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  1. The UN Drug Control Conventions

    • Amira Armenta, Martin Jelsma
    08 October 2015
    Primer

    For more than ten years, TNI’s Drugs & Democracy programme has been studying the UN drug control conventions and the institutional architecture of the UN drug control regime. As we approach the 2016 UNGASS, this primer is a tool to better understand the role of these conventions, the scope and limits of their flexibility, the mandates they established for the CND, the INCB and the WHO, and the various options for treaty reform.

  2. Timeline - Fumigation in Colombia

    30 September 2015
    Infograph

    For 37 years Colombia has been spraying chemicals to combat illicit crops, particularly coca. These massive eradication programmes became part of the US-backed 'War on Drugs'. The fumigations are controversial for their proven inefficacy to reduce supply and demand for the use of herbicides such as glyphosate.

  3. cannabis-smoker

    Cannabis policy in the Czech Republic

    Tereza Filipková
    28 September 2015
    Article

    The Czech drug-related legislation is quite extensive and includes laws as well as various by-laws. The most important feature of the Czech legislative system is that criminal law does not consider drug use to be a criminal offence. The new Czech Criminal Code introduced a brand-new sig­nificant feature into the Czech legal system – the differentiation between cannabis and other nar­cotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

  4. Indonesia and the New War on Drugs

    Dania Putri
    24 September 2015
    Article

    Following the dramatic executions of drug traffickers in April 2015, the Indonesian government decided to step up its anti-narcotics efforts, reinforcing public condemnation of drugs while slashing activists' hopes for progressive reforms.

  5. Latin America Informal Drug Policy Dialogue, San Juan

    21 September 2015
    Report

    Focusing on the Caribbean region, the thirteenth Informal Drug Policy Dialogue in Latin America, was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from 23-25 April 2015.
     

  6. IDPC recommendations for the "ZERO DRAFT" of the UNGASS outcome document

    • International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC)
    22 July 2015

    Preparations are gathering pace for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs, to be held on the 19th to 21st April 2016 in New York. Following several months of discussion on procedural elements, attention is now focused on negotiating the content of the "short, substantive, concise and action-orientated outcome document comprising a set of operational recommendations" to be approved by the General Assembly next April. At the CND intersessional meeting on 12th June, countries and regional groups were invited to submit their first ideas for what could be included in this Outcome Document, by a deadline of 11th September.

  7. germany-cannabis

    SPD und Grüne für entspanntes Kiffen

    21 July 2015
    Other news

    Cannabis-Konsum milder bestrafen oder gleich ganz legalisieren: In den Bundesländern mehren sich die Rufe nach einem liberaleren Umgang. Baden-Württembergs Ministerpräsident Winfried Kretschmann (Grüne) sprach sich für eine Legalisierung von Cannabis aus, um den Stoff zu entkriminalisieren. Die Hamburger Landes- regierung erwägt, die Gesetzesregeln zum Konsum zu lockern. Mit dem neuen Bremer Regierungschef Carsten Sieling (SPD) hatte sich erstmals ein Ministerpräsident für die Legalisierung ausgesprochen – sofern der rechtliche Rahmen das zulasse. (Google translation in English | Mehr dazu: Das große Kiff-Verständnis)

  8. till_steffen

    Kiffer sollen wie Falschparker bestraft werden

    21 July 2015
    Other news

    Hamburgs Justizsenator Till Steffen (Grüne) will das Kiffen zu einer Ordnungswidrigkeit herabstufen. "Es wäre wie beim Falschparken. Da kann abgewogen werden: Schreibe ich ein Knöllchen oder nicht", sagte Steffen der "Hamburger Morgenpost". Das bisherige System, wonach auch auf den Besitz kleiner Mengen Cannabis eine Strafanzeige folgen muss, ist aus Steffens Sicht gescheitert. "Das bringt nichts und macht viel Arbeit", sagte Steffen. Bei dem Thema Cannabis-Freigabe müßte im Ernstfall auch die CDU bewegen würde und einem Modellversuch zur kontrollierten Abgabe zustimmen würde.

  9. john-hogg

    Police force gives cannabis users green light to grow drugs

    21 July 2015
    Other news

    Durham Police has given users the green light to grow cannabis at home after declaring that officers will no longer proactively target small scale producers. In a move, which will be seen as a step towards decriminalisation, Durham's Police Commissioner Ron Hogg said it will only go after people if there is a complaint or if they are being "blatant", while the force will continue to tackle large scale cannabis farms. (See also: Cannabis users won't be a priority for County Durham Police | Durham police stop targeting pot smokers and small-scale growers)

  10. Guzmán: The buried truth

    19 July 2015
    Other news

    On June 25, 2015, the United States issued a formal request to the Mexican government for the extradition of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, known as El Chapo, who was being held at Mexico’s highest security prison. On July 11, less than three weeks later, Guzmán Loera released himself from the supposedly impregnable prison in President Enrique Peña Nieto’s home state, by means of a sixty-foot-deep tunnel that had apparently been dug from a half-built house a mile away, directly into the shower of his prison cell. (See also: Chapo saga highlights Mexico's convoluted extradition policy)

  11. International Law and Drug Policy Reform

    16 July 2015

    Drug policy reform is currently higher on the international agenda than it has been in recent memory. With a United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs set for 19-21 April 2016, the prominence of this issue will further increase. Significant legal and policy reforms at the national level have taken place in recent years that pose considerable challenges to the international legal framework for drug control, and beg important questions regarding states’ international legal obligations.

  12. italy-cannabis

    Italy takes step toward legalizing pot

    15 July 2015
    Other news

    Italy took a first step toward legalization of pot, leading Europe in what would be a groundbreaking change. The Intergrupo Parlamentare Cannabis Legale, a cross-party committee, agreed on a provisional text to legalize the consumption, growing, production and sale of cannabis under certain conditions. The text was signed by 218 members of parliament, and not just by the usual suspects. The proposal would allow growing cannabis at home or as members of "cannabis clubs" where a maximum of 50 people could cultivate and then share the product, with a strict prohibition on selling to the general public. (See also: Bill would legalize marijuana)

  13. mark-golding

    Summary of Drugs & Democracy Activities, April - June 2015

    15 July 2015
    Article

    Drug law reform continues developing in the right direction in several Latin American and Caribbean countries. In Jamaica, for example, a law legalizing the cultivation and consumption of ganja for medicinal, religious and research purposes came into force, as well as the decriminalisation of possession for personal use.  Jamaica also spoke out at the UN Thematic Debate in New York. On May 7th, the minister addressed the UN High Level Thematic Debate on international drug policy, highlighting Jamaica’s perspectives on drug control policies and participating in a debate that encourages open and inclusive discussions. Amongst the outcomes Jamaica would like to see from UNGASS is “the establishment of an Expert Advisory Group to review the UN drug policy control architecture, its system-wide coherence, its treaty inconsistencies and its legal tension with cannabis regulations.”

  14. With marijuana price down 70%, Colombia growers are bailing

    13 July 2015
    Other news

    On a farm in the central Andean mountains of Colombia, workers are digging up marijuana bushes and replacing them with avocados.

  15. Obama calls for shorter sentences for nonviolent convicts

    13 July 2015
    Other news

    Calling it an issue America can’t afford to ignore, President Barack Obama laid out an expansive vision for fixing the criminal justice system. “In far too many cases, the punishment simply doesn’t fit the crime,” Obama told a crowd of 3,300 in Philadelphia. Low-level drug dealers, for example, owe a debt to society, but not a life sentence or 20-year prison term, he said. The United States needed to reevaluate an “aspect of American life that remains particularly skewed by race and by wealth.” Working in Obama’s favor: tentative but optimistic signs of common ground between Republicans and Democrats. (See also: President Obama for the prisoners)

  16. Uruguay cannabis market still struggles for legitimacy a year after historic ruling

    12 July 2015
    Other news

    In May 2014, then-president Mujica signed far-reaching regulations for Uruguay’s marijuana market, making the nation the first country in the world to legalize sales of cannabis.

  17. Smoking may be causal factor in developing schizophrenia: researchers

    12 July 2015
    Other news

    In research that turns on its head previous thinking about links between schizophrenia and smoking, scientists say cigarettes may be a causal factor in the development of psychosis.

  18. Ketamine produced in China

    The Ketamine Connection

    10 July 2015
    Other news

    For decades, ketamine was only manufactured by pharmaceutical companies. Technically, it was too complicated to be made by amateur chemists. But in the past five years, that has changed. Chinese drug gangs have cracked the code, figuring out how to manufacture large batches of cheap ketamine. Drug traffickers don't bother to steal ketamine from legal sources anymore. Instead, they're making their own. It's largely a Chinese breakthrough.

  19. Marijuana study counters 'gateway' theory

    09 July 2015
    Other news

    Marijuana may not be the "gateway drug" some believe it to be, a new study contends. Instead, teens smoke pot for very specific reasons, and it is those reasons that appear to prompt their decision to try other drugs, researchers report. For example, kids who use marijuana because they are bored are more likely to also use cocaine, while kids using pot to achieve insight or understanding are more likely to try magic mushrooms, according to findings published recently in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse.

  20. High Court ruling deals blow to cannabis clubs

    09 July 2015
    Other news

    Spain's highest court has declared a cannabis club in Bilbao in violation of public health - the court’s first ruling on such clubs - which could set precedent for smoking collectives in the future.

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