International discussions on drug policy reform

The Global Drug Prohibition Regime: Half a Century of Failed Policymaking?

This is a very good 16-minute video put together by the always excellent Hungarian Civil Liberties Union.

The participants of the discussion forum were: Sandeep Chawla, Deputy Executive Director and Director, Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Niamh Eastwood, Executive Director of Release, Martin Jelsma, TNI Drugs and Democracy Programme Coordinator, Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch, Director of OSF Global Drug Policy Program, Wolfgang Reinicke, Dean, School of Public Policy, CEU

Very interesting to hear them talk about the implications of the marijuana legalization efforts in the U.S.

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36 Responses to International discussions on drug policy reform

  1. claygooding says:

    Even the UN has recognized that the genie has gotten out of the bottle with marijuana prohibition but they are backing our drug warriors plan to keep Reefer Madness in place and strictly regulated to keep hemp from threatening the corporations that paid to have cannabis added to the STC.
    I conclude that because not once did they mention that the US wrote,financed,bullied and added cannabis too it at the last minute,,like congress sneaking a Monsanto Protection Act in with bills too important to defeat.

    • divadab says:

      Clay – hemp farming is legal in Canada, China, and most of Europe. I think they’ve lost that battle, even in the US – if the (Republican) Senator from Kentucky is supporting hemp farming, it will be re-legalized soon.

      IMHO your point is valid for big pharma, which would have its minions in Congress continue to suppress the competition in favor of its expensive and dangerous products. But med cannabis is supported by over 85% of Americans, so the writing’s on the wall there also.

      But our biggest ally is the sheer cost and waste of the prohibition regime. Close schools so we can continue to put harmless cannabis growers in jail? This is a double whammy, because jailing someone not only costs public money, it makes a previously self-supporting person a worthless parasite. Great policy outcome! WHat kind of self-serving dummy would think this is a good idea?

      • claygooding says:

        The amounts necessary to harm Dupont and the pulpwood industry are not being produced,,turning hemp loose will,,that is why they are fighting legalization,,trying to keep the fear of accidentally harming children to keep marijuana production indoors,,and KY passing a bill and getting it in place and working are two different things. The Governor,IIRC,has said he will sign it if the Feds allow it,,,any thing you see that ONDCP/DEA/DOJ is going to sign off on it,,please let us know.

      • War Vet says:

        Dividab: wouldn’t the outlawing of hemp in America have impacted the full potential of global hemp in nations where it’s still farmed and or the hemp laws overturned sometime ago? If hemp where never to be outlawed in America and continued to soar along with new technologies utilizing said hemp (which many would have been logically stifled and or negated via hemp prohibition), wouldn’t Europe or China be utilizing it more? Wouldn’t the ‘miracle’ of hemp as demonstrated from an ancient magazine printed in the 1930’s put a weed (pardon the pun) up the assess of African and South American nations etc to likewise further their industrial/economical development through hemp? If gasoline comes from cannabis/hemp, like diesel fuel does as well, then wouldn’t a hemp utilizing America rub off on Mexico or Africa when growing gasoline? If America was allowed to grow their own homes as seen in hemp being used for houses, could this not have made the production of homes cheaper and thus diminished the artificially inflated value of homes, which helped foster our recession? Doesn’t the world jump when America tells it to . . . though some nation’s feet barely lift the ground, while others jump higher? It will take decades for our hemp laws to reach its full potential now that big oil/wood etc are using more trees, cotton, synthetics, petrol etc for their products . . . they now have the upper hand because of the bad laws.

        • divadab says:

          @vet – yup – I don’t disagree. It takes time to undo the expensive, un-American, cruel and corrupt policy of cannabis prohibition. I’m not arguing that the damage has not been deep – and the prohibitionists still have enormous power.

          But we’re riding the wave of re-legalization – I’m on my way today to an open cannabis farmers’ market with thirty vendors displaying a huge variety of cannabis varieties and products, all sold legally, in AMERICA! The prohibitionists are fighting rear-guard actions – they are in full retreat. ALl they can do is slow down the inevitable, IMHO.

  2. HotHead says:

    Yours Truly a Product of Half-Century of Bad Policy-Making. Narc Got in my Face at 16, 1975. Bad Move. Early ‘Introduction’ to the Fraud and Treason. I now Hum Happily as I Polish my HummingBird Feeder, While the Neighbors Grunt obediently Polishing the Shoes of Their Masters.

  3. divadab says:

    Boy if there’s one thing that will get people riled up it’s citing the UNITED NATIONS convention as a reason to maintain cannabis prohibition. Why is the federal government in league with the Commies against American farmers? Against American Freedom?

    What kind of federal government would lock up farmers for growing the same crop as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington grew? That clothed the Continental Army and from which the first flag of the Republic was sewn?

    Is the federal government really a traitor to the Republic? Bringing in UN black helicopters to oppress free Americans? Apparently.

    Don’t fly no black helicopters over my patch!

    • Jean Valjean says:

      Divadab… I assume this post was tongue in cheek? Commies, UN black helicopters… i fear there’s a danger some may take you seriously… 🙂

      • Duncan20903 says:


        I suppose that anyone that doesn’t like black helicopters won’t be coming over to visit my home. They fly over at least a dozen times a day. No, I’m not paranoid, I live on the flight path to Andrew’s Air Force Base and they’ve got several acres of helicopter hangers there.

        • jean valjean says:

          yes but are they owned by the un and working for the commies?

        • divadab says:

          Doesn’t that well-known Marxist, Barack Hussein Obama, control all the helicopters on behalf of the commie world government conspiracy?

          It’s a sad day when we have commies in the WHite House, spreading their satanic ideology and aiming to destroy our American way of life!

          Wake up, America! The black helicopters are already here!

        • darkcycle says:

          Yep, Duncan’s right. The “Night Stalkers” out of Andrews AFB is the unit that flies unmarked Black Heki-lopters, and there are several guard and AF reserve units that fly dark Grey and Chocolate brown heki-lopters, and they look black against a bright sky.
          Please do not take this to infer that any sort of nasty wind chopping thing with armed men inside is friendly.

        • jean valjean says:

          more likely they re owned by Corporate America Inc. and working for the Koch bros

  4. Nunavut Tripper says:

    Hemp farming is legal in Canada but prospective hempsters have to jump through a lot of expensive legal hoops to get permission…much more than any other crop hence keeping the price of hemp products unnecessarily high.The price of hemp clothing,oil,butter and seeds are costly because of this. Cheaper to poison yourself and family with GMO soy,corn and wheat.

    Any Canadian caught with hemp growing in the backyard would be dealt with just as harshly as if the plants were high THC “gateway” mariwanna , that stuff that turns you into a public safety problem.
    Six months mandatory minimum prison for six plants.

    • divadab says:

      You can get a permit to grow an acre seed crop of hemp.

      The reactionary tories are in charge for now but their days are numbered.

      I mean, in BC, something like 17% of adults are regular pot users. You can;t get arrested for possession in BC unless you really really try. Check out the Vancouver 4-20 celebration in front of the Art Gallery. No arrests, the police friendly and helpful, directing traffic to protect the thousands lighting up at 4-20.

  5. darkcycle says:

    Uh-oh. Police kill another Father in a drug raid that found no drugs. This is getting old, and the Drug War Victims Page is getting mighty full.

    • stlgonzo says:

      The link @ the bottom of the story is priceless…..

      Cop sues Taser after riding the lighting

      “Andy Butler, a Dallas police officer, filed a lawsuit against Taser International after being willingly zapped with over 50,000 volts of electricity during a Dallas Police Department training session.”

      • Duncan20903 says:

        Research of Tasers says that “99.75% of the time suspects have no significant injury as a result of using the device (DOJ)
        Source: Bozeman, W., et al. Safety and Injury Profile of Conducted Energy Weapons Used by Law Enforcement Officers Against Criminal Suspects, Annals of Emerg. Med. 2009

        I guess that it’s just bad luck for the 1 of every 400 people that does suffer a “significant injury as a result of using the device.”

        • stlgonzo says:

          This is Larry Connors the St. Louis news anchor that recently got fired for saying the IRS gave him trouble after his interview of Obama. (I have no opinion on that matter what so ever). Some really good police quotes and then Larry takes the taser @ about the 3:05 mark.

          They have paramedics ready in case anything goes wrong. They show a @#$%ing defibrillator. Ok I’m done now before I get more worked up.

    • HotHead says:

      Noted. Also Noted is an Astonishing Lack of Rioting. The Reasons Why still Remain a most Puzzling Mystery. Druggies and the rest of the Non Member Sheeple just too Damn Mellow, I Assume.
      RIP to the Innocent Dude.

      • kankerop says:

        Hi kev!

      • stlgonzo says:

        Former Obama Staffer Says Legalizing Marijuana Would Decrease Civil Liberties

        Mike Riggs with another good piece. Didn’t even have to read it to know who that was.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        The rioting subsequent to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. certainly didn’t advance the civil rights movement. It was actually a significant setback because the bigots used it as an “I told you so, those people are just animals” incident and it was an argument killer. Kind of like getting the drug czar high on coke in the White House was an argument killer in 1979.

        We’ve got the truth on our side of the table and you can only fool some of the people all of the time. I’ve got no money for people with minds that hate.

  6. Duncan20903 says:

    Federal Senator Adds Marijuana Grow Amendment To Immigration Bill
    By Phillip Smith

    Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has introduced an amendment to the pending federal immigration bill that would create harsher penalties for anyone growing marijuana on public federal lands.

    The amendment has already won the approval of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Hatch announced in Tuesday statement. The committee is expected to vote on the overall bill later this week.

    Under Hatch’s amendment, people caught growing marijuana on federal lands would face aggravated penalties. They would also have to serve their sentences consecutive to, not concurrent with, any other sentences.

  7. primus says:

    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win–Ghandi. Looks like they’re fighting us as hard as they can now, so victory should be in sight.

  8. Servetus says:

    A social studies teacher in Illinois, John Dryden, is in hot water because he warned students taking individualized drug surveys having the student’s name printed on them that they had a 5th Amendment constitutional right not to incriminate themselves with regard to drug and alcohol use. As a result, other teachers had trouble administering the drug use survey to students aware of Mr. Dryden’s objection.

    Mr. Dryden faces having a “letter of remedy” placed in his employment file. He said this week he is negotiating the matter with district authorities.

    Only a school board can issue a letter of remedy, which informs teachers their conduct was improper and could have consequences up to dismissal, according to state law.

    A “Defend and Support John Dryden” petition can be found at . The signature goal is 6,000, with about 5,100 signatures so far.

  9. allan says:

    OT… hey all… here’s an appropriate Memorial Day story from Darby at LEAP. Please, if you can help… an 80 year old disabled vet and LEAP speaker losing his home is not ok. Please pass this on to others that you think may be able to help.

    One of our speakers, an 80 year old disabled veteran, is being forced from his home and has few people in his hometown of San Diego who are able to help him pack and move into his new place once he finds it. It’s a great stress on him and his health has been affected.

    If anyone is in the San Diego area, and knows someone who might be able to help, that would be fantastic. For those of you unable to help directly, donations would also make a huge difference for Leo.

    For those of you who are able to contribute, *I’ll accept donations through the end of this week (Friday, May 31)*, and then send him a check for all that we’re able to raise on behalf of everyone at LEAP.

    PayPal is free for transferring money if both parties use a bank account or their own PayPal account (though there is a charge for debit/credit cards), so if you would like to give, I will collect donations through my personal account (*darby beck,* and then provide an accounting of all the contributions received along with a copy of the check I’ll send to Leo to Bill Fried, who handles LEAP payroll, etc.

    I know this is a difficult time financially for many people, but if those who are able to contribute give even five dollars apiece, we could really help a fellow colleague in need.

    *Paypal account:
    darby beck,
    *Accepting donations through Friday, May 31*

    Thanks so much for your time and generosity,

  10. allan says:

    15 year sentence for farming and capitalism

    what a complete and absolutely absurd waste of resources

    • Nunavut Tripper says:

      “The plants were 5 to 8 feet tall, each capable of producing upwards of 10 pounds of marijuana per plant, court records show.”

      Holy shit “upwards of ten pounds per plant” is such an extreme exaggeration . That means 12 or 13 pounds is possible. Amazing they can just spin it any way they want to make the poor guy look like a kingpin.

  11. Frank W says:

    This, in an area of Oregon where violent criminals are cited and released for lack of jail space. I’ve heard all the kumbaya about how “the wall is crumbling” and “we’ve got them on the run” and the “first they mock you..” Gandhi quote. I don’t like to post often because I’m a pessimist who thinks this is already a defeated, conquered country and I’m not going to live long enough to feel hopeful about the NEXT hundred years.

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