The coca-cocaine issue has gained momentum by the ascending of a peasant leader to the presidency in Bolivia, who announced making a case for the de-scheduling of the coca leaf from it's current classification as a dangerous narcotic drug in the international drug control conventions. Time has come to clarify longstanding confusion on the distinction between the coca leaf and its principal derivate cocaine.
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.
The "international community" presented an apparent unanimity in its endorsement of prohibitive drug control at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs in 1998. The reality is that there is a longstanding conflict within the UN system between nations wanting to maintain the prohibition regime and those hoping for a more pragmatic approach.