The voices of affected communities involved in the cultivation of coca leaf, opium poppy and cannabis plants are lacking in the global debate on drug policy reform in general and were at risk of being excluded from the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) 2016 on The World Drug Problem.
Producers of prohibited plants face conflict from authorites and the drug market itself. Their communities are stigmatized, criminalized and incarcerated. UN Global drug policy can change this by listening to their demands. Watch our video of the third Global Forum where producers shared experiences and knowledge and ultimately drafted the 'Heemskerk Declaration'
In a global meeting small scale farmers of cannabis, coca and opium from 14 countries discussed their contribution to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS). The UNGASS will discuss all aspects of global drug control policies, including the worldwide ban on the cultivation of coca, poppy and cannabis, an issue the Global Farmers Forum demands that their voices be heard and taken into account.
NOS op 3 - Zestig internationale drugsboeren bij elkaar - in het Noord-Hollandse Heemskerk. Allemaal worden ze getroffen door harde maatregelen vanuit hun landelijke overheid, maatregelen uit de internationale war on drugs - ingezet vanuit de VS.
NPO Radio 1 - Ze verbouwen cannabis, coca of opium. Hun vaders deden dat al, hun opa’s en zelf willen ze dat het liefst ook hun hele leven doen, de drugsboeren.. De afgelopen twee dagen zijn zo’n zestig drugsboeren uit Zuid- en Midden-Amerika, Afrika en Azië in Heemskerk bijeen voor een congres. Vandaag komen ze met de slotconclusie, want ze willen een einde aan de ‘war on drugs’. Pien Metaal, organisator van het congres, over de 'War on drugs'.
RTV NH - Zo'n veertig drugsboeren uit vijftien landen, goed voor honderden hectares marihuanaplanten, cocaplanten en papaverplanten, zijn vandaag en morgen bij elkaar in het Heemskerkse kasteel Assumburg.
Haarlems Dagblad - Miljoenen boeren over de hele wereld verdienen de kost met wiet, coca of opium. Zo'n veertig van deze drugstelers zitten donderdag en vrijdag bij elkaar in slot Assumburg bij Heemskerk. De boeren hopen dat er ooit een moment komt dat ze niet meer worden bedreigd en opgejaagd en dat hun velden niet meer worden platgebrand vanwege de oorlog tegen drugs. ,,Erger dan dit kan hun situatie niet worden.''
Noord Hollands Dagblad - Zestig coca-, papaver- en cannabisboeren en vertegenwoordigers uit vijftien landen praten vanaf woensdag in Kasteel Assumburg in Heemskerk over de armoede en de conflicten die het gevolg zijn van de wereldwijde ’war on drugs’.
If you actually read the treaties, while they do set firm limitations on the legal, "non-medical" or "non-scientific" sale of schedule drugs — limits that Uruguay, Colorado and Washington ignored when legalizing cannabis — they don’t otherwise obligate countries to penalize drug use. Even the 1988 convention, the harshest of the three, which instructs countries to criminalize use, still provides an out for states, allowing such laws only as they are "subject to its constitutional principles and the basic concepts of its legal system." This loophole has been used by the Dutch to argue legally for their coffee shops.
The last of the four ‘round tables’ of the high-level segment of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs was devoted to the broad issue of Countering illicit drug traffic and supply, and alternative development. TNI had been nominated by the Vienna NGO Committee to give a statement on the issue of Alternative Development (AD), being one of the few member NGOs with a track record on this issue and having actively participated in the Beyond 2008 initiative, including the negotiations at the July NGO forum to reach consensus on the text of a paragraph on AD in the final declaration. This is our impression of the event.
Peter Reuter (RAND), Franz Trautmann (Trimbos Institute) (eds.)
15 March 2009
This report commissioned by the European Commission, found no evidence that the global drug problem has been reduced during the period from 1998 to 2007 – the primary target of the 1998 UNGASS, which aimed to significantly reduce the global illicit drugs problem by 2008 through international cooperation and measures in the field of drug supply and drug demand reduction. Broadly speaking the situation has improved a little in some of the richer countries, while for others it worsened, and for some of those it worsened sharply and substantially', among which are a few large developing or transitional countries. Given the limitations of the data, a fair judgment is that the problem became somewhat more severe.
Why peasants from certain regions of the world cultivate the three plants – coca leaves, cannabis and opium poppy – that the international conventions have declared to be illicit? That was the essential question that was discussed at the First Global Forum of Producers of Crops Declared to be Illicit (FMPCDI), that took place in El Prat de Llobregat near Barcelona on January 29-31, 2009.
UNDCPs 1998 plan to eradicate the cultivation of both coca and opium poppy by the year 2008 was a rare opportunity to re-think current drugs efforts. Member states were asked to endorse a plan, known as SCOPE, for the eradication of drugs-linked crops by 2008. Is SCOPE viable? And what impact would it have on poor farmers who grow drugs-linked crops to survive?
Burma/Myanmar is undergoing yet another humanitarian crisis while entering a new critical political stage. In the Kokang region, an opium ban was enforced in 2003, and since mid-2005 no more poppy growing has been allowed in the Wa region. Banning opium in these Shan State regions where most of the Burmese opiates were produced, adds another chapter to the long and dramatic history of drugs, conflict and human suffering.
Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium, the raw material for heroin. In 2000, the Taleban regime enforced an opium ban that led to the virtual disappearance of opium poppy cultivation in areas under their control. In drug control terms, this is often referred to as an unprecedented success, yet the ban caused a major humanitarian disaster for hundreds of thousands dependent on the illicit economy.
Alternative Development programmes, aimed at encouraging peasants to switch from growing illicit drugs-related crops, play an important role in UN drug control strategies. The record of success, however, is a questionable one. Decades of efforts to reduce global drug supply using a combination of developmental and repressive means, managed to shift production from one country to another, but have failed in terms of global impact.