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Cannabis and the Conventions

The question facing the international community today is no longer whether or not there is a need to reassess the UN drug control system, but rather when and how ...

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Addicted to Punishment

The Research Group CEDD has this and other publications now available on their own website..

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Ending the war on drugs

The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world...

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Systems Overload

An unprecedented one-year comparative 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,…

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Drug Law Reform on the Map

Drug Legislative Reforms in Latin America: A country by country overview of drug law reform in the Latin American region.

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The Human Face

These videos feature people who have spent years in prison enduring harsh sentences that are disproportionate to the crimes they committed...

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  • The Rise and Decline of Cannabis Prohibition

    The History of Cannabis in the UN Drug Control System and Options For Reform
    Dave Bewley-Taylor Tom Blickman Martin Jelsma
    Transnational Institue / Global Drugs Policy Observatory
    March 2014

    rise-decline-coverThe cannabis plant has been used for spiritual, medicinal and recreational purposes since the early days of civilization. In this report the Transnational Institute and the Global Drug Policy Observatory describe in detail the history of international control and how cannabis was included in the current UN drug control system. Cannabis was condemned by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as a psychoactive drug with “particularly dangerous properties” and hardly any therapeutic value. Ever since, an increasing number of countries have shown discomfort with the treaty regime’s strictures through soft defections, stretching its legal flexibility to sometimes questionable limits.

    application-pdfDownload the full report (PDF - 5.0 MB)

    application-pdfDownload the press release (PDF)

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  • Time for UN to open up dialogue on drug policy reform and end counter-productive blame-game

    Press release by TNI/GDPO
    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

    As the UN International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) launches its annual report on Tuesday, 4 March, amidst an unprecedented crisis in the international drug control regime, leading drug policy reform experts have called on the INCB and related UN institutions to urgently open up a constructive dialogue on international drug policy reform.

    Download the press release (PDF)

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  • Cocaine: towards a self-regulation model

    New developments in Harm Reduction
    Grazia Zuffa
    Series on Legislative Reform of Drug Policies Nr. 24
    February 2014

    dlr24By taking cues from users’ self-regulation strategies, it is possible to design innovative operational models for drug services as well as drug policies, strengthening Harm Reduction as an alternative approach to the disease model.

    application-pdfDownload the briefing (PDF)

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  • Eyes Wide Shut: Corruption and Drug-Related Violence in Rosario

    Ross Eventon
    Briefing Series on Drug Markets and Violence, Nr 1
    December 2013

    dmv1_coverIn Rosario, Argentina, the presence of criminal organisations involved in drug trafficking was a low priority for the government until New Year’s day 2012, when the killing of three innocent civilians by members of a gang sparked press attention.

    application-pdfDownload the full report (PDF)

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  • Uruguay’s pioneering cannabis regulation marks the tipping point in the failed war on drugs

    Press release by TNI
    Tuesday, December 10, 2013

    Uruguay’s senate voted today (10 December) to approve the world’s first national legal framework regulating the cultivation, trade and consumption of cannabis for medical, industrial as well as recreational purposes. The historical vote is expected to inspire and spread cannabis reform initiatives around the world and to have a major impact on upcoming UN-level drug policy evaluations.

    Download the press release (PDF)

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  • The Transparent Chain

    A revision of the Dutch coffee shop policy is long overdue
    Monday, November 10, 2013

    It is time that policymakers, law enforcement, professionals and other parties involved combine their efforts to work towards the implementation of a transparent cannabis chain that is organised in a responsible and professional manner.

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  • Human Rights and drug policy

    Drug control should respect human rights

    hr-declaration-smallThe Transnational Institute (TNI) has always believed in the need to find global answers to global problems, been a strong defender of multilateralism and an advocate of a well-functioning United Nations which stands as the guarantor of universal human rights. On the drugs question, our position is straightforward: drug control should respect human rights.

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  • Drugs as war economy and the peace process in Colombia: dilemmas and challenges

    Ricardo Vargas
    Drug Policy Briefing Nr 41
    September 2013

    Brief41-bisbisThe fourth item on the agenda of talks “to end the conflict,” on the issue of drugs, seems to reflect rather a flat and simplistic view of the classic circuit of drug production, processing, trafficking and use. The relationship between drugs and armed conflict in Colombia is in fact much more complex. This report analyses the challenges that drug trafficking poses to the development of a sustainable peace.

    application-pdfDownload the report (PDF)

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  • Working towards a legal coca market: The case of coca leaf chewing in Argentina

    Ricardo Abduca Pien Metaal
    Series on Legislative Reform of Drug Policies No. 23
    June 2013

    Cover-1Modern use of the coca leaf in Argentina provides a series of examples that could contribute to dispelling many of the myths that have polarized debate about the subject over the last few years. Argentine coca consumption does not fit commonly held preconceptions on the subject. Furthermore, the social acceptance and legitimacy of the habit has created an absurd situation in which the sale and possession of coca leaf for consumption is legal, but the supply and wholesale purchase of it are prohibited, and therefore part of an illegal circuit.

    application-pdfDownload de briefing (PDF)

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  • Uruguay steps forward with Marijuana legalisation vote

    The vote by Uruguay’s House of Representatives to legalize and regulate the country’s marijuana market represents a major step forward for the landmark reform effort
    Press release by TNI and WOLA
    Thursday, August 1, 2013

    tni_wola2The bill will now be taken up in Uruguay’s Senate—where the governing Frente Amplio coalition also holds a majority—and could soon arrive on the desk of President José Mujica, who has supported the proposal since its introduction in 2012.

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UN Drug Control

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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Drug Law Reform in Latin America is a project of the TNI Drugs & Democracy programme
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"Promoting a more effective and humane drug policy in Latin America"