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  1. UN drugs body warns US states and Uruguay over cannabis legalisation

    03 March 2015
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    The United Nations has renewed its warnings to Uruguay and the US states of Colorado and Washington that their cannabis legalisation policies fail to comply with the international drug treaties.

  2. Drug control body concerned by pot legalization in some U.S. states

    03 December 2014
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    The head of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) monitoring compliance with international drug control conventions expressed concern about the moves by U.S. states to legalize marijuana.

  3. Global drug policy is still deadly and ineffective

    Samuel Oakford
    02 June 2014
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     If you actually read the treaties, while they do set firm limitations on the legal, "non-medical" or "non-scientific" sale of schedule drugs — limits that Uruguay, Colorado and Washington ignored when legalizing cannabis — they don’t otherwise obligate countries to penalize drug use. Even the 1988 convention, the harshest of the three, which instructs countries to criminalize use, still provides an out for states, allowing such laws only as they are "subject to its constitutional principles and the basic concepts of its legal system." This loophole has been used by the Dutch to argue legally for their coffee shops.

  4. Uruguay not a ‘pirate’

    17 April 2014
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    The Uruguayan government has made a controversial move to regulate the production and sale of cannabis, believing that this will help in the fight against drug-related crime and in dealing with public health issues. The move has been condemned by the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), whose president Raymond Yans accused the government of having a "pirate attitude" for going against the UN’s conventions on drugs. Diego Cánepa, secretary of the office of Uruguayan President, believes a regulated marijuana market was the right decision.

  5. UN: cannabis law changes pose 'very grave danger to public health'

    04 March 2014
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    The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has launched a counter-offensive against moves to liberalise drug laws around the world, warning that cannabis legalisation poses a grave danger to public health. 

  6. 'Stop lying': Uruguay president chides UN official over marijuana law

    14 December 2013
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    Uruguay’s president has accused the head of the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Raymond Yans, of lying and double standards, after the official claimed the country did not consult the anti-drug body before legalizing marijuana.

  7. mujica

    Uruguay's Prez rips into UN official over marijuana law: 'Stop lying'

    12 December 2013
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    Uruguay's President Mujica shot back at the president of the International Narcotics Control Board, a U.N. agency, for saying that his administration refused to meet with the agency’s officials before legalizing marijuana. Mujica batted down the criticism, insisting that his administration is open to discussing the law and accusing the INCB President Raymond Yans of applying a double standard by criticizing Uruguay, even as U.S. states pass laws to legalize recreational marijuana consumption. "Tell this old guy not to lie," Mujica said.

  8. Heroic Uruguay deserves a Nobel peace prize for legalising cannabis

    Simon Jenkins
    11 December 2013
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    The response of the UN's International Narcotics Control Board to Uruguay's new drug regime has been to incant futile bromides. According to its chief Raymond Yans cannabis regulation would "endanger young people and contribute to the earlier onset of addiction". It would also be in breach of a "universally agreed and internationally endorsed treaty". Yet the UN admits that half a century of attempted suppression has led to 162m cannabis users worldwide, or 4% of the total adult population .

  9. obama-yes-we-cannabis

    The US incapacity to enforce federal drug laws - and the global consequences

    Francisco Thoumi
    31 October 2013
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    The US drug policy is changing, pitting states against federal law. This essay explores this inner friction of contradictory drug legislation, and what it may mean for the international drug control regime, itself a result of US drug policy. (4,400 words)

  10. cnd2013

    Statement at the 2013 Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)

    15 March 2013
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    Ann Fordham of the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) delivered the NGO Statement to CND Plenary under Item 8: Preparations for the high-level review of the implementation by Member States of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an integrated and balanced strategy to counter the world drug problem.

  11. marijuana-hand

    Crack down on cannabis, world body tells U.S.

    13 March 2013
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    The United States must not turn a blind eye to the recreational use of cannabis in states that liberalize drug laws, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) said, urging the country to live up to its treaty commitments. Raymond Yans, president of the INCB, said assurances from the U.S. government in December that growing, selling or possessing the drug remained illegal under federal law were "good, but insufficient".

  12. Ex-DEA heads, U.N. panel urge feds to nullify Wash., Colo. pot laws

    05 March 2013
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    Eight former Drug Enforcement Administration chiefs warned the federal government that time is running out to nullify Colorado and Washington's new laws legalizing recreational marijuana use, and a United Nations agency also urged challenges to the measures it says violate international treaties. 

  13. coca-celebration

    Bolivians demand the right to chew coca leaves

    13 January 2013
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    A major international row with wide-ranging implications for global drugs policy has erupted over the right of Bolivia's indigenous Indian tribes to chew coca leaves, the principal ingredient in cocaine.

  14. INCB President voices concern

    15 November 2012
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    The President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Raymond Yans, has voiced grave concern about the outcome of recent referenda in the United States of America that would allow the non-medical use of cannabis by adults in the states of Colorado and Washington, and in some cities in the states of Michigan and Vermont. Mr. Yans stated that “these developments are in violation of the international drug control treaties, and pose a great threat to public health and the well-being of society far beyond those states”.

  15. When the UN Won't Condemn Torture You Know Something's Very Wrong

    Damon Barrett (Deputy Director at Harm Reduction International)
    04 April 2012
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    When the UN's drugs watchdog, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), was asked recently about its official position on torture carried out in the name of drug enforcement, one would have expected an unequivocal denunciation. Instead, what was given was an unequivocal refusal to do so. In the light of documented cases of torture to extract information from suspects and to punish drug users and those convicted of drug offences, this refusal to condemn the most egregious of human rights abuses is cause for serious concern and highlights clear tensions between the UN human rights and drug control regimes.

  16. INCB’s Tortured Logic

    02 April 2012
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    On several recent occasions, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has refused to offer an opinion on sanctions that violate international law, such as the death penalty. The following is a transcript from a Civil Society Dialogue with the President of the INCB, Hamid Ghodse, during the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs on 15 March 2012. For a commentary on the dialogue please see the article at Inter-Press Service titled, ‘Narcotics Watchdog Turns Blind Eye to Rights Abuses’.

  17. Narcotics Watchdog Turns Blind Eye to Rights Abuses

    Patrick Gallahue
    28 March 2012
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    In a world where drug offences are punishable with the death penalty, torture or arbitrary detention, we must ask how far States can go to enforce the global prohibition on drugs. According to the so-called ‘guardian’ of the international drug control treaties – as far as they want. On several recent occasions, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has refused to offer an opinion on sanctions that violate international law – even if those sanctions are imposed in order to comply with the drug control treaties.

  18. idpc-incb-2012

    Response of Bolivia to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)

    23 February 2012
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    In a letter to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) the Government of Bolivia rejects the judgments made by the independent agency of the United Nations after a visit in December 2011 and the conclusions of the Board on the decision to withdraw from the 1961 UN Single Convention and re-adhere with a reservation that would allow for the use of coca in its natural state within Bolivian territory an uphold the traditional practice of coca chewing. The Bolivian government says the INCB is overstepping its mandate. TNI publishes an unofficial translation of the original spanish version of the letter.

  19. Evo does not convince the INCB on coca chewing

    16 December 2011
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    The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, yesterday asked inspectors of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) of the United Nations to support his petition to decriminalize coca leaf chewing or "akulliku" but acknowledged that he failed to convince everyone. The Board pointed out this year that Bolivia “addresses the coca-chewing issue in a manner that is not in line with that country’s obligations under the international drug control treaties.”

  20. U.S. wanted Vancouver's supervised injection site closed

    30 September 2011
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    A diplomatic cable shows U.S. officials opposed the Insite supervised injection site in Vancouver and wanted the federal and municipal governments to shut it down. The reference to Vancouver-based Insite is found in a U.S. Embassy assessment of Canadian drug policy dated Nov. 2, 2009 and released through Wikileaks.

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