• Losing Ground

    Drug Control and War in Afghanistan
    Cristian Rivier Martin Jelsma Tom Kramer
    TNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Paper 15
    December 2006

    The worsening armed conflict and the all-time record opium production in Afghanistan have caused a wave of panic. We are losing ground. Calls are being made for robust military action by NATO forces to destroy the opium industry in southern Afghanistan. But intensifying a war on drugs in Afghanistan now would further fuel the conflict, which is the last thing that the country needs.

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  • 'Paco' Under Scrutiny

    The cocaine base paste market in the Southern Cone
    Transnational Institute (TNI)
    TNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Paper 14
    October 2006

    Based on two studies carried out in the cities of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, this report examines the origin, characteristics and impact of the explosive increase in cocaine base paste in urban areas. It also highlights the variety of products consumed in these cities and the substance known as crack that is consumed in Brazilian cities. The Brazilian experience with this consumption could serve as an example and a lesson for the Southern Cone.

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  • Coca Yes, Cocaine No?

    Legal options for the coca leaf
    Mario Argandoña, Anthony Henman, Ximena Echeverría Pien Metaal Martin Jelsma Ricardo Soberón
    TNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Paper 13
    May 2006

    A decade-old demand to remove the coca leaf from strict international drugs controls has come to the fore again. Time has come to repair an historical error responsible for including the leaf amongst the most hazardous classified substances, causing severe consequences for the Andean region.

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  • Downward Spiral

    Banning Opium in Afghanistan and Burma
    Martin Jelsma Tom Kramer
    TNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Paper 12
    June 2005

    Opium farmers in Afghanistan and Burma are coming under huge pressure as local authorities implement bans on the cultivation of poppy. Banning opium has an immediate and profound impact on the livelihoods of more than 4 million people. These bans are a response to pressure from the international community. Afghan and Burmese authorities alike are urging the international community to accompany their pressure with substantial aid.

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  • Broken promises and coca eradication in Peru

    Ricardo Soberón
    TNI Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 11
    March 2005

    The forced crop eradication policy implemented by the Peruvian government over the past 25 years has failed. The official strategy has exacerbated social conflicts; contributed to various types of subversive violence; jeopardized local economies, also affecting the national economy; and destroyed forests as crops have become more scattered. Worst of all, it has not resolved any of the underlying causes of drug trafficking, such as poverty, marginalisation and government neglect.

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  • Plan Afghanistan

    Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 10
    January 2005

    In November 2004 an unknown mystery plane sprayed opium poppy fields in eastern Afghanistan. Although the US denied any involvement, the US State Department is pressing for aggressive aerial eradiction campaigns to counter the booming opium economy. Due to policy controversies the State Department had to back off. At least for the time being. The spraying took place at a crucial moment in Afghanistan. While Karzai was elected as president on 5 November, some in the US administration were pressing to step up US involvement in drug control. The new approach emerged from a high-level administration review in the summer of 2004 of US operations in Afghanistan. The review acknowledged the seriousness of the drug problem and the ineffective past measures to confront it.

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  • Coca or death?

    Cocalero Movements in Peru and Bolivia
    Allison Spedding Pallet & Hugo Cabieses Cubas
    TNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Paper 10
    April 2004

    Following Bolivia's 2002 parliamentary elections, the success of the political party headed by cocalero leader Evo Morales, rekindled debate regarding cocalero organisations in the Andes and their vindications. Disinformation around these organisations has contributed to a rise in terms like narcoguerrilleros and narcoterroristas, etc. being applied to the various cocalero peasant movements.

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  • Cross Purposes

    Alternative Development and Conflict in Colombia
    Ricardo Vargas
    TNI Drugs and Conflict Debate Paper 7
    June 2003

    The anti-drug strategy in Colombia limits the establishment of the basic political conditions necessary to attain the socio-economic goals of alternative development in the midst of war. President Álvaro Uribe's strategy only serves to make the ground fertile for more violence and instability.

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  • Change of Course

    An Agenda for Vienna
    Martin Jelsma
    TNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Papers 6
    March 2003

    By 1998, when the United Nations convened a special General Assembly on drugs, there was already overwhelming evidence that the current approach to global drugs control had failed miserably, given the continuing rise in consumption and production. However, the evidence was ignored and no evaluation of what was wrong with current drug policy took place. Instead, as a New York Times editorial noted, unrealistic pledges were recycled, this time aiming at eliminating all drug production by the year 2008. In mid-April this year, the mid-term review of the goals and targets set by the special session on drugs is to take place in Vienna.

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  • The Erratic Crusade of the INCB

    Tom Blickman
    TNI Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 4
    February 2003

    In the Report of the International Narcotics Control Board for 2002 that was released on February 26, the president of the Board, Dr. Philip O. Emafo from Nigeria, launches a strong attack against groups that advocate legalisation or decriminalisation of drug offences, as well as groups "that favour a crusade" focusing only on harm reduction. Mr. Emafo's attack reflects how out of touch the president of the INCB is with current developments in inter­national drug control. If anyone is involved in a "crusade' with "missionary zeal', it is Mr. Emafo himself, trying to turn back accepted best practices in countering the adverse effects of problematic drug use. Mr. Emafo gives a completely distorted picture of the political acceptance of the harm reduction concept.

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