• The first forum of growers of crops declared illicit in Southeast Asia

    Gloria Lai, IDPC Senior Policy Officer

    SEA-illicit_cropsIn July 2013, the Transnational Institute (TNI) in cooperation with Paung Ku (a consortium aimed at strengthening civil society in Myanmar) held the first Southeast Asia forum of growers of crops declared illicit in Yangon, Myanmar.  As a senior policy officer for the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), based in Bangkok and working primarily on drug issues in Asia, I took part to find out more about the situation faced by opium growers in the region. In the movement in support of drug policies more grounded in health and human rights, a lot of attention has been (justifiably) paid to establishing harm reduction approaches for people who use drugs.

  • Latin American leaders chart course for drug policy debate

    Coletta Youngers
    International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC)
    Wednesday, June 19, 2013

    OAS_GA-1.pngThis year’s annual General Assembly meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS), which brings together the hemisphere’s foreign ministers, marked a milestone in the Latin American drug policy debate. For the first time, the drug policy issue was the primary theme of a hemispheric meeting and, in a closed-door meeting of the foreign ministers, a process was laid out for continuing the discussion, culminating in a Special Session of the General Assembly to be held in 2014.

    Latin American leaders chart course for drug policy debate

  • Deficiencies in financial oversight enable money laundering

    After nearly 25 year of failed efforts, experts still ponder how to implement an anti-money laundering regime that works
    Tom Blickman
    Wednesday, May 15, 2013

    hsbc-money-launderingIn July 1989, the leaders of the economic powers assembled at the G7 Paris summit decided to establish a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to counter money laundering as an effective strategy against drug trafficking by criminal ‘cartels’. However, since the inception of the international anti-money laundering (AML) regime there is a growing awareness that the regime is not working as well as intended.

  • Cannabis to substitute crack

    A step by step rehabilitation
    Tom Blickman Amira Armenta
    Monday, April 22, 2013

    The mayor of Bogota has recently proposed a pilot scheme with crack cocaine addicts to explore the substitution of crack made of cocaine base paste (or bazuco as it is called in Colombia) by marijuana. The substitution treatment plan will include 15 problematic users from the marginalized Bronx area who are already receiving health assistance of the CAMAD operating in that sector of the city. The treatment will last approximately eight months, after which the results will be evaluated.

  • Drug policy must return to focus on public health, SPP panelists say

    School of Public Policy (Central European University)
    Budapest, April 11, 2013

    Global drug policy must move away from stigmatizing and criminalizing users and focus on the public health issues at stake, panelists concluded at the third drug policy debate hosted by CEU’s School of Public Policy and the Open Society Foundations’ Global Drug Policy Program on April 11. Panelists expressed hope that the current momentum in this direction will result in significant changes at the United Nations drug policy summit slated for 2016.

  • Addicted to punishment

    Penalties in the war on drugs more severe than for murder and rape
    Rodrigo Uprimny
    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    prisonerOver the past several decades, Latin America has seen penalties for drug crimes—even low-level selling—skyrocket. And in many Latin American countries, non-violent drug offenses receive significantly longer sentences than many violent crimes, such as homicide and rape. A new study of criminal legislation explores this phenomenon in seven Latin American countries (Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, and Argentina).

  • The present continuous of cannabis clubs in Catalonia

    The complexity of the issue and the lack of specific regulations mean that cases unprotected by the law still keep appearing
    Sustainable Drug Policies Commission
    Saturday, 30 March, 2013

    solo-sociosThe exponential proliferation of the number of associations, clubs and other groups that distribute cannabis among their members and create new spaces for socialising, has surprised even the most optimistic advocates of more reasonable drug policies. In a short time, and in spite of those in government, civil society has provided a response to a problem that realpolitik has been unable to tackle.

  • Drug policy reform is breaking through at the international level

    Alternative models are being introduced and leaders are demanding an international debate
    Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch
    Monday, March 25, 2013

    cnd2013-plenaryChange is in the air ... But the pace could be quickened a bit. While the international policymaking body on drugs has long been stuck in neutral, there are signs that alternative voices are finally breaking through. This year's UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs featured some progress though its modest advances are only remarkable by comparison to a dismal past.

  • Statement at the 2013 Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)

    We cannot afford to miss the opportunity to take stock of the negative consequences of the current system
    Friday, March 15, 2013

    cnd2013Ann Fordham of the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) delivered the NGO Statement to CND Plenary under Item 8: Preparations for the high-level review of the implementation by Member States of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an integrated and balanced strategy to counter the world drug problem.

  • Is the INCB dangerous to your health?

    Five ways the UN's drug watchdog fails on health and human rights
    Daniel Wolfe, director of the International Harm Reduction Development Program, Open Society Foundations
    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

    raymond-yans2In what has become a chilling annual exercise, the UN's drug watchdog the International Narcotics Control Board released its annual report today. The INCB describes itself as a "quasi-judicial" group of experts charged with monitoring compliance with international drug control treaties, but the report's drug war bias and egregious omissions makes us wonder who is judging the judges.


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