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".
This study commissioned by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice underlines the disparity that exists between the depenalization of drug use and the increased penalization of selling drugs that resulted from the 2006 Law on Drugs. Although the fact that the use of drugs is no longer a crime is certainly progress, it seems disproportionate to establish maximum prison sentences of 5 years for the sale of very minor quantities of drugs. The study was a joint project of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, UFRJ, and the University of Brasília UnB that ran from March 2008 and July 2009, supported by the United Nations Development Program, UNDP.
Across the hemisphere, frustration is grow- ing with the failure of the “war on drugs.” Many Latin American countries face rising rates of drug consumption, despite harsh drug laws that have left prisons bursting at the seams.
Uruguay’s senate voted today (10 December) to approve the world’s first national legal framework regulating the cultivation, trade and consumption of cannabis for medical, industrial as well as recreational purposes.