• Morocco and Cannabis

    Reduction, containment or acceptance
    Tom Blickman
    Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 49
    March 2017

    This policy briefing discusses whether or not the aim of reducing cannabis cultivation is realistic or beneficial for Morocco, what it would actually mean for the major production area the Rif – one of the poorest, most densely populated and environmentally fragile regions in the country – and what that could imply for meaningful sustainable development. The briefing will give some historical background, discuss developments in the cannabis market, and highlight environmental and social consequences as well as the recent debate about regulation in Morocco and about European policies.

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  • Cannabis in Latin America and the Caribbean

    From punishment to regulation
    Alejandro Corda and Mariano Fusero
    Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 48
    September 2016

    Cannabis (or marihuana) is one of the most widely consumed psychoactive substances in the world. According to the United Nations World Drug Report, 183 million people, or 3.8% of the world’s population, used cannabis in 2014. Its cultivation was also reported by 129 countries. Cannabis is subject to the United Nations System for International Control of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (hereafter “drugs”) and is the most widely consumed of all the drugs. According to that control system, cannabis is among the substances with the strictest legal status; they are the most prohibited, supposedly because of the harm they cause and their lack of medical usefulness.

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  • 'Found in the Dark'

    The Impact of Drug Law Enforcement Practices in Myanmar
    Ernestien Jensema & Nang Pann Ei Kham
    Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 47
    September 2016

    To address its serious drug use problems, Myanmar should change its drug policy towards a harm reduction approach. Instead of a repressive approach, voluntary and evidence-based treatment and public health services, including harm reduction, should be made available and become generally accepted by enforcement officials and by the community at large. Myanmar has very strict drug laws and policies, and its legal framework emphasises harsh sentences and the criminalisation of drug users rather than providing access to health and harm reduction services. This report highlights the impact of current drug law enforcement practices in Myanmar and illustrates why a change in drug legislation and policy is necessary.

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  • Paraguay: The cannabis breadbasket of the Southern Cone

    A focus on the largest cannabis producer in South America
    Guillermo Garat
    Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 46
    July 2016

    Paraguay is the principal producer of cannabis in South America, though nobody knows for certain how many hectares are planted with this crop, probably on account of its concealment and a prevalent climate of corruption. National authorities and international control agencies estimate an area between 6,000 and 7,000 hectares, with an annual production of 16,500 tonnes. At present, according to estimates of the Paraguayan National Anti-Drug Secretariat (Secretaría Nacional Anti Drogas - SENAD), some 20,000 farmers are involved in cannabis cultivation, boosting the microeconomy of the north-eastern region of the country.

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  • UNGASS 2016: A Broken or B-r-o-a-d Consensus?

    UN summit cannot hide a growing divergence in the global drug policy landscape
    Dave Bewley-Taylor Martin Jelsma
    Drug Policy Briefing Nr 45
    July 2016

    A special session of the General Assembly took place in April revealing a growing divergence in the global drug policy landscape. Difficult negotiations resulted in a disappointing outcome document, perpetuating a siloed approach to drugs at the UN level. There is a clear need to realign international drug policies with the overarching 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, embedding the drugs issue comprehensively within the UN’s three pillars: development, human rights, and peace and security. The UNGASS process has helped to set the stage for more substantial changes in the near future, towards the next UN review in 2019.

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  • Cannabis in Indonesia

    Patterns in consumption, production, and policies
    Dania Putri & Tom Blickman
    Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 44
    January 2016

    Cannabis use has never posed major problems in Indonesia, yet prohibitionist policies prevail. Despite the high prevalence of cannabis use, local or national discussions on cannabis policies are nearly non-existent, exacerbated by strong anti-drug views and public institutions' failure to design and implement comprehensive policies based on evidence. Because of the current anti-narcotics law – discussed in detail in this briefing – there have been many obstacles to research on cannabis, both in terms of medical and anthropological research.

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  • Ayahuasca: From the Amazon to the Global Village

    An analysis of the challenges associated with the globalisation of ayahuasca
    Constanza Sánchez & José Carlos Bouso
    Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 43
    December 2015

    Indigenous peoples in the Amazon have used ayahuasca for centuries as a remedy for physical and psychological health, and to ensure the life and wellbeing of their communities. In the past two decades, the use of this decoction has expanded beyond Amazon indigenous spheres. Globalisation, and with it the contact between populations, has facilitated cultural exchange between indigenous traditions and Western practices, which has led to a growing interest in the ritual, religious and therapeutic use of ayahuasca.

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  • Drugs, armed conflict and peace

    How does the agreement on drugs between the government and the FARC help to put an end to the armed conflict in Colombia?
    Ricardo Vargas
    TNI Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 42
    July 2014

    This policy briefing analyses the results of the partial agreement on drugs reached at the talks being held in Havana between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, and the Colombian government. The analysis is based on the joint communiqué issued on 16 May 2014, the eve of the first round of the presidential election in Colombia. Following a brief introduction to the drugs issue in the broader framework of the peace talks, the briefing looks at how the subject of illicit crops, drug use and trafficking is dealt with in the agreement. It concludes with an assessment of the progress that the agreement represents in terms of the link between drugs and armed conflict.

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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

    The 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.

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  • The illicit drugs market in the Colombian agrarian context

    Why the issue of illicit cultivation is highly relevant to the peace process
    Amira Armenta
    TNI Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 40
    February 2013

    The distribution of land and its unjust use are the major causes of violence in Colombia. For this reason land issues are the starting point of current peace talks between the Santos government and the FARC guerrillas. Remedying these structural problems at the heart of rural Colombia is the best guarantee of progress of the current peace negotiations that could bring an end to a half-century-old violent conflict.

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