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  • Is the INCB dangerous to your health?

    Five ways the UN's drug watchdog fails on health and human rights
    Daniel Wolfe, director of the International Harm Reduction Development Program, Open Society Foundations
    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

    raymond-yans2In what has become a chilling annual exercise, the UN's drug watchdog the International Narcotics Control Board released its annual report today. The INCB describes itself as a "quasi-judicial" group of experts charged with monitoring compliance with international drug control treaties, but the report's drug war bias and egregious omissions makes us wonder who is judging the judges.

  • Mayors reject legal cannabis proposal

    Ahead of conference on the subject, neighbouring councils express their disapproval of City Council's idea to legalise cannabis for a trial period
    Jyllands-Posten (Denmark)
    Monday, March 4, 2013

    copenhagen-potIn Copenhagen, a majority of City Council dreams of legally selling cannabis from pharmacies throughout the city to residents who are over 18 and have a home address within the council's borders. The justice minister, Morten Bødskov (S), has already rejected City Council's proposal to legalise hash for a trial period, but in two weeks City Council will host a conference on the legalisation of cannabis.

  • Colorado medical-marijuana businesses have declined by 40 percent

    The Denver Post (US)
    Sunday, March 3, 2013

    In the summer of 2010, after legislators passed a law legitimizing dispensaries, there were 1,117 medical-marijuana businesses in Colorado. By the end of that year, as a "green rush" of cannabis entrepreneurs reached its apex, the total ticked up to 1,131. Today, there are 675. In terms of sheer numbers, Colorado's medical-marijuana industry has shrunk by more than 40 percent.

  • Norway mulls decriminalising heroin smoking

    "The number of fatal overdoses is too high and I would say it's shameful for Norway," says Health Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere
    Agence France-Presse (AFP)
    Friday, March 1, 2013

    heroin_syringeThe Norwegian government it wants to decriminalise the inhalation of heroin, a method considered less dangerous than injecting it, to reduce the number of overdoses in the country. The move would make smoking heroin an offense on par with injecting, which is illegal in Norway but tolerated. Oslo's municipality operates a site where heroin addicts can inject drugs under safer, more hygienic circumstances.

  • Colorado pot task force recommends special sales and excise taxes

    The Denver Post (US)
    Thursday, February 28, 2013

    What Colorado will look like with legal marijuana became significantly clearer when the state task force proposing rules for that new world finished its work. Under proposals endorsed by the Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force, recreational marijuana in Colorado would be heavily taxed. It would be grown only indoors. It would not be allowed to be smoked at bars, restaurants or even social clubs.

  • Marijuana legalization may be unstoppable

    National polls are increasingly showing most Americans supporting legalization on the federal scale
    Mother Jones (US)
    Thursday, February 28, 2013

    kerlikowske-holder-obamaUS Attorney General Eric Holder told America to expect a decision "soon" on how he'll respond to the recent legalization of pot by Colorado and Washington state. Legislative committees in New Mexico and Hawaii approved bills to decriminalize marijuana possession and Oregon lawmakers introduced a legalization bill. Rhode Island legislators held a hearing on a bill to legalize and tax marijuana. In California, where Holder's Justice Department has spent months trying to shut down respected medical-pot dispensaries, a Field Poll showed that 67 percent of state voters oppose the move.

  • Colorado task force ponders how to tax legal pot

    The Seattle Times (US)
    Thursday, February 28, 2013

    colorado-400millionThe Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force regulators are working out the details of exactly how to tax legalized marijuana, so the benefits are shared statewide in the form of increased revenue. The task force meets Thursday to draft final recommendations based on the voter-approved marijuana legalization question that asked for excise taxes up to 15 percent to fund school construction. Besides schools, the taxes must fund marijuana safety enforcement and drug education measures. (See also: Tax, legal issues on tap at last Colorado marijuana task force meeting)

  • Kiwis on drugs: a blueprint for the future?

    Want to know what the future for global drug control looks like?
    BBC News (UK)
    Thursday, February 28, 2013

    This week New Zealand publishes its Psychoactive Substances Bill, legislation which some believe will transform the international debate on drugs policy when it comes into force in August. The new law is a response to the problem of "legal highs", but is being seized upon by reformers because it crosses a Rubicon - designing a legislative framework built upon regulation rather than prohibition. Unlike Britain, they have concluded that a "long-term and more effective solution" is to license the importation, manufacture and sale of all new psychoactive products. (See also: Party pill bill likely to pass easily)

  • Majority of California voters support legalizing pot, poll finds

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

    pot-selling-handA record but still narrow majority of California voters, or 54 percent, favor legalizing marijuana for personal, recreational use with age limits and other restrictions like those placed on alcohol, a new Field Poll showed. The support was the highest since the FieldPoll first asked about pot legalization in 1969, when 13 percent of California voters were in favor. In 2010, the last time Field Poll asked voters about the issue, 50 percent favored legalization.

  • US drugs prosecutors switch sides to defend accused Colombian traffickers

    After working to take down cartels, former officials say America's 'war on drugs' is misguided and the human cost too high
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

    cocaine-seizedUS prosecutors and other senior officials who spearheaded the war against drug cartels have quit their jobs to defend Colombian cocaine traffickers, saying their clients are not bad people and that United States drug policy is wrong. The US system punishes traffickers not according to their importance but the quantity of drugs, meaning a truck driver nabbed with a big consignment could face a longer stretch than a capo caught with a lesser amount.

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Chewing over Khat prohibition


Where strict bans on khat have been introduced they have had severe unintended negative consequences and failed to further the integration, social incusion and economic prosperity of Somali communities in particular, which chew khat most widely.




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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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