South America

Fri
12
Jun

On Course for Regulated Personal Cultivation in Ecuador

In Ecuador important advances have been made in the area of drug policy, with civil society playing an active part in them. The country's National Assembly is currently debating a bill: "Organic Law for the Comprehensive Prevention of Drugs and the Use of Catalogued Substances Subject to Regulation.”

In 1998 the country revised its “Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act” (Act 108), under which consumption was decriminalised. However, there existed legal contradictions and flaws that ended up penalising users and consumers for holding, possession and transport, without any criterion of proportionality, all entailing sentences of 12-16 years.

Tue
09
Jun

Current status of marijuana in Latin America

Recently, Latin America has surprised us with the giant steps taken towards the legalization of cannabis. Jose Mujica opened Pandora's Box and in a time when that regulation was in no man's land, Uruguayan citizens were quick to react and show support for their former president. Thus, and as if it were a domino effect, the voice spread like wildfire. As a result, today, the vast majority of countries in Latin America, are in favor of a real decriminalization of marijuana regulation. This article will discuss the recent news coming from Puerto Rico, Brazil, Uruguay and Ecuador.

Medicinal users rebel against the Government of Puerto Rico

Sat
06
Jun

International Summit Highlights Contradictions in Drug Policy Debate

An international drug control summit in Colombia has again placed the contradictions in rapidly changing thinking on drug policy at center stage, as calls for drug users and producers not to be criminalized clashed with plans to increase efforts to tackle drug cultivation. 

Fri
22
May

Ecuador could become first country in hemisphere to legalize all drugs

Add Ecuador to a growing list of countries pushing back against the U.S. “war on drugs.”

A ruling party lawmaker recently introduced legislation that would make Ecuador the second country in the world — and the first in the Americas— to decriminalize the personal use of all drugs, from marijuana to cocaine to heroin.

The bill, presented by a lawmaker allied with President Rafael Correa, would regulate the consumption of over 100 substances and create a state agency to control the importation, exportation, production and cultivation of illegal drugs. Anyone interested in using or obtaining drugs would have to register with the agency.

Tue
19
May

A Mother and Daughter’s Fight to Legalize CBD in Brazil

CBD oil legal medicine in Brazil and government subsidised thanks to this family's fight

With the world being so exceptionally large, contingent on so many moving parts, one would think that we have little opportunity to make a major impact… but one mother down in Brazil, is proof that that this is simply not the case. If you have the will, the drive, and a fiercely beating heart, you can make a difference. In Katiele Fischer’s case, her will to make an impact not only altered the perception of her surrounding culture and country, but served as the catalyst for a ripple effect that will reach far beyond Brazil’s borders. It all started with a question, ‘What is CBD?’

Fri
15
May

Drug Policy Reform in the Americas

Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, and a leading advocate for domestic and international drug policy reform, speaking at an April 20, 2015, Vecinos Lecture Series program, "Drug Policy U-Turns in the Americas: Uruguay, Guatemala, and the United States," co-sponsored by the Drug Policy Program and the Latin American Initiative.
Wed
13
May

The globalisation of cannabis cultivation: A growing challenge

Global patterns of cannabis cultivation have followed a fascinating development, from highly concentrated production in certain developing countries to decentralized production in almost every country around the world (UNODC, 2014). Historically, the spread of cannabis cultivation across the globe reflected the industrial utility of hemp; the widespread use of cannabis as a recreational drug did not appear until much later (Abel, 1980, Booth, 2003). It is with the emergence of modern patterns of cannabis use in the developed world that we have seen major changes in patterns of cannabis production. As demand for cannabis increased globally, fuelled by the developments of the “counter-culture” of the 1960s and 1970s, so cultivation in the developing world began to take on new dimensions.

Wed
06
May

Global drug policy isn’t working. These 100+ organizations want that to change

Last week, a Brookings Institution discussion on international drug policy began with the premise that "no policy has failed as badly in the past 30 years as drug policy," according to moderator and former Mexican ambassador to the U.S. Arturo Sarakhan in his opening statement. But now a group of non-profit organizations are working to change that.

Sun
03
May

Massive march in Medellin Columbia for the "Day of Pot"

The Marijuana March became a total carnival. In its seventh year and as in previous years, participants stressed the need to take the step to legalization.

Thu
30
Apr

The emerging global ‘dissensus’ on drug policy: Seizing the opportunity

The global counternarcotics regime, created and enforced by the United States since the 1950s, now faces profound challenges. An increasing number of countries in Europe and Latin America find that the regime’s emphasis on punitive approaches to drug use and the suppression of illicit drugs to be problematic and are asking for reform. This reaction is hardly uniform throughout the world, however, as critical players such as Russia and China, remain committed to the preservation of the regime’s long-standing punitive approach. Meanwhile, drug policy changes at the national and state level in the United States, including cannabis legalization in some states, are making it increasingly uninteresting, difficult, and inappropriate for it to play the role of the world’s toughest drug cop.

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