As a growing number of countries move towards legal regulation for non-medical cannabis, governments are pushing the boundaries of the three UN drug control treaties. At the 61st session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), TNI will co-organise a side event to explore the issue, addressing the various challenges and opportunities involved.
This International Symposium provides a timely opportunity for practitioners and stakeholders across Europe to discuss the latest challenges and consider the next steps needed to win the fight against illicit drug trafficking and substance misuse through holistic, multi-level and cross-border approaches. Public Policy Exchange welcomes the participation of all key partners, responsible authorities and stakeholders. The Symposium will support the exchange of ideas and encourage delegates to engage in thought-provoking topical debate.
The “E-Book of Authorities” is a civil society-led project to catalogue agreed UN statements and language on a selection of key topics. It aims to show the extent of existing international support for evidence-based drug policies, and to support international drug policy discussions, debates and negotiations.
Mozart Room (in the Restaurant), Vienna International Centre
In recent years, the Americas have been at the forefront of calls for a meaningful review of traditional approaches to drug control based on tough law enforcement and incarceration. The region has borne many of the costs of this approach, including enduring prison overcrowding, violence, and the proliferation of organised criminal organisations. Past policies have caused considerable health and social harms as well. Forced crop eradication programmes have only contributed to cycles of poverty and punitive responses to drug consumption have expanded in lieu of public health approaches.
For decades, the United States has been a champion of the global drug control treaty system, which limits the use of marijuana exclusively to medical and scientific purposes, and obligates governments to punish and even criminalize recreational marijuana activity. But American attitudes toward marijuana policy are shifting: voters in Colorado and Washington approved ballot initiatives to legalize regulated recreational marijuana in 2012, and recent polls suggest that the majority of Americans think marijuana use should be legalized.
In this edition, the 5th Latin American and 1st Central American Conference on Drug Policy aims to be a platform for discussion and elaboration of solution-oriented proposals. The production and use of drugs is a complex phenomenon, with multiple manifestations according to the historical moment, cultural environment, economic model, the particular circumstances of a country, the different significances assigned by subjects, as well as the actual differences between substances. Nevertheless, it is reduced and homogenized as the “drug problem”, as if it was a uniform, unhistorical phenomenon.
The eleventh Informal Drug Policy Dialogue took place in Athens, co-organised by TNI and Diogenes Association. The programme incuded five sessions: (1) an overview of the national Greek drug policy and the drug situation in Greece, developments in drug policy in Greece; (2) the current state of affairs in Vienna; preparations for the CND high-level review and negotiations of the joint Ministerial Statement;(3) global cannabis policy developments; (4) the control of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) ; (5) the road towards the upcoming UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS on drugs) in 2016 has been discussed.
The objective of this seminar is to compare the findings on innovative tools for the prevention of problematic cocaine use patterns, with experiences with harm reduction measures for stimulants in other regions of world.
This side event will be an opportunity for Uruguay’s National Drugs Board to present the country’s new legislation, and open constructive debates on the implications of such policy at the national and international level.
In July 2013 TNI and Paung Ku organised the First Southeast Asia Opium Farmers Forum, bringing together some 30 representatives of local communities involved in opium cultivation and local community workers from the major opium growing regions in Southeast Asia: Chin, Kachin, northern and southern Shan, and Kayah States in Burma/Myanmar and Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India.
The ninth Latin America informal drug policy dialogue was devoted to "dilemmas in regulation of the cannabis market." The two-day dialogues were structured around seven sessions: (1) The Uruguayan proposal for cannabis regulation: dilemmas and challenges. (2) Current models of regulation: United States, Spain and the Netherlands. (3) The fine art of regulation: state monopoly vs. self-regulated market which works better and for whom? (4) Addressing cross-border differences and market mobility. (5) Tensions between cannabis regulation and international drug-control treaties: What options do governments have? (6) Cannabis reforms under way in Latin America. (7) Strategy and paths to reform: scenarios and next steps.
The Eighth Informal Dialogue on Drug Policies in Latin America was held in Lima, with the support of the Drugs and Human Rights Research Center (Centro de Investigación Drogas y Derechos Humanos, CIDDH). The event included 32 participants from ten countries in Latin America and Europe, the United States and international agencies. The two days of dialogue were organized in six sessions focusing on the following topics: Drug policy in Peru and its challenges; alternative development theory and practice; harm reduction policies for the drug market; the future of reforms: decriminalization of possession and cultivation for personal consumption; the legal market for coca leaves; and, options and debate in international bodies.
We are currently witnessing renewed attempts to open a debate on alternatives to the current drug control policies in Latin America. The failure of present drug control policies and the disproportionate social, economic, and political costs have led academics, advocates, and officials to search for approaches that promise to be both more humane and more effective.
Thursday, March 15, 13:15 – 14:45 in the Mozart Room, Vienna International Centre (VIC Restaurant - Ground Floor, F Building)