• Cannabis Regulation and the UN Drug Treaties

    Strategies for Reform
    June 2016

    As jurisdictions enact reforms creating legal access to cannabis for purposes other than exclusively “medical and scientific,” tensions surrounding the existing UN drug treaties and evolving law and practice in Member States continue to grow. These treaty tensions have become the “elephant in the room” in key high-level forums, including the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs — obviously present, but studiously ignored.

    Download the briefing (PDF) | Press release | Version française (PDF)

  • The history of cannabis and international control

    How cannabis was included in the UN drug control system and the defections that have brought the international treaties to breaking point


    This timeline draws on The Rise and Decline of Cannabis Prohibition, a report that described the history of international control, how cannabis was included in the current UN drug control system and the subsequent defections by countries and states that have brought the international treaties to breaking point. TNI is calling for a revision of the treaties to be based on scientific evidence and embodying principles of harm reduction and human rights.

  • The UN Drug Control Conventions

    A primer

    For more than ten years, TNI’s Drugs & Democracy programme has been studying the UN drug control conventions and the institutional architecture of the UN drug control regime. As we approach the 2016 UNGASS, this primer is a tool to better understand the role of these conventions, the scope and limits of their flexibility, the mandates they established for the CND, the INCB and the WHO, and the various options for treaty reform. (PDF version: Primer: The UN Drug Control Conventions)

  • 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 Institute / Global Drug Policy Observatory
    March 2014

    The 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.

    application-pdfDownload the report (PDF 5MB)
    application-pdfRésumé en français (PDF)
    application-pdfDownload the press release (PDF)

  • Human Rights and drug policy

    Drug control should respect human rights

    The 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. An accessible but comprehensive primer on why TNI believes that human rights must be at the heart of any debate on drug control.


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