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  1. Bans on legal highs will drive booming trade underground, drug experts warn

    03 June 2015
    Other news

    The booming trade in legal highs will go underground in the face of blanket bans, such as that now being debated in Britain, European drug experts have warned in the annual report of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). They say online "grey marketplaces" selling new psychoactive substances (NPS) and greater use of social media are emerging as alternatives to the high street "head shops" and public websites likely to be shut down by laws enforcing a blanket ban on the trade. (See also: Legal highs: which drugs will be banned in the UK?)

  2. Jamaica to lead charge to change int'l treaties on marijuana

    17 March 2015
    Other news

    Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Anthony Hylton, says Jamaica intends to lead a charge in the United Nations to effect changes to the international treaties concerning marijuana. The aim is to change the schedule class of marijuana in light of scientific studies that have proven its therapeutic benefits and medicinal value. "Jamaica intends to participate, and to lead, if necessary, a process in the United Nations to have those treaties amended," Hylton said.

  3. ketamine

    Ketamine: why not everyone wants a ban

    13 March 2015
    Other news

    China is proposing there should be a worldwide ban on ketamine - the drug that can lead to users needing to have their bladders removed. But ketamine is used as an anaesthetic drug in much of Africa, and there are fears further international controls could affect medical usage too. The Chinese say that they are requesting the lowest level of restriction - known as schedule four - which would not affect its use for medical purposes. But Dr Kabwe in Lusaka's main hospital says any restriction will create a level of bureaucracy that will prohibit its use.

  4. The war on ketamine

    08 March 2015
    Other news

    In a dispute that pits the war on drugs against global health needs — and one UN agency against another — a pair of Canadian researchers is spearheading a last-ditch bid to keep a widely used anesthetic from being declared an illicit narcotic.

  5. WMA warns against making essential anaesthetic a controlled drug

    06 March 2015
    Other news

    Scheduling ketamine would restrict its availability worldwide, which  would lead to harmful impact on animal health and welfare, as well on public health. The World Medical Association is urging its 111 member associations to lobby their governments to oppose scheduling the anaesthetic agent Ketamine as a controlled drug.

  6. The ketamine controversy, continued

    Martin Jelsma
    06 March 2015
    Opinion

    The Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna will decide next week between two opposite proposals by China and the WHO about international control of ketamine, an essential anaesthetic in human and veterinary medicine. China originally proposed bringing ketamine under the 1971 Convention’s most severe control regime of Schedule I, which would dramatically affect its availability for surgery in poor rural settings and emergency situations. The WHO Expert Committee reviewed all the evidence and advised against any international control of ketamine, arguing it would trigger a public health disaster.

  7. Thumbnail

    El llamado a votación de la ONU sobre la ketamina podría provocar una crisis de salud pública en los países desarrollados

    Martin Jelsma
    05 March 2015

    La Comisión de Estupefacientes (the Commission on Narcotic Drugs - CND, por sus siglas en Inglés), con sede en Viena, decidirá pronto entre dos propuestas opuestas presentadas por China y por la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) en relación al control internacional de la ketamina, un anestésico esencial en la medicina humana y veterinaria.

  8. Why ‘Special K’ is good medicine

    02 March 2015
    Other news

    In the global world of illicit drug policies, the granddaddy of them all is the United States.

  9. Ketamine control plan condemned as potential disaster for world's rural poor

    27 February 2015
    Other news

    A proposal that is about to come before the UN to restrict global access to ketamine, a drug abused in rich countries, would deprive millions of women of lifesaving surgery in poor countries, according to medicines campaigners.

  10. ketamine

    Hoja informativa sobre la propuesta para discutir la clasificación internacional de la ketamina en la 58ª CND

    26 February 2015

    La ketamina es un medicamento esencial utilizado para la anestesia. Es el único anestésico disponible para cirugías esenciales en la mayoría de las zonas rurales de los países en desarrollo en donde viven más de dos mil millones de personas. La clasificación de la ketamina dejará a estas poblaciones sin este anestésico alternativo para las intervenciones quirúrgicas esenciales, y profundizará aún más la ya aguda crisis de la cirugía en el mundo.

  11. Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say

    23 February 2015
    Other news

    Compared to other recreational drugs -- including alcohol -- marijuana may be even safer than previously thought.

  12. La decisión de la Comisión de Estupefacientes de clasificar la ketamina socavaría el mandato encomendado a la OMS por los tratados de drogas

    Martin Jelsma
    18 February 2015
    Article

    Al 58º período de sesiones de la CND, que tendrá lugar en marzo de 2015, se le ha pedido que considere una propuesta de China para incluir la ketamina –un medicamento esencial utilizado para la anestesia– en la Lista I del Convenio de 1971 (E/CN.7/2015/7 y E/CN.7/2015/81). La ketamina es el único anestésico disponible para cirugías esenciales en la mayoría de las zonas rurales de los países en desarrollo en donde viven más de dos mil millones de personas. La clasificación de la ketamina en cualquiera de las listas del convenio de 1971 reducirá su disponibilidad y profundizará aún más la crisis ya aguda de la cirugía en el mundo.

  13. The UK needs common sense about ketamine

    17 February 2015
    Other news

    Ketamine is a unique anaesthetic and analgesic that has unfortunately become a popular recreational drug.

  14. CND decision to schedule ketamine would undermine WHO treaty mandate

    Martin Jelsma
    16 February 2015
    Article

    The UN Commission considers to bring ketamine under the control of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances contrary to WHO recommendations. The 58th Session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in March 2015 has been asked to consider a Chinese proposal to place ketamine – an essential medicine used for anaesthesia – in Schedule I of the 1971 Convention (E/CN.7/2015/7 and E/CN.7/2015/81). Ketamine is the only available anaesthetic for essential surgery in most rural areas of developing countries, home to more than 2 billion of the world’s people. Scheduling ketamine under any of the 1971 treaty schedules will reduce its availability and further deepen the already acute crisis of global surgery.

  15. Fact Sheet on the Proposal to Discuss International Scheduling of Ketamine at the 58th CND

    14 February 2015

    Ketamine is an essential medicine used for anaesthesia. It is the only available anaesthetic for essential surgery in most rural areas of developing countries, home to more than 2 billion of the world’s people. Scheduling ketamine will leave these populations with no alternative anaesthesia for essential surgery, and will further deepen the already acute crisis of global surgery.

  16. coverreport

    Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work

    09 September 2014

    The upcoming United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) in 2016 is an unprecedented opportunity to review and re-direct national drug control policies and the future of the global drug control regime. As diplomats sit down to rethink international and domestic drug policy, they would do well to recall the mandate of the United Nations, not least to ensure security, human rights and development.

  17. FDA to review marijuana safety

    20 July 2014
    Other news

    The United States federal government is considering easing its position on marijuana, reclassifying it as a less dangerous drug in what marijuana advocates say reflects the changing attitudes nationwide. But drug specialists fear the watershed moment for marijuana research could be a slippery slope for addicts. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing marijuana’s classification to consider changing it from a Schedule I drug. (See also: FDA to evaluate marijuana for potential reclassification as less dangerous drug)

  18. FDA to evaluate marijuana for potential reclassification as less dangerous drug

    23 June 2014
    Other news

    The US Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the medical evidence surrounding the safety and effectiveness of marijuana, a process that could lead to the agency downgrading the drug's current status as a Schedule I drug, the most dangerous classification. "FDA conducts for Health and Human Services a scientific and medical analysis of the drug under consideration," FDA Press Officer Jeff Ventura said. "HHS then recommends to DEA that the drug be placed in a given schedule. DEA considers HHS’ analysis, conducts its own assessment, and makes a final scheduling proposal in the form of a proposed rule." (See also: Scheduling in the international drug control system)

  19. 'Thousands of inmates' can soon be released under drug law

    28 May 2014
    Other news

    A new decree that overhauls Italy's drugs laws paves the way for releasing "thousands of convicted smalltime drug dealers from prison". The move follows parliamentary approval of a decree earlier this month that overhauls Italy's drugs laws and reclassifies marijuana as a soft rather than a hard narcotic. The new law also effectively removes jail time as a sentence for smalltime dealers, offering community service and other options in its place. (See also: Council of Europe lauds Italian moves on prison overcrowding)

  20. There's simply no case for banning khat

    30 March 2014
    Other news

    Khat is as potent as a strong cup of coffee and has no organised crime involvement – yet the government wants to spend £150m on a ban that would create far more severe problems. When the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, the government's expert advisors, were asked to consider khat, they said that it would be "inappropriate and disproportionate" to ban it. The cross-party home affairs select committee, on which I serve, produced a unanimous report opposing a ban. And yet the home secretary plans to do it anyway.

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