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Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work

The United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) in 2016 is an unprecedented opportunity to review the future of the global drug control regime

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Cannabis and the Conventions

The question facing the international community today is no longer whether or not there is a need to reassess the UN drug control system, but rather when and how ...

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Addicted to Punishment

The Research Group CEDD has this and other publications now available on their own website..

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Systems Overload

An unprecedented one-year comparative study reveals alarming pattern in imprisonment for drug crimes in Latin America. The weight of the law falls on the most vulnerable individuals, overcrowding the prisons,…

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Drug Law Reform on the Map

Drug Legislative Reforms in Latin America: A country by country overview of drug law reform in the Latin American region.

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The Human Face

These videos feature people who have spent years in prison enduring harsh sentences that are disproportionate to the crimes they committed...

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  • Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work

    Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP)
    September 2014

    CoverReportThe 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.

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  • Scheduling in the international drug control system

    Christopher Hallam Dave Bewley-Taylor Martin Jelsma
    Series on Legislative Reform of Drug Policies Nr. 25
    June 2014

    dlr25While often viewed as an obscure technical issue, the problem of scheduling lies at the core of the functioning of the international drug control system. Scheduling – the classification of a substance within a graded system of controls and restrictions, or 'schedules' – must take place in order for a substance to be included in the international control framework, and determines the type and intensity of controls to be applied. For this reason, the topic is of central importance.

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  • The Rise and Decline of Cannabis Prohibition

    The History of Cannabis in the UN Drug Control System and Options For Reform
    Dave Bewley-Taylor Tom Blickman Martin Jelsma
    Transnational Institute / Global Drugs Policy Observatory
    March 2014

    rise-decline-coverThe cannabis plant has been used for spiritual, medicinal and recreational purposes since the early days of civilization. In this report the Transnational Institute and the Global Drug Policy Observatory describe in detail the history of international control and how cannabis was included in the current UN drug control system. Cannabis was condemned by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as a psychoactive drug with “particularly dangerous properties” and hardly any therapeutic value.

    application-pdfDownload the full report (PDF - 5.0 MB)

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  • Time for UN to open up dialogue on drug policy reform and end counter-productive blame-game

    Press release by TNI/GDPO
    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

    As the UN International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) launches its annual report on Tuesday, 4 March, amidst an unprecedented crisis in the international drug control regime, leading drug policy reform experts have called on the INCB and related UN institutions to urgently open up a constructive dialogue on international drug policy reform.

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  • Cocaine: towards a self-regulation model

    New developments in Harm Reduction
    Grazia Zuffa
    Series on Legislative Reform of Drug Policies Nr. 24
    February 2014

    dlr24By taking cues from users’ self-regulation strategies, it is possible to design innovative operational models for drug services as well as drug policies, strengthening Harm Reduction as an alternative approach to the disease model. A significant body of research on cocaine users recruited outside captive populations – that is, studies based on samples of users who have not been enrolled through drug addiction services – has been carried out in many European countries and outside Europe. These studies show a variety of patterns and trajectories of use other than “addictive” use.

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  • Eyes Wide Shut: Corruption and Drug-Related Violence in Rosario

    Ross Eventon
    Briefing Series on Drug Markets and Violence, Nr 1
    December 2013

    dmv1_coverIn Rosario, Argentina, the presence of criminal organisations involved in drug trafficking was a low priority for the government until New Year’s day 2012, when the killing of three innocent civilians by members of a gang sparked press attention.

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  • Uruguay’s pioneering cannabis regulation marks the tipping point in the failed war on drugs

    Press release by TNI
    Tuesday, December 10, 2013

    Uruguay’s senate voted today (10 December) to approve the world’s first national legal framework regulating the cultivation, trade and consumption of cannabis for medical, industrial as well as recreational purposes. The historical vote is expected to inspire and spread cannabis reform initiatives around the world and to have a major impact on upcoming UN-level drug policy evaluations.

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  • Human Rights and drug policy

    Drug control should respect human rights

    hr-declaration-smallThe Transnational Institute (TNI) has always believed in the need to find global answers to global problems, been a strong defender of multilateralism and an advocate of a well-functioning United Nations which stands as the guarantor of universal human rights. On the drugs question, our position is straightforward: drug control should respect human rights.

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  • Highs and lows in cannabis policy reform

    Recent developments in cannabis regulation

    coffee-shop-licenceCannabis is the most widely produced and consumed illicit substance globally. A significant number of states have long engaged in soft defection from the UN drug control regime in relation to tolerant policies on the personal possession, cultivation and use of cannabis. Recently, there has been growing debate within political circles on the benefits of regulated cannabis markets. This has been driven by a number of factors, including the continuing illegality of supply, the associated and often violent involvement of criminal elements and the use of finite criminal justice resources. In this section you will find an overview of our most recent blogs on the issue.

    Latest: Mexico legislators consider regulating marijuana to protect human right, Zara Snapp, July 14, 2014

     

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  • Drugs as war economy and the peace process in Colombia: dilemmas and challenges

    Ricardo Vargas
    Drug Policy Briefing Nr 41
    September 2013

    Brief41-bisbisThe fourth item on the agenda of talks “to end the conflict,” on the issue of drugs, seems to reflect rather a flat and simplistic view of the classic circuit of drug production, processing, trafficking and use. The relationship between drugs and armed conflict in Colombia is in fact much more complex. This report analyses the challenges that drug trafficking poses to the development of a sustainable peace.

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In 2011 the 1961 UN Single Convention on drugs will be in place for 50 years. In 2012 the international drug control system will exist 100 years since the International Opium Convention was signed in 1912 in The Hague. Does it still serve its purpose or is a reform of the UN Drug Conventions needed? This site provides critical background.

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Drug Law Reform in Latin America is a project of the TNI Drugs & Democracy programme
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