This International Symposium provides a timely opportunity for practitioners and stakeholders across Europe to discuss the latest challenges and consider the next steps needed to win the fight against illicit drug trafficking and substance misuse through holistic, multi-level and cross-border approaches. Public Policy Exchange welcomes the participation of all key partners, responsible authorities and stakeholders. The Symposium will support the exchange of ideas and encourage delegates to engage in thought-provoking topical debate.
The “E-Book of Authorities” is a civil society-led project to catalogue agreed UN statements and language on a selection of key topics. It aims to show the extent of existing international support for evidence-based drug policies, and to support international drug policy discussions, debates and negotiations.
Mozart Room (in the Restaurant), Vienna International Centre
For decades, the United States has been a champion of the global drug control treaty system, which limits the use of marijuana exclusively to medical and scientific purposes, and obligates governments to punish and even criminalize recreational marijuana activity. But American attitudes toward marijuana policy are shifting: voters in Colorado and Washington approved ballot initiatives to legalize regulated recreational marijuana in 2012, and recent polls suggest that the majority of Americans think marijuana use should be legalized.
On 26 and 27 August, 2010, the Second Latin American Conference and the First Brazilian Conference on Drug Policy took place in the noble hall of the National Law School of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) with more than 400 attendees and the presence of top drug policy experts from thirteen countries in Latin America. It was the most specialized meeting to take place to date in the region. The Conference was organized at the regional level by Intercambios, a key Latin American civil association that has worked for fifteen years on issues of harm reduction and drug policy. And, locally by Psicotropicus, a pioneer in bringing the drugs debate out from obscurity and bringing it into everyday discussions in Brazil.
Today, despite a world-wide drug control treaty system and decades of massive investments to attack drug production and curtail supplies and consumption, illicit drug markets and criminal networks are flourishing, threatening public health and safety. The failure of the "war on drugs" is prompting renewed debate and policy innovation in countries across the Americas.
As a growing number of countries move towards legal regulation for non-medical cannabis, governments are pushing the boundaries of the three UN drug control treaties. At the 61st session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), TNI will co-organise a side event to explore the issue, addressing the various challenges and opportunities involved.
Over the years, the Mexican government has adopted increasingly heavy prison sentences and militarized drug policies to confront drug trafficking. The result has been an increase of vulnerable populations in Mexico’s prisons, but no impact on the drug trade or violence.
In July 2013 TNI and Paung Ku organised the First Southeast Asia Opium Farmers Forum, bringing together some 30 representatives of local communities involved in opium cultivation and local community workers from the major opium growing regions in Southeast Asia: Chin, Kachin, northern and southern Shan, and Kayah States in Burma/Myanmar and Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India.
A group of judges from different countries gathered in Porto, Portugal, and drafted the Declaration of Porto in which they state that "public drug policies have proved an outright failure, as they have neither achieved their desired goals of reducing drug consumption, nor been able to effectively persecute large criminal organisations."
Two years after the Declaration of Latin Judges in Oporto, in line with the report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy in June 2011, judges from several Latin countries drafted the Rome Declaration insisting that the “global war on drugs” has been a failure in view of the very serious consequences it has entailed for individuals and society worldwide.
Intercambios Civil Association and the Social Sciences School of the University of Buenos Aires launched the book “Encarcelamientos por delitos relacionados con estupefacientes en Argentina” (Imprisonment for drugs related offenses in Argentina) by Alejandro Corda on the 29th of August, 2011.
In this edition, the 5th Latin American and 1st Central American Conference on Drug Policy aims to be a platform for discussion and elaboration of solution-oriented proposals. The production and use of drugs is a complex phenomenon, with multiple manifestations according to the historical moment, cultural environment, economic model, the particular circumstances of a country, the different significances assigned by subjects, as well as the actual differences between substances. Nevertheless, it is reduced and homogenized as the “drug problem”, as if it was a uniform, unhistorical phenomenon.
Martin Jelsma, Tom Blickman and Pien Metaal participated in the Fifth Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy, ISSDP Conference 2011, organized by Trimbos Institute in Utrecht (The Netherlands) the 23 and 24 of May.
We are currently witnessing renewed attempts to open a debate on alternatives to the current drug control policies in Latin America. The failure of present drug control policies and the disproportionate social, economic, and political costs have led academics, advocates, and officials to search for approaches that promise to be both more humane and more effective.
Thursday, March 15, 13:15 – 14:45 in the Mozart Room, Vienna International Centre (VIC Restaurant - Ground Floor, F Building)
The ninth Latin America informal drug policy dialogue was devoted to "dilemmas in regulation of the cannabis market." The two-day dialogues were structured around seven sessions: (1) The Uruguayan proposal for cannabis regulation: dilemmas and challenges. (2) Current models of regulation: United States, Spain and the Netherlands. (3) The fine art of regulation: state monopoly vs. self-regulated market which works better and for whom? (4) Addressing cross-border differences and market mobility. (5) Tensions between cannabis regulation and international drug-control treaties: What options do governments have? (6) Cannabis reforms under way in Latin America. (7) Strategy and paths to reform: scenarios and next steps.
An unprecedented one-year comparative study of the drug laws and prison systems in eight Latin American countries – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay – was released on Thursday, December 9, 2010, during a conference with high-level policy analysts and the study's country-researchers at the Universidad de Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, by the Transnational Institute (TNI) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).