• Seventeen objections to abolishing the ban on coca chewing

    Although the deadline for filing objections expired, governments can still withdraw their objections …
    Tom Blickman
    Monday, February 7, 2011

    cocachewingThe final count after closure of the January 31 deadline to file objections to the Bolivian amendment to remove the ban on coca leaf chewing in the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, comes to 17 objections: the US, UK, Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Germany, the Russian Federation, Japan, Singapore, Slovakia, Estonia, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Latvia, Malaysia and Mexico. That means that only 17 of the 184 countries that are Party to the treaty (as amended by the 1972 Protocol) have filed an objection. We call on them to still reconsider and withdraw their objection before the issue appears on the UN agenda for a decision.

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  • D-Day for Bolivia’s coca chewing amendment

    European divide deepens over lifting ban on coca chewing | Hypocrisy rules in the arguments behind objections
    Martin Jelsma
    Monday, January 31, 2011

    mascan-coca-embajada-bolivia-quito-respaldar-peticion-onu2Today is the deadline for countries to submit objections to Bolivia’s proposed amendment to remove the ban on coca leaf chewing in the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. As far as we know, six countries have formally notified the UN that they reject Bolivia’s amendment: the United States (January 19), Sweden (Jan 20), the United Kingdom (Jan 21), Canada (Jan 26), Denmark (Jan 28) and Germany (Jan 28). Some other European countries may add their objections today.

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  • Obama: Drugs Should Be Treated as "Public Health Problem"

    Kathleen Kingsbury
    Friday, January 28, 2011

    we_need_weedIn an online town hall session yesterday, U.S. President Barack Obama suggested that, while he is not in favor of drug legalization, he does believe drugs ought to be treated as “more of a public health problem.” Obama went on to add: “On drugs, I think a lot of times we’ve been so focused on arrests, incarceration, interdiction, that we don’t spend as much time thinking about how do we shrink demand.” (See the video clip below for the president’s full remarks.)

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  • Diplomatic games to oppose lifting unjust ban on coca chewing

    Tom Blickman
    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    coca2According to the government of Bolivia, the only three countries that did file a formal objection to the amendment of Bolivia to abolish the ban on coca leaf chewing in the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, withdrew their objections.

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  • Opposing the Coca Chewing Amendment?

    A Shameful Act
    Pien Metaal
    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    evo-morales-coca-un2In March 2009, Bolivia's President Evo Morales chewed a coca leaf at the UN High Level session on drugs in Vienna. He announced he would seek the abolition of the articles in the 1961 UN Single Convention that stipulate that the chewing of coca leaves should be eliminated within 25 years, after the treaty entered into force.

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  • Prop 19 was only the beginning…

    Allen Hopper, ACLU of Northern California
    November 15, 2010

    legalize-small2An interesting blog on Calitics, a leading progressive community blog for California politics:
    California voters came out in droves to support Proposition 19 this November. More than 4.1 million people voted for Prop. 19, which would have allowed adults 21 and older to possess and grow small amounts of marijuana for personal use and allow cities and counties to tax and regulate commercial sales. 

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  • The Prague Declaration - 7 Principles for Urban Drug Policies

    Peter Sarosi (HCLU)
    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    prague2smallThe Prague Declaration is a statement of representatives of municipal governments, decision makers responsible for local and municipal drug policies, workers in the field of drug prevention, regulation, treatment, and harm reduction, and researchers in the field of drugs. It was prepared in Prague for the conference Urban Drug Policies in the Globalised World (September 30 – October 2, 2010) and it is open to be signed by anyone interested in urban, municipal and local drug policy.

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  • Militias in Rio de Janeiro

    Tom Blickman
    Friday, November 5, 2010

    carro_batmanLast month the film Tropa de Elite 2 (Elite Squad 2) was released in Brazil. It is a sequel to the very successful 2007 film Elite Squad, a semi-fictional account of the BOPE – special heavily armed police units that invade the slums in Rio de Janeiro going after the drug trafficking gangs. In the new sequel the BOPE have a new enemy: paramilitary groups known as 'milícias' in stead of the usual suspects, the drug gangs of Rio.

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  • California's Proposition 19 Falls Short, but Moves the Marijuana Policy Debate Forward

    Prop 19 marks the end of a chapter, but not the end of the story for marijuana policy reform
    John Walsh
    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    say_yes_prop19The California ballot initiative that would have legalized marijuana under state law was defeated at the polls Tuesday, garnering about 46 percent of the vote.  Over the course of the campaign, the measure achieved notoriety in Latin America , and provoked anxiety on the part of the Colombian and Mexican governments in particular.  WOLA has long promoted more effective and humane drug policies in the Americas, and in recent years we have seen the debate begin to open, not least in response to Prop 19.  So what does Prop 19's defeat foretell for the debate over alternatives to marijuana prohibition?

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  • Proposition 19 Is a Vote Heard 'Round the World'

    Coletta Youngers
    Monday, November 1, 2010

    prop-19-bannerThe world will be watching as Californians go to the polls on Tuesday and vote on Proposition 19, which would legalize and regulate marijuana in that state.  Regardless of the outcome of the vote, however, it has already sparked an intense international debate, particularly in Latin America where the U.S. has long waged its “war on drugs.” Drug war critics and even some who have supported the U.S. approach to date are asking how the U.S. government can continue to call on Latin American governments to implement harsh drug control policies when at least some of those policies are being called into question in the United States itself.

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