State-level cannabis reforms have exposed the inability of the United States to abide by the terms of the legal bedrock of the global drug control system. It is calls for a conversation the US federal government wishes to avoid. The result is a new official position on the UN drugs treaties that, despite its seductively progressive tone, serves only to sustain the status quo and may cause damage beyond drug policy.
The strategy of Asean's 10 member countries to become "drug free" by 2015 is failing dramatically. In the last decade, opium cultivation in the region has doubled, drug use -- especially of methamphetamines, a powerful synthetic stimulant -- has increased significantly, and there remain strong links between drugs, conflict, crime and corruption.
There is an undeniable regional trend of moving away from the ‘war on drugs’ in Latin America. This briefing explains the background, summarises the state of ongoing drug law reforms, and makes recommendations to move the debate forward.
Remarkable drug policy developments are taking place in Latin America. This is not only at the level of political debate, but is also reflected in actual legislative changes in a number of countries. All in all there is an undeniable regional trend of moving away from the ‘war on drugs’. This briefing explains the background to the opening of the drug policy debate in the region, summarises the most relevant aspects of the ongoing drug law reforms in some countries, and makes a series of recommendations that could help to move the debate forward in a productive manner.
The assumption that reducing opium production would lead to less drug use has been proven wrong. It has instead contributed to a pattern of an increased use of stronger drugs and more harmful patterns of use.
With Afghanistan now responsible for more than 90 per cent of the world’s opium production, there is massive international pressure for repressive policies. But quick-fix solutions like opium bans and eradication don’t work, write Martin Jelsma and Tom Kramer, who report back from Afghanistan on the rising anger of poor farmers on the front line
De opiumproductie in Afghanistan bereikte dit jaar een nieuw record van 6.100 ton. Het land is hiermee goed voor 92 procent van de wereldproductie. Er gaan stemmen op om militairen, onder wie Nederlandse, in te zetten om de opiumteelt te bestrijden.
Stop the chemical and biological War on Drugs, for the sake of reason, in defence of the communities whose livelihoods are destroyed, to preserve the environment and to genuinely improve the prospects for peace.
Amira Armenta, Martin Jelsma, Tom Blickman, Virginia Montañés
20 December 2001
With the new international context of the war against terrorism, the war on drugs moves centre stage as well. While drugs and terrorism are now shoved together to demonise the ‘evil’ enemy, reality is the victim. Blending the two wars to one seriously endangers the advances made to find a solution to the drug problem.
Aerial fumigations with herbicides of drug crops in Colombia set in motion a vicious circle of human, social and environmental destruction. A worldwide campaign calls for the end of these harmful and inefficient forced eradication practices.