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147 items
  1. The Coca Debate

    Tom Blickman
    25 May 2008
    Article

    In March 2008, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) provoked outrage in Bolivia by calling for the elimination of traditional uses of coca, such as chewing coca leaves and drinking coca tea. A new briefing urges to address the current erroneous classification of coca under the UN conventions. It also notes an apparent shift on the issue by the US government and urges the US to formally clarify its position. 

  2. Response to INCB's Annual Report 2007

    02 March 2008

    The 2007 INCB Annual Report shows some signs of a more balanced approach by the INCB to the policy dilemmas around proportionality of sentences and harm reduction. While this is welcome, the Board still falls a long way short of what is necessary for it to play a positive and objective role in helping governments to find the right balance between their drug control obligations, and wider policy objectives related to social development, public health, and human rights protections. On the issue of the coca leaf especially, the INCB shows complete intransigence towards the issue of indigenous uses in the Andean region.

    Download the paper (PDF)

  3. Report of the Commission of Enquiry on the Coca Leaf

    01 May 1950

    In 1961 the coca leaf was listed on Schedule I of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs together with cocaine and heroin. The inclusion of coca has caused much harm to the Andean region and a historical correction is long overdue, for the sake of further conflict prevention and out of respect for the Andean culture. The rationale for including the coca leaf in the 1961 Single Convention is mainly rooted in the Report of the Commission of Inquiry on the Coca Leaf from May 1950 The report was requested of the United Nations by the permanent representative of Peru that was prepared by a commission that visited Bolivia and Peru briefly in 1949.

     

    • The UN International Narcotics Control Board Releases 2011 Annual Report

      28 February 2012
      Press release

      The UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), which monitors implementation of the global drug treaties, has trained its fire on Bolivia, this time accusing the country of threatening the integrity of the entire international drug control regime by defending traditional uses of the coca leaf.

       

    • Drug Policy Reform in Practice

      • Martin Jelsma, Tom Blickman
      25 August 2009
      Paper

      The academic journal Nueva Sociedad recently released an issue to promote the debate in Latin America on drug policy reform. TNI contributed with the paper "Drug policy reform in practice: Experiences with alternatives in Europe and the US".

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    • Drug Policy in the Andes

      • Coletta Youngers, Socorro Ramírez
      15 December 2011

      Fifty years after signing the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and 40 years after the U.S. government declared a "war on drugs," many obstacles remain despite the partial successes of efforts to counter the problem. The Andean-United States Dialogue Forum, noted with concern how drug policy has monopolized the diplomatic and economic agenda between the Andean countries, contributing to tensions among the governments and impeding cooperation on other crucial priorities, such as safeguarding democratic processes from criminal networks.

       

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      Afghanistan: Drugs overview

      17 November 2005
      Article

      Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium, the raw material for heroin. In 2000, the Taleban regime enforced an opium ban that led to the virtual disappearance of opium poppy cultivation in areas under their control. In drug control terms, this is often referred to as an unprecedented success, yet the ban caused a major humanitarian disaster for hundreds of thousands dependent on the illicit economy.

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      Drugs and Conflict in Burma

      01 December 2005
      Article

      Burma

      Burma

      Burma/Myanmar is undergoing yet another humanitarian crisis while entering a new critical political stage. In the Kokang region, an opium ban was enforced in 2003, and since mid-2005 no more poppy growing has been allowed in the Wa region. Banning opium in these Shan State regions where most of the Burmese opiates were produced, adds another chapter to the long and dramatic history of drugs, conflict and human suffering.

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      Bolivia Drugs Overview

      17 November 2005
      Article

      Bolivia has lived through more than two decades of supply reduction policies, but still figures as the world's third cocaine-producing country.

    • The International Drug Control Treaties

      • Heather J. Haase, Nicolas Edward Eyle, Sebastian Scholl , Joshua Raymond Schrimpf
      31 July 2012
      Paper

      The way the world looks at drug control is changing. There has been a growing awareness of the issue for the past decade, as well as increasing public outcry over what many see as a failure of the once popular "war on drugs." Nowhere is this battle more pronounced than in the so-called "marijuana wars," which are slowly growing into an old-fashioned standoff between the states and the federal government.

       

    • Vienna Consensus on Drug Policy Cracks

      Tom Blickman
      07 April 2009
      Article

      A clear divide in drug control approaches became apparent at the end of the High Level Segment of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) on March 11-12 in Vienna, where countries gathered to review to progress since the 1998 UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) and set a framework for the next 10 years through a Political Declaration and Plan of Action.

      At one side of the divide a growing number of countries opt for pragmatic evidence-based harm reduction policies, while at the other side countries desperately cling to a zero tolerance approach that has failed to produce any significant result the past decade. Despite the diplomatic façade, the conclusion cannot be otherwise that the Vienna consensus on drug control that has paralysed progress in international drug control for decades, has fallen apart. 

    • Global Illicit Drug Markets 1998-2007

      • Peter Reuter (RAND), Franz Trautmann (Trimbos Institute) (eds.)
      15 March 2009
      Report

      This report commissioned by the European Commission, found no evidence that the global drug problem has been reduced during the period from 1998 to 2007 – the primary target of the 1998 UNGASS, which aimed to significantly reduce the global illicit drugs problem by 2008 through international cooperation and measures in the field of drug supply and drug demand reduction. Broadly speaking the situation has improved a little in some of the richer countries, while for others it worsened, and for some of those it worsened sharply and substantially', among which are a few large developing or transitional countries. Given the limitations of the data, a fair judgment is that the problem became somewhat more severe.

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      Synthetic Drugs: Related websites and documents

      Drugs and Democracy
      17 November 2005
      Article
      Recommended web resources on synthetic drugs
    • The 2011 Commission on Narcotic Drugs

      25 April 2011
      Report

      The 54th Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was the first for the new Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mr. Yury Fedotov, who held his maiden speech.

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      The drug policy reform agenda in the Americas

      • Coletta Youngers
      30 April 2013

      Latin America has emerged at the vanguard of efforts to promote debate on drug policy reform. For decades, Latin American governments largely followed the drug control policies and programs of Washington’s so-called war on drugs. Yet two parallel trends have resulted in a dramatic change in course: the emergence of left-wing governments that have challenged Washington’s historic patterns of unilateralism and interventionism and growing frustration with the failure of the prohibitionist drug control model put forward by the US government.

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      Global Trends in Drugs: Related websites and documents

      17 November 2005
      Article

      Useful links to recommended resources on global trends in drug usage

    • Fact Sheet: Coca leaf and the UN Drugs Conventions

      02 October 2012
      Primer

      10 Facts about the Coca leaf and the UN Drugs Conventions in chronological order

               
    • Reimagining Drug Policy in the Americas

      27 June 2014

      Latin America is now at the vanguard of international efforts to promote drug policy reform: Bolivia has rewritten its constitution to recognize the right to use the coca leaf for traditional and legal purposes, Uruguay has become the first nation in the world to adopt a legal, regulated Cannabis market, and Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, and Ecuador are openly critiquing the prevailing international drug control paradigm at the UN. And now with the United States itself relaxing its marijuana laws state by state, the U.S. prohibitionist drug war strategies are losing credibility in the region.

       

    • Bolivia and the international drug control regime

      Adam Isacson
      15 July 2011
      Article

      Bolivia has denounced the International Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which bans the traditional practice of chewing coca leaf. Adam talks with Martin Jelsma, who coordinates the Drugs and Democracy Program at the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute.

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