The Drug War has failed. After more than 20 years of tirelessly pushing for the same policy, the efforts have not been able to bring the expanding illicit drug markets under control and instead have led to an unmanageable crisis in the judicial and penitentiary systems, human rights violations, the consolidation of criminal networks and the marginalization of drug users who are pushed out of reach of health care services. For these reasons, some Latin American countries are starting to explore a more effective and honest drug policy.
Nations throughout Latin America and the world are debating whether to legalize drugs or not. For anyone who has seen the violent effects of illegal drugs -- decapitated bodies, drive-by shootings, car bombs -- a thorough and honest exploration of alternatives is long overdue.
Rasquera, a village of 900 near Barcelona, Spain, feeling the crunch of Euro-austerity measures and heavy debt, voted 4-3 on Wednesday to let a nearby cannabis association use a stretch of city land to grow marijuana for its 5000 members.
“Next year we hope to evaluate the implementation of a new Drug Law”. Graciela Touzé, president of Intercambios, expressed this in the closing remarks of the 10th Conference on Drug Policy that took place this past June 7th in the Senate of the Nation. Throughout the conference it was clear that the officials at the national level are in agreement over decriminalization, that the representatives have come to a consensus on a proposal, and that there exist serious weaknesses in the development of treatments for drug users.
Uruguay has been on the vanguard of drug policy reform in the Americas, proposing a state regulatory market for the cultivation and consumption of marijuana. President Mujica always said he wouldn't push the proposal if a majority of Uruguayans didn't accept it. But few think this postponement means the project is forever shelved.
Coffeeshops in Haarlem krijgen vandaag een speciaal keurmerk. Daarmee kun je aan de buitenkant zien dat een shop in orde is. Een nobel initiatief, maar wel één die zich richt op problemen aan de voordeur, zeggen experts. Hoe zit het met de achterdeur van coffeeshops? De roep om een transparante cannabisketen klinkt steeds luider.
The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has called changes to cannabis laws in Uruguay and the US a ‘very grave danger to public health’, but campaigners for reform to drugs laws say the INCB’s comments are ‘shortsighted and narrow minded.’
The global drug prohibition bureaucracy's watchdog group, the International Drug Control Board (INCB) released its Annual Report 2013 today, voicing its concerns with and wagging its finger at drug reform efforts that deviate from its interpretation of the international drug control treaties that birthed it. The INCB is "concerned" about moves toward marijuana legalization and warns about "the importance of universal implementation of international drug control treaties by all states."
The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is a great innovation of the Treaty of Lisbon, enabling EU citizens to call directly on the European Commission to propose a legal act, if they can obtain the support of one million of their fellow citizens. The "Weed like to talk” campaign, launched by three French university students this year, aims to collect one million signatures from at least seven EU countries to call for a common cannabis policy based on a legally regulated market.
Is Europe being left behind? Sometimes it feels that way. In the US, Colorado and Washington have regulated recreational cannabis use, with Oregon and Alaska following suit. Uruguay is doing the same. Latin America leaders across the continent are turning against the war on drugs.