• The development of international drug control

    Lessons learned and strategic challenges for the future
    Martin Jelsma
    Series on Legislative Reform of Drug Policies Nr. 10
    February 2011

    The emergence of more pragmatic and less punitive approaches to the drugs issue may represent the beginning of change in the current global drug control regime. The spread of HIV/AIDS among injecting drug users, the overcrowding of prisons, the reluctance in South America to remain a theatre for military anti-drug operations, and the ineffectiveness of repressive anti-drug efforts to reduce the illicit market have all contributed to the global erosion of support for the United States-style war on drugs.

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  • Cannabis social clubs in Spain

    A normalizing alternative underway
    Martín Barriuso Alonso
    Series on Legislative Reform of Drug Policies Nr. 9
    January 2011

    Cannabis social clubs (CSC) are noncommercial organisations of users who get together to cultivate and distribute enough cannabis to meet their personal needs without having to turn to the black market. They are based on the fact that the consumption of illegal drugs has never been considered a crime under Spanish legislation. Taking advantage of this grey area, private clubs that produce cannabis for non-profit distribution solely to a closed group of adult members have existed for years.

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  • U.S. Renews Anachronistic Campaign to Stamp Out Coca Leaf Chewing

    Coletta Youngers
    Foreign Policy in Focus
    Friday, January 14, 2011

    Just one month after President Obama announced that the U.S. would finally sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, U.S. officials are already violating the spirit – and the letter – of the agreement. U.S. officials are playing a lead role in maintaining an out-dated provision in the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs which attempts to abolish the centuries-old indigenous practice of chewing coca leaves. The 1961 Convention also mistakenly classified coca as a narcotic, along with cocaine.

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  • Cannabis Social Clubs en Espagne

    Une alternative de normalisation en voie de réalisation
    Martin Barriuso Alonso (FAC)
    Série sur la Réforme Législative des Politiques des Drogues No 9
    Janvier 2011

    Les Clubs Sociaux du Cannabis (CSC) sont des associations d’usagers qui s’organisent pour s’auto-approvisionner sans avoir recours au marché noir. Profitant de une zone grise juridique, il existe depuis plusieurs années, des clubs privés qui produisent du cannabis pour le distribuer, sans but lucratif et en circuit fermé, à des consommateurs adultes.

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  • Systems Overload

    Drug Laws and Prisons in Latin America
    Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) / Transnational Institute (TNI)
    December 2010

    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, but allowing drug trafficking to flourish

    An unprecedented one-year comparative study on the impact of the drug laws and prison systems in eight Latin American countries – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay – reveals that drug laws have contributed to the prison crises these countries are experiencing. The drug laws impose penalties disproportionate to many of the drug offenses committed, do not give sufficient consideration to the use of alternative sanctions, and promote the excessive use of preventive detention.

  • The 'miracle of San Martín' and symptoms of 'alternative development' in Peru

    Hugo Cabieses
    TNI Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 34
    December 2010

    The Peruvian government has presented the “Miracle of San Martin Model” as the path to follow to achieve drug supply reduction. However a closer look reveals that the model is not replicable, not ecologically sustainable, and won't remedy the ‘symptoms of alternative development’.

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  • Alternative Development or Business as Usual?

    China’s Opium Substitution Policy in Burma and Laos
    TNI Drugs Policy Briefing Nr. 33
    November 2010

    The Chinese Government's opium substitution programmes in northern Burma and Laos have prompted a booming rubber industry, but the beneficiaries have been a small few with many others losing their lands as a result.

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  • Drug Law Reform: Lessons from the New Zealand Experience

    Sanji Gunasekara
    Series on Legislative Reform of Drug Policies Nr. 8
    August 2010

    In 2007, the Government of New Zealand entrusted an independent agency, the National Law Commission, to review the country’s drug law. The Commission will  present a final report which is likely to feature a new approach to personal pos­session and use of drugs placing less emphasis on conviction and punish­ment and more on the delivery of effective treat­­ment. New Zealand’s approach to drug law reform may provide les­sons for other countries.

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  • A Matter of Substance

    Fighting Drug Trafficking With a Substance–Oriented Approach
    Ernestien Jensema
    Series on Legislative Reform of Drug Policies Nr. 7
    July 2010

    This paper discusses the “substance-oriented approach” Dutch authorities implemented to to scare off potential small-scale cocaine smugglers. The focus was on the drugs, rather than the couriers, and on incapacitating the smuggling route, rather than deterrence by incarceration.

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  • International Counternarcotics Policies

    Do They Reduce Domestic Consumption or Advance other Foreign Policy Goals?
    Adam Isacson
    Statement before the Domestic Policy Subcommittee Oversight and Government Reform Committee
    July 21, 2010

    In Latin America, monitoring U.S. assistance means monitoring U.S. counter-drug programs. We’ve found that in the ten years between 2000 and 2009, the United States gave Latin America and the Caribbean about $20.8 billion in assistance, both military and economic aid. Of that amount, fully $9.9 billion — 48 percent — went through counternarcotics accounts in the State and Defense department budgets. Of the $9.2 billion in military and police aid during this 10-year-period, $7.8 billion — 85 percent — was paid for by counternarcotics programs.

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