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18 items
  1. Fixing a broken system

    • Juan Carlos Garzón Vergara
    30 December 2014
    Report

    Despite efforts by governments in Latin America, illicit drugs continue to provide one of the largest incomes for criminal organizations, enabling them to penetrate and corrupt political and social institutions.

  2. Cannabis policy reform in Europe

    • Tom Blickman
    21 December 2014
    Policy briefing

    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.

  3. Time for a Wake-up Call: An historical and ethnographic approach to the Regulation of Plant-based Stimulants

    • Pien Metaal, Anthony Henman
    20 December 2014
    Policy briefing

    The chemically-based frame of reference adopted by the UN Single Convention is mistaken in the culturally loaded and falsely “scientific” manner in which it was applied to different plants.

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    Working towards a legal coca market: The case of coca leaf chewing in Argentina

    • Pien Metaal, Ricardo Abduca
    30 July 2013

    Modern use of the coca leaf in Argentina provides a series of examples that could contribute to dispelling many of the myths that have polarized debate about the subject over the last few years. Argentine coca consumption does not fit commonly held preconceptions on the subject. Furthermore, the social acceptance and legitimacy of the habit has created an absurd situation in which the sale and possession of coca leaf for consumption is legal, but the supply and wholesale purchase of it are prohibited, and therefore part of an illegal circuit.

  5. Bogotá’s medical care centres for drug addicts

    • Julián Quintero
    02 January 2013
    Policy briefing

    The opening in September 2012 of the first centre for drug addicts in Bogota is a welcome first step towards more humane and effective drug policies in Colombia’s capital city, but to be effective needs to be integrated into proper overall drugs strategy.

  6. A breakthrough in the making?

    • Martin Jelsma, Pien Metaal
    13 July 2012
    Policy briefing

    There is an undeniable regional trend of moving away from the ‘war on drugs’ in Latin America. This briefing ex­plains the background, summa­rises the state of on­going drug law reforms, and makes recommendations to move the debate forward.

  7. human-rights-day

    Drugs, crime and punishment

    • Gloria Lai
    20 June 2012
    Policy briefing

    Proportionality is one of the key principles of the rule of law aiming to protect people from cruel or inhumane treatment. The principle has been established in interna­tional and regional human rights agree­ments and many countries have adopted reflections of it in their constitution or penal code. Its applica­tion to drug-related offences is firstly the responsibility of the legislators, in defining the level of penalisa­tion of certain behaviours.

  8. The Limits of Latitude

    • David Bewley-Taylor, Martin Jelsma
    13 March 2012
    Policy briefing

    A growing number of nations are developing policies that shift away from the prohibition-oriented failed approach to drugs control. Ultimately however nations will need to reform the overall UN based global drug control framework of which practically all nations are a part.

  9. 'Legal highs'

    • Adam Winstock, Chris Wilkins
    31 October 2011
    Policy briefing

    To date, the approaches to regulation have varied between nations, both with respect to the nature and specificity of the measures taken and their intended outcome. Such diversity appropriately reflects the marked differences in the existing drug use problems and public health approaches to addressing such issues between nations.

  10. Kratom in Thailand: Decriminalisation and Community Control?

    • Pascal Tanguay
    03 May 2011
    Policy briefing

    Kratom is an integral part of Thai culture and has neglible harmful effects. Community level control and education are recommended for the best path to harm reduction.

  11. Drug Law Reform: Lessons from the New Zealand Experience

    • Sanji Gunasekara
    15 August 2010
    Policy briefing

    In 2007, the Government of New Zealand entrusted an independent agency, the National Law Commission, to review the country’s drug law. New Zealand’s approach to drug law reform may provide lessons for other countries.

  12. A Matter of Substance

    • Ernestien Jensema
    26 July 2010
    Policy briefing

    This paper discusses the “substance-oriented approach” Dutch authorities implemented to to scare off potential small-scale cocaine smugglers. The focus was on the drugs, rather than the couriers, and on incapacitating the smuggling route, rather than deterrence by incarceration.

  13. Argentina: Reform on the way?

    • Graciela Touzé
    15 July 2010
    Policy briefing

    In August 2009, the Argentina Supreme Court declared legislation criminalizing drug possession for personal consumption as unconstitutional. This briefing discusses the background of that decision, the small steps taken since, but argues that there is still much to do before a genuine reform agenda can be implemented.

  14. Sentencing for Drug Offences in England and Wales

    • Genevieve Harris
    14 June 2010
    Policy briefing

    Sentencing for drug offences in England and Wales has recently undergone a wide-sweeping review and public consultation. The purpose of this report is to examine and evaluate this mechanism for law reform, without the need for legislative reform, and to consider the specific discussion around sentencing for drug offences which it has led to.

  15. Prohibition, a backwards step

    • Diana Esther Guzmán, Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes
    22 January 2010
    Policy briefing

    In December 2009, the Congress in Colombia passed a reform to the 1991 Constitution, which considered the possession and consumption of certain quantities of drugs for personal use legal, to enact constitutional prohibition. This briefing shows the changes that this constitutional amendment entails and evaluates the principle potential consequences.

  16. Mexico: The Law Against Small-Scale Drug Dealing

    • Jorge Hernández Tinajero, Carlos Zamudio Angles
    12 October 2009
    Policy briefing

    In August 2009, Mexico adopted a new law against small-scale drug dealing, which introduces some significant advances in key subjects, such as the recognising of and distinguishing between user, drug addict and dealer. However it still has significant flaws in continuing to treat demand and supply of drugs as a criminal and market phenomenon that are likely to undermine its successful application.

  17. Drug Policy and the Courts: A Brazilian experience

    • José Henrique Rodrigues Torres
    01 August 2009
    Report

    This report is a personal response from the author on the issue of Drug Policy and The Courts. A year ago, in the author’s professional practice, he felt duty-bound to make a decision that overturned Brazilian case-law and ran contrary to domestic legislation as regards possession of controlled substances.

  18. Pardon for Mules in Ecuador

    • Pien Metaal
    01 February 2009
    Policy briefing

    At the end of 2008, about 1,500 persons were released who were in Ecuadorian prisons sentenced for drug trafficking. The measure, known as “pardon for mules,” singled out a specific group of prisoners who were victims of indiscriminate and disproportionate legislation that was in effect for many years.