In a letter to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), a global network of 177 NGOs, expresses strong support for the Peace Accord signed by the Colombian government and the FARC, while also expressing deep concern regarding intensified, and increasingly militarized, forced coca eradication efforts, especially in areas where communities have already signed crop substitution agreements.
The legal approach to coca has been one of the most challenging topics in the current international drug control system, due to the plant’s connection to both commercial cocaine and ancient Andean traditions. Yet it’s rare for a case related to the coca leaf to come before a European court, in a region where those traditions are rarely discussed.
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.
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.
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'.
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’.
A new UN study showing a steep rise in the cultivation of the leaf used to make cocaine offers fresh support to Colombia’s recent decision to end the aerial spraying of drug crops with herbicides. Justice minister, Yesid Reyes, said the report showed that the aerial aspersion strategy was ineffective. After spraying 1.5m hectares in the past 12 years, the total reduction of coca crops was just 12,000 hectares, Reyes said. Paraphrasing Albert Einstein, he added: “Insanity is to continue doing the same thing and expect different results.”
For more than two decades crop dusters have buzzed the skies of Colombia showering bright green fields of coca with chemical defoliant as part of a US-funded effort to stem the country’s production of cocaine. Farmers across the country have long complained that indiscriminate spraying also destroys legal crops, and that the chemical used – glyphosate – has caused everything from skin rashes and respiratory problems to diarrhoea and miscarriages.
An article published recently in El Espectador commented on the two issues that underpin the Colombian discourse on the subject of drugs. To be precise, the government’s discourse is far from reflecting what goes on in practice, or the actions that are still being carried out in the country. Colombia is seen as the star pupil in complying with the United Nations drug treaties and it continues to do things that many other countries would avoid.
Many myths surround coca. Every day press accounts around the world use the word coca in their headlines, when in fact they refer to cocaine. TNI's Drugs and Democracy Team exposes the myths and reality surrounding the coca leaf.
Latin America is now at the vanguard of international efforts to promote drug policy reform: Bolivia has rewritten its constitution to recognize the right to use the coca leaf for traditional and legal purposes, Uruguay has become the first nation in the world to adopt a legal, regulated Cannabis market, and Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, and Ecuador are openly critiquing the prevailing international drug control paradigm at the UN. And now with the United States itself relaxing its marijuana laws state by state, the U.S. prohibitionist drug war strategies are losing credibility in the region.
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.