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175 items
  1. A House of Cards

    Martin Jelsma, David Bewley-Taylor, Tom Blickman, John Walsh
    29 April 2022
    Article

    Cannabis policy developments have arrived at an important moment where the treaty issue needs to be confronted in an honest manner, and not by hypocritical denials or fantasy interpretations that undermine basic principles of international law and cannot stand the scrutiny of ‘good faith’ treaty interpretation.

  2. Kratom: the creation of a threat

    • Martin Jelsma
    11 October 2021

    A pre-review of kratom (Mitragyna speciosa), a tree native to Southeast Asia, and its two principal psychoactive alkaloids (mitragynine, 7-hydroxymitragynine), is on the agenda of the 44th WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) for their 11-15 October 2021 meeting. Kratom and its compounds have not previously been reviewed by WHO and are not currently under international control, but a number of Southeast Asian and European countries as well as Australia have varying levels of national controls in place. How did kratom get on the ECDD agenda? And what are the chances that this process will ultimately lead to kratom being put under international control?

  3. Pre-review of kratom, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine

    Martin Jelsma
    11 October 2021
    Declaration

    Written statement by Martin Jelsma, Transnational Institute (TNI), 8 October 2021

  4. A sustainable future for cannabis farmers

    • Martin Jelsma, Tom Blickman, Sylvia Kay, Pien Metaal, Nicolás Martínez Rivera, Dania Putri
    14 April 2021
    Report

    Learn how lessening the barriers for small farmers while raising them for large companies can help to steer legal cannabis markets in a more sustainable and equitable direction based on principles of community empowerment, social justice, fair(er) trade and sustainable development.

  5. Conditionalities of the WHO cannabis recommendations

    Martin Jelsma
    29 January 2020
    Article
  6. Image of UN Flag

    UN Common Position on drug policy - Consolidating system-wide coherence

    • Martin Jelsma
    03 December 2019
    Policy briefing

    In November 2018, the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination adopted the ‘UN system common position supporting the implementation of the international drug control policy through effective inter-agency collaboration’, expressing the shared drug policy principles of all UN organisations and committing them to speak with one voice.

  7. The WHO’s First-Ever Critical Review of Cannabis

    • John Walsh, Martin Jelsma, Tom Blickman, David Bewley-Taylor
    19 March 2019
    Policy briefing

    The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD or Expert Committee) released in January 2019 the outcomes of the first-ever critical review of cannabis, recommending a series of changes in the current scheduling of cannabis-related substances under the UN drug control conventions.

  8. Fair(er) Trade Options for the Cannabis Market

    • Martin Jelsma, Sylvia Kay, David Bewley-Taylor
    02 March 2019
    Report

    Policy changes over the past five years or so have dramatically reshaped the global cannabis market. Not only has there been an unprecedented boom in medical markets, but following policy shifts in several jurisdictions a growing number of countries are also preparing for legal regulation of non-medical use. Such moves look set to bring a clear range of benefits in terms of health and human rights. As this groundbreaking Report, highlights, however, there are also serious concerns about the unfolding market dynamics.

  9. Alternative development and human rights

    Martin Jelsma
    24 October 2018
    Article

    Around the world, millions of people depend on the cultivation of coca, opium poppy and cannabis for basic subsistence. The 1961 Convention introduced strict controls on the cultivation of these plants and banned centuries-old traditional medicinal, cultural and ceremonial uses. The 1988 Convention reinforced those provisions, obliging states to eradicate illicit cultivation and to impose criminal sanctions.

  10. Connecting the dots... Human rights, illicit cultivation and alternative development

    • Martin Jelsma
    22 October 2018
    Report

    How can we resolve the tensions between current drug control policies and states’ human rights obligations? The international human rights framework clearly establishes that, in the event of conflicts between obligations under the UN Charter and other international agreements, human rights obligations take precedence. As legally regulated cannabis markets start to grow, now is the time to secure a legitimate place for small farmers using alternative development, human rights and fair trade principles.

  11. Donald Trump

    Trump to Host UN Meeting on Drug Policy: Veneer of Consensus Masks Deep Disagreement on Global Drug Policy

    John Walsh, Ann Fordham, Martin Jelsma, Hannah Hetzer
    22 September 2018
    Article

    The "Global Call to Action" document that the U.S. government is circulating—and heavily pressuring reluctant countries to sign—is explicitly “not open for negotiation.” Far from an effort at achieving mutual understanding and genuine consensus, it is an instance of heavy-handed U.S. “with us or against us” diplomacy.

  12. In bid to intimidate Canada on cannabis regulation, INCB is reckless and wrong

    John Walsh, Martin Jelsma
    07 May 2018
    Article

    How constructive is the UN drug treaty monitoring body's response to Canada's proposed new cannabis law legislation?

  13. Hearing on Bill C-45 as it relates to Canada’s international obligations

    Martin Jelsma, John Walsh
    25 April 2018
    Declaration

    The international dimensions of Bill C-45 are of utmost importance not only for Canada itself but for many countries around the world that are moving in the direction of legally regulating the cannabis market

  14. Thumbnail Amapola, opio y heroína

    Poppies, opium, and heroin: Production in Colombia and Mexico

    • Guillermo Andrés Ospina, Jorge Hernández Tinajero, Martin Jelsma
    16 April 2018
    Report

    Poppy cultivation in Mexico and Colombia is part of a local economy geared almost exclusively toward the illegal market abroad: it is driven by demand for heroin, primarily in the United States.

  15. Canada’s next steps on cannabis and the UN Drug Treaties

    David Bewley-Taylor, Tom Blickman, Martin Jelsma, John Walsh
    03 April 2018
    Opinion

    Ever since the introduction of Bill C-45, questions have been swirling concerning Canada’s position relative to the UN drug control conventions: conventions to which Canada is a party and that, crucially, prohibit the creation of regulated markets for the recreational use of cannabis.

  16. Balancing Treaty Stability and Change

    • Martin Jelsma, Neil Boister, David Bewley-Taylor, Malgosia Fitzmaurice, John Walsh
    15 March 2018
    Policy briefing

    Legal tensions are growing within the international drug control regime as increasing numbers of member states move towards or seriously consider legal regulation of the cannabis market for non-medical purposes. Amongst reform options not requiring consensus, inter se modification appears to be the most ‘elegant’ approach and one that provides a useful safety valve for collective action to adjust a treaty regime arguably frozen in time.

  17. Yes, legalizing marijuana breaks treaties. We can deal with that.

    John Walsh, Tom Blickman, Martin Jelsma, David Bewley-Taylor
    10 January 2018
    Opinion

    Buzzing in the background of Canada’s debate on cannabis legalization is the issue of the three UN drug control treaties, and what to do with them.

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