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  1. third-way-marijuana

    Marijuana legalization: Does Congress need to act?

    • Graham Boyd, Sarah Trumble, Lanae Erickson Hatalsky
    11 April 2014
    Report

    Despite a federal prohibition on marijuana possession, sale, and use, Colorado and Washington recently became the first states to enact laws legalizing the recreational use of this drug. Although the Obama Administration has taken steps to attempt to deal with this evolving situation, we believe the status quo is untenable and Congress must act to provide certainty and a framework for these states moving forward. This report explains the problem and offers a solution.

  2. towards-a-safer-drug-policy

    Towards a Safer Drug Policy

    14 January 2013

     For forty years the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 has formed the corner stone of drug policy in Britain. The emergence of new psychoactive substances (‘legal highs’) during the past fifteen years or so has challenged the drug control system. The arrival in 2012 of a new psychoactive substance on the market, on average, every six days raises questions about how best to protect young people from unknown and unsafe drugs. The Government is considering this challenge and we hope this Inquiry report will make a helpful contribution to their deliberations.

  3. Altered State?

    • Beau Kilmer, Jonathan P. Caulkins, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Robert J. MacCoun, Peter H. Reuter
    07 July 2010

    To learn more about the possible outcomes of marijuana legalization in California, RAND researchers constructed a model based on a series of estimates of current consumption, current and future prices, how responsive use is to price changes, taxes levied and possibly evaded, and the aggregation of nonprice effects (such as a change in stigma).

  4. obama-yes-we-cannabis

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

    Francisco Thoumi
    31 October 2013
    Other news

    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)

  5. Towards a Healthier Legal Environment

    • Ernestien Jensema, Martin Jelsma, Tom Kramer, Nang Pann Ei Kham, Gloria Lai, Tripti Tandon
    16 February 2015
    Report

    The decision of the Myanmar Government to review drug laws is not only timely, but also offers a prospect to improve the drugs legislation and to ensure that the laws address drug-related problems in the country more effectively.

  6. Roadmaps for Reforming the UN Drug Conventions

    • Robin Room, Sarah MacKay
    30 December 2012
    Report

    The three UN Drug Conventions of 1961, 1971 and 1988 currently impose a ‘one-size-fits-all’ prohibitionist approach to drug policy throughout the world. This new report explains in detail how the Conventions could be amended in order to give countries greater freedom to adopt drug policies better suited to their special needs.

  7. The will of the voters

    John Walsh
    12 November 2012
    Article

    Now that the voters in Colorado and Washington have approved marijuana legalization initiatives, attention has turned quickly to questions surrounding implementation—and in particular to speculation over how the federal government might react. This is entirely understandable, since it is no secret that the newly approved state initiatives conflict with federal law.

  8. economist

    Towards a ceasefire

    22 February 2013
    Other news

    Partial reforms have their limits. Most drug crime is not cannabis-related. Moving from punishment to harm reduction may help drug users, but it leaves gangsters in control of supplies and revenues. Many countries still stick to prohibition. The votes in Colorado and Washington were hardly imaginable ten years ago and make deeper change likely. They weaken the Single Convention, the illegal trade, and the prohibition industry that feeds on it.

  9. Crises and radical thinking on drug policy

    Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch
    16 August 2012
    Article

    Drug policy reform has always been a “two-steps forward, one-step back” undertaking and while creativity is being sought in the Americas, Europe is losing some of its pioneering spirit.

  10. Breaking the Silence

    01 October 2011

    This brief report outlines the links between cannabis prohibition in British Columbia (Canada) and the growth of organized crime and related violence in the province, and is the first report of a coalition of concerned citizens and experts known as Stop the Violence BC. The report also defines the public health concept “regulation” and seeks to set the stage for a much needed public conversation and action on the part of BC politicians.

     

  11. Portugal progresses toward integrated cannabis regulation

    Martín Barriuso Alonso
    31 October 2012
    Article

    The “Portuguese model” of drugs decriminalisation has clearly demonstrated that greater tolerance to drug users does not lead to an increase in consumption. Nevertheless it is a model with immense loopholes and contradictions.

  12. Controlling and Regulating Drugs

    03 May 2011

    The New Zealand Law Commission was asked to address the efficacy of the Misuse of Drugs Act in reducing the demand for, and supply of, drugs prohibited under the International Drug Conventions. The Commission has recommended the existing Act be repealed and replaced by a new Act administered by the Ministry of Health. Justice Hammond said the thrust of the proposed new Act is to facilitate a more effective interface between the criminal justice and health sectors: “We need to recognise that the abuse of drugs is both a health and a criminal public policy problem.”

     

  13. The Dutch election result and the coffeeshops

    Tom Blickman
    04 October 2012
    Article

    The Dutch elections were hailed as decisive for the future of the coffeeshops. The result however is inconclusive given that a coalition government has to be formed.

  14. The Dutch 2012 election result and the coffeeshops

    Tom Blickman
    14 September 2012
    Other news

    The 2012 Dutch elections were hailed as decisive for the future of the coffeeshops, where the sale of small amounts of cannabis is tolerated. The result is inconclusive. The parties in favour of restricting the coffeeshops or outright abolishing them got 77 of the 150 seats, while those against the recently introduced 'cannabis pass' and/or in favour of regulating the supply of cannabis to the coffeeshops got 73. However, the issue is not that straightforward given that in the Netherlands no single party has an absolute majority and a coalition government has to be formed.

  15. nz-psychoactive-substances-legislation

    New Zealand’s psychoactive substances legislation

    • Catherine McCullough, Jackson Wood, Rob Zorn
    31 August 2013

    On 11 July 2013, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Psychoactive Substances Act. The legislation enacted a new legal framework for the testing, manufacture, sale, and regulation of psychoactive products with the responsibility on manufacturers to prove a product 'low risk before it could be sold.' The expectation is that the adoption of new modern drug policies will ensure that the drugs people do take are safe, and that help can be accessed easily for those who need it. If the New Zealand approach is successful, other countries might follow lead, or even improve on what has been have done so far.

  16. Martin Jelsma

    Profile
    Programme Director Drugs & Democracy

    Martin Jelsma is a political scientist who has specialised in Latin America and international drugs policy.  In 2005, he received the Alfred R. Lindesmith Award for Achievement in the Field of Scholarship, which stated that Jelsma "is increasingly recognized as one of, if not the, outstanding strategists in terms of how international institutions deal with drugs and drug policy."...

  17. Thumbnail

    What Is the Future of British Heroin Addiction?

    06 May 2013
    In the media

    However, Martin Jelsma – a political scientist who specialises in international drug trade at the Transnational Institute – is not so sure there's such a cut-and-dry, supply-and-demand explanation.

  18. An economic perspective on the legalisation debate: the Dutch case

    • Martijn Adriaan Boermans
    26 October 2010

    Understanding the consequences of drug legalisation versus prohibition is important for policy. Most recently this subject has gained much political attention not only globally, but specifically in the Netherlands. This study will provide a contribution to the legalisation debate based on a microeconomic analysis of the effects of illegal markets. The research question is how to design a coherent soft drugs policy framework that maximizes social welfare within the Netherlands that precludes most historical, sociological and political debates. In particular, attention is restricted to ‘soft drugs’ better known as cannabis derived products like hashish and marijuana.

     

  19. Federal bill to legalize marijuana gains support in Congress

    21 March 2013
    Other news

    Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) joined the effort to end marijuana prohibition and start regulating marijuana like alcohol at the federal level. Rep. Pingree, as well as Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), signed on to co-sponsor H.R. 499, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013, on Monday, joining a bipartisan group of supporters in the House. There are currently 14 co-sponsors of the bill. Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013 on February 5.

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