Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media

 

  • Government proposes to scrap need for scientific advice on drugs policy

    Amendment removes requirement to appoint at least six scientists to Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs
    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    Ministers will not be required to seek the advice of scientists when making drug classification policy in future, under new government proposals. The police reform and social responsibility bill, published last week, contains an amendment to the constitution of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) that would remove the requirement on the home secretary to appoint at least six scientists to the committee.

  • Conquering Complexo do Alemão

    A big step towards reclaiming Rio de Janeiro from the drug dealers
    The Economist (UK)
    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    It was a moment that residents of Rio de Janeiro thought would never come. For decades many of the city’s favelas have been ruled by drug traffickers or militias. Sporadic flare-ups would see the police go in to these self-built settlements seeking revenge, only to pull back leaving bodies scattered and the gangs to return to business. But last month when the city’s two main drug gangs began hijacking and torching vehicles at gunpoint, this time the authorities’ response was different.

  • The only winner in the 'war on drugs'

    The real effect of militarising drugs policy in Latin America has been to cement the hegemony of the US Southern Command
    Juan Gabriel Tokatlian
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    The outcome of this militarisation of drugs policy has been overwhelmingly negative. Military involvement in such an irregular war was not only unrealistic, but has also proved counterproductive. Every once in a while, a momentous triumph is announced in one or another country. But within a few years, the proliferation of front lines in the "war on drugs" reveals that such "success" was, at best, a pyrrhic victory. Meanwhile, democracy deteriorates, national insecurity spreads and human rights violations worsen.

  • Police occupation hurts improved relations with favelas

    IPS
    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    Reports of human rights abuses committed during the police and military occupation of several favelas in this Brazilian city are jeopardising local residents’ newfound support for the security forces and posing challenges within the police. "I have never felt so humiliated," a local woman who takes in people’s laundry for a living told IPS. Asking to be identified merely as "D", she talked about what happened during the massive joint police and armed forces incursion in the Complexo do Alemão, a series of favelas or shantytowns on the north side of Rio de Janeiro.

  • Calif. Pot Proponents Gird for 2012

    John Hoeffel
    The Washington Post (US)
    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    Despite Proposition 19's loss at the polls this month, marijuana-legalization advocates in California are already working on their comeback plan for 2012 and are almost giddy about their prospects. They see the election as a trial run that could lead to a campaign with a better message, a tighter measure and more money. Both the winning and losing sides say California's voters rejected this specific initiative but remain open to legalizing the easily obtainable drug.

  • Portugal's Drug Experience: New Study Confirms Decriminalization Was a Success

    Time Magazine (US)
    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    From the perspective of drug warriors, the criminal laws against drug possession are all that protect Americans from a deluge of drugs, an orgy of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine use that would kill children, destroy productivity and basically leave America a smoking hulk of wasteland populated by brain-dead zombies. New research on Portugal's drug policy suggests that this isn't necessarily so.

  • Liberal Dutch marijuana policy taking another hit?

    The Associated Press
    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    The new conservative Dutch government wants to force the country's marijuana cafes to become "members only" clubs, a move that would effectively block foreigners from buying the drug. If the idea ever becomes reality — it would be legally complicated and politically divisive — it would be the latest of the country's liberal policies to be scrapped or curtailed as the Dutch rethink the limits of their famed tolerance. While marijuana is technically illegal in the Netherlands, it has been sold openly in designated cafes for decades, and police make no arrests for possession of small amounts.

  • A hunger strike divides Switzerland

    Swissinfo (Switzerland)
    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    rappazImprisoned cannabis farmer Bernard Rappaz has been on hunger strike for more than 80 days in protest at a prison sentence he considers too high. Doctors have refused orders from the authorities to force feed him. In the latest twist to the story, the Federal Court rejected Rappaz' appeal for his imprisonment to be suspended. Rappaz, who is well known as someone who has fought for the legalisation of cannabis, received a prison sentence of five years and eight months for violating the federal drugs law.

  • Legal marijuana: Not if, but when

    Allan Block
    The Orange County Register (US)
    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    One might have expected the principals of the Proposition 19 campaign to partially decriminalize marijuana possession and use to be a little chagrined in the wake the initiative's 54-46 loss after it had maintained a narrow but reasonably steady lead in the polls until a couple of weeks before Election Day. But in two teleconferences in which I participated after the election, they were remarkably upbeat, celebrating Prop. 19 as the proposal that finally brought marijuana legalization into the mainstream, garnering mostly favorable news coverage worldwide that significantly advanced the debate over marijuana legalization.

  • Prop. 19 Failure Means Advocates Have Clean Slate

    Allison Margolin
    The Harvard Law Record (US)
    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Drug use and abuse are social and pubic health issues. But these drug laws started as purity laws in a progressive effort to stop pharmaceutical companies from addicting their unknowing customers to substances like heroin and cocaine added to common products like cough medicine and soft drinks. We have lost sight of these original goals.

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