty regime’s strictures through soft defections, stretching its legal flexibility to sometimes questionable limits.