Commonly found in Southeast Asia including in Myanmar, leaves from the kratom tree have long been used as a traditional medicine to treat various health conditions, including diabetes, diarrhoea, fever and pain. Kratom is currently banned in Myanmar, and the WHO's Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) is discussing this week whether it should be placed under international drug control. Instead of criminalisation, however, this commentary argues that legal regulation of kratom could contribute to building safer communities, promoting development and supporting peace efforts in Myanmar and beyond.
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?
In a historic vote, the United Nations (UN) has finally recognised the medicinal value of cannabis.
A group of prominent drug policy organisations has welcomed the move, but also expressed disappointment that this reform does not go far enough, as cannabis remains categorised internationally alongside drugs like heroin and cocaine.
The review was revisiting cannabis scheduling decisions made in the 1950s, which were driven by prevailing racist and colonial attitudes, and not based on scientific evaluations. This has remained unchallenged.
In January 2019 the World Health Organization issued a collection of formal recommendations to reschedule cannabis and cannabis-related substances. 53 member states of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) are set to vote on these recommendations in December 2020.
Following its first-ever critical review of cannabis, in January 2019 the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a collection of formal recommendations to reschedule cannabis and cannabis-related substances. 53 member states of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), two of which are Caribbean states, are set to vote on these recommendations in December 2020.
The 63rd Sesssion of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs takes place from 2nd to 6th March 2020. TNI and its partners will participate at this annual series of meetings and co-hosts five side events on 5th and 6th March 2020.
Societies in the Americas have coexisted with smokable cocaines for over four decades, but - surprisingly - there is a dearth of research on the development of the market, or much first-hand evidence of how this substance is actually commercialized and used by millions of people in the region. After a few years of field research, our study on the topic will be launched at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
From 16 to 18 October 2019, representatives of member states, intergovernmental organisations, and civil society attended the 6th Intersessional Meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. On 17 October 2019, representatives of coca and opium growers from Colombia and Myanmar delivered statements highlighting the situation of communities involved in the illicit cultivation of coca and opium in both countries. Below are their full statements.
Today marks the United Nations’ International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Its origin can be traced back to the institutional architecture of the global drug control system which for the last five decades has served as a mechanism that regulates, controls, or prohibits the use and distribution of more than 300 psychoactive substances.
John Walsh, Martin Jelsma, Tom Blickman, David Bewley-Taylor
19 မတ်လ 2019
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.
The recently-released “Myanmar Opium Survey 2018” by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) entails specific accusations against several of the conflict actors. This commentary explains how this further distorts, rather than reflects, the complex realities in Myanmar.
The voice of communities involved in illicit cultivation had long been excluded from policymaking platforms. However, thanks to growing networks such as the Myanmar Opium Farmers Forum, more and more farmers have gained more space to provide input to drug policy discussions at the UN level.
Countries that embrace legal regulation find themselves in breach of international law. In this video, we explain a strategy to resolve those treaty tensions and to enable progressive and sustainable change at the global level.