The Global Dope
drug policy is possible' says CDPC
Released by the Canadian Drug Policy
Coalition/Web photo Donald MacPherson
from Vienna, where we’re attending the UN’s annual meeting on global
drug issues, known as CND – the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. As
part of a vibrant
NGO community we’re encouraging country delegations to open a
formal dialogue to modernize the global
response to the consumption, production and selling of currently
You’re likely particularly interested in
Canada’s contribution to that dialogue – after all, the Canadian
delegates are representing you! We are too, and so we developed a
list of recommendations for the delegation in collaboration with the
Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.
Read our recommendations here.
Big UN conferences aren’t necessarily the most
riveting events, but this year there’s excitement in the hallways,
with the real possibility of reform as a growing number of countries
acknowledge the failings of the international system of drug
This point is underscored by some recent historic developments:
• CDPC played a key role in the
“gamechanging” Organization of American States (OAS)
Scenarios for the Drug Problem in the Americas. This was the
fist time a multilateral governmental organization opened the
discussion on the existing drug policy status quo, and
considered alternative approaches.
• Uruguay and
two US states moved to implement a legal regulated market for
adult use of cannabis, a long overdue reform. The world is
watching as these jurisdictions set out to chart a new path to
regulate cannabis within a public health framework.
• In late
2012 the presidents of
Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia successfully convinced the UN
to hold a General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drug
Policy for 2016. This session has the potential to be a
watershed moment for global drug policy and we and our partners
are working hard to mobilize resources and influence the
outcomes of the meeting.
• At this
year’s CND, for the first time, there are vocal dissenters to
the prohibition status quo. Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala and
Ecuador continue to openly call for revisions to the drug
conventions. Traditional US intransigence has eroded thanks to
the fact that 2 of its states – with more undoubtedly to follow
– have legalized cannabis use. Other nations are appealing for
“dialogue” – a seemingly innocuous suggestion that’s paramount
to heresy in the context of the CND.
there are a growing number of country delegations calling for drug
policy reform. Between now and UNGASS in 2016, the Canadian
government delegation will have plenty of opportunity to add it’s
voice to the discussion.
And we have a voice too, to complement our government’s official
position. With your
support you can continue to ensure Canadian civil society
representation at these important meetings.
updates from Vienna on
or see what others are saying at the
CND blog and
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