• Obama Signs Drug Parity Law

    Peter Baker
    The New York Times
    August 4, 2010

    President Obama signed legislation on Tuesday reducing sentencing disparities between those caught with crack and those arrested with powder cocaine. The legislation was a compromise reached by Democrats and Republicans who agreed that the old law imposed unduly harsh sentences for crack violations, which especially affected minorities, compared with powder cocaine violations. Under the old law, a person caught with five grams of crack received a mandatory five years in prison, while a person caught with powder cocaine had to have 500 grams to merit the same term. The new law reduces the 100-to-1 disparity to 18-to-1.

  • Towards the Second Latin American Conference on Drug Policy

    intercambios-logoLatin America is trembling. The recent set of discussions and proposals about alternatives to drug users´ penalization just went one step further with the ruling of the Supreme Court of Argentina. The Court acquitted a “mule” who was sentenced after he was denounced while seeking medical attention. The new strategy adopted at the 47th session of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) was the second positive sign in this area, as the OAS explicitly pronounced in favour of respecting human rights in the policies of the region.

  • Insistir en el enfoque represivo en la lucha contra el narco, inefectivo

    Experto propone
    Carolina Gómez Mena
    La Jornada (México)
    1 de agosto, 2010

    Mientras la estrategia para combatir el narcotráfico se centre en las acciones bélicas, la guerra en contra de este ilícito continuará por décadas sin que haya avance significativo.

  • At 10, Portugal's Drug Law Draws New Scrutiny

    The Wall Street Journal (US)
    Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    methadon-portugalPortugal's move to decriminalize illicit substances—Europe's most liberal drug legislation—turns 10 years old this month amid new scrutiny and plaudits. Portugal's decriminalization regime has caught the eye of regulators in Europe and beyond since it was implemented in 2001. Proponents credit the program for stanching one of Europe's worst drug epidemics. Approaching a decade in force, it is providing a real-world model of one way to address an issue that is a social and economic drag on countries world-wide.

  • Banks financing Mexico gangs admitted in Wells Fargo deal

    Bloomberg (US)
    Tuesday, June 29, 2010

    Wachovia made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers – including cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine. The admission came in an agreement that Wachovia struck with federal prosecutors, and it sheds light on the largely undocumented role of U.S. banks in contributing to the violent drug trade that has convulsed Mexico. (See also: Wachovia's Drug Habit)

  • New UN drugs tsar must be a leader on human rights

    China's likely execution of drug dealers this week should inspire UN to choose a drugs tsar who will avoid complicity in abuses
    Damon Barrett
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, June 24, 2010

    Recently, the UNODC has begun to take notice of the impact of its counternarcotics work on human rights. Antonio Maria Costa, the current executive director, has set out a series of recommendations for internal reform intended to improve the agency's human rights performance. This leadership on human rights is very welcome, and much needed, but it may already be under threat. Costa leaves his post at the end of July. Unfortunately, the current frontrunner for the role of UN drug tsar is the candidate being pushed by the Russian government.

  • El nuevo paradigma sobre las drogas

    Página 12 - Buenos Aires
    17 de junio, 2010

    Rodeada de expertos, colegas y políticos, ayer la fiscal Mónica Cuñarro, encargada de la comisión gubernamental que impulsa la reforma de las políticas de drogas, presentó el libro La política criminal de la droga, elaborado por varios asesores de la comisión. Dijo, entre otras cosas, que en esta obra lograron establecer un mapa criminal “que mostrará cómo es el fenómeno del comercio, distribución, almacenamiento y tráfico de drogas” y que ya fue entregada una copia al procurador general de la Nación, Esteban Righi.

  • Marijuana, Made in Germany

    A booming business in illegal cannabis plantations
    Der Spiegel (Germany)
    Friday, June 11, 2010

    cannabis-plantation-germanyGerman cannabis plantations are now edging imports from Morocco and Afghanistan out of the market. The trend began after the Dutch government began driving growers out of the country. But police in Germany are also cracking down, using helicopters and infrared cameras to ferret out illegal hemp cultivators. Hobby gardeners who grow a few plants in their basements or garden plots for their own use are not the main part of the problem. Authorities such as Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) see far more cause for concern in large-scale operations.

  • Morocco tells Europe: don't go soft on cannabis

    Cannabis revenues fell by two-thirds in 4 years
    Reuters (UK)
    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    morocco cannabis hiliteMorocco has cut cannabis traffickers’ revenue to less than one-third of its 2005 level but its efforts could be undermined if Europe relaxes its policing of the drug, a senior Moroccan police official said. Morocco, which the United Nations once classified as the world’s biggest cannabis exporter, mounted a crackdown on the illegal trade because it strained ties with the European Union, which consumes most of the cannabis that leaves Morocco. “Our efforts against hashish trafficking activity have led to a reduction in the revenue of that illegal business to 4 billion euros ($4.8 billion) in 2009 from 13 billion euros in 2005,” Khalid Zerouali, the Interior Ministry’s official in charge of migration and border surveillance, said.

  • Saturation policing criminalises poverty, activists say

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    The policy of a saturation police presence in the favelas or shantytowns that are home to around 20 percent of the population of Rio de Jnaeiro is merely a means of criminalising poverty, because it does nothing to address the underlying question of social exclusion, which drives the violence, human rights groups complain. A year and a half ago, State Governor Sergio Cabral began to send Pacification Police Units (UPPs), made up of members of the military police, into the slums to wrest control from drug gangs. The UPPs "are just one more way to exercise control over the poor," said Patricia Oliveira, a member of the Community Network Against Violence.

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