• Canada's legalization of marijuana could hurt farmers in poorer countries

    The Caribbean Community (Caricom) has set up a marijuana commission which recently published recommendations to decriminalize the drug
    CNN (US)
    Wednesday, October 17, 2018

    Cannabis cultivation in MoroccoFor decades poor farmers in countries like Jamaica and Morocco have risked the wrath of governments to grow cannabis as a cash crop. But as Canada becomes the first country in the G7 leading industrial nations to legalize marijuana, those countries where the crop has traditionally been grown risk losing out on new legal markets worth billions of dollars. And with no international institution to represent them because of the illegality of marijuana in most of the world growers risk being left behind. "It's all about trying to bring some of these small farmers into the opening market," says Martin Jelsma of the Transnational Institute (TNI). "The big risk is there is a complete corporate capture going on."

  • Seek drug reform within international law: Tom Blickman

    Stigmatisation and international laws that tilt towards prohibition of drugs make it difficult to find a common ground for a rational debate
    Delhi Post (india)
    Monday, October 1, 2018

    Tom Blickman Dating back to the latter part of 1800s, precisely in 1894-95, the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission consisting of medical experts of Indian and British origin concluded that moderate use of cannabis was the rule in India, and produced practically no ill-effects. “What countries like Uruguay and Canada are doing now, India had already proposed 120 years ago,” says Tom Blickman from the Transnational Institute (TNI), an international policy think tank based in the Netherlands. “Had the wisdom of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission’s recommendations prevailed, we would have prevented a lot of misery by erroneous drug control policies,” he points out. (See also: A legal hallucination)

  • Pays-Bas : Le haschich marocain s’invite à la Chambre basse

    La quantité et la qualité du cannabis marocain «n’ont pas d’égal»
    Yabiladi (Maroc)
    Mardi, 25 septembre 2018

    Le trafic et la commercialisation du cannabis marocain aux Pays-Bas sont actuellement étudiés par les partis politiques néerlandais. Plusieurs propositions ont été faites, l’une d’elle serait d’en discuter avec le Maroc pour réglementer le marché. Certains proposent de réglementer et de légaliser l’importation du haschich marocain. Une utopie que Martin Jelsma, directeur de recherche à l’Institut transnational de recherche et de plaidoyer (TNI), défend par la possibilité d’une «consultation attentive entre le Maroc et les Pays-Bas». Une option qui, selon lui, pourrait se confronter «à de nombreux obstacles juridiques, mais qui est tout de même nécessaire».

  • U.S. has been quietly helping Mexico with new, high-tech ways to fight opium

    The Drug Enforcement Administration said in a report last year that Mexico supplies 93 percent of all heroin consumed in the United States
    The Washington Post (US)
    Sunday, April 15, 2018

    In the past few opiate-soaked years, U.S. officials say, nearly all the heroin coursing through American cities has come from one place: Mexico. “There are still a lot of question marks around the figures,” said Martin Jelsma, director of the drug program at the Transnational Institute, a research organization based in Amsterdam, and the co-author of a forthcoming study on Mexican and Colombian poppy production. Equally challenging, Jelsma said, is identifying the source country of a heroin sample. He doubts that the DEA can always tell whether heroin is made from Mexican or Colombian poppy, given that Mexican drug traffickers in some cases have hired Colombians to teach heroin-production techniques, so the product is similar.

  • Canada’s next steps on cannabis and the UN drug treaties

    Canada’s proposed approach to cannabis will result in Canada being in contravention of certain obligations related to cannabis under the UN drug conventions
    Dave Bewley-Taylor, Tom Blickman, Martin Jelsma, and John Walsh
    Ipolitics (Canada)
    Thursday, March 29, 2018

    Ever since the introduction of Bill C-45, questions have been swirling concerning Canada’s position relative to the UN drug control conventions: conventions to which Canada is a party and that, crucially, prohibit the creation of regulated markets for the recreational use of cannabis. Amidst debates and discussion over the past few months on how best to manage the impending mismatch between Canada’s domestic cannabis policy and international commitments, various options have been proffered and examples from elsewhere sought. One possible avenue to explore is a mechanism called modification inter se, as outlined in ‘Balancing Treaty Stability and Change: Inter se modification of the UN drug control conventions to facilitate cannabis regulation.’

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  • Yes, legalizing marijuana breaks treaties. We can deal with that

    Dave Bewley-Taylor Martin Jelsma Tom Blickman John Walsh
    Ipolitics (Canada)
    Monday, December 11, 2017

    Buzzing in the background of Canada’s debate on cannabis legalization is the issue of the three UN drug control treaties, and what to do with them. The issue arose during the House of Commons’ consideration of Bill C-45, and may well come up again now that the bill is coming under Senate scrutiny. There is no doubt that legalizing and regulating cannabis markets for non-medical use will mean Canada is no longer in compliance with the obligation under the treaties to restrict cannabis to “medical and scientific” purposes. And Canada will need to address those treaties — in due time.

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  • Why Indonesia’s drugs problem is getting worse despite ‘shoot on sight’ orders and draconian laws

    President Joko Widodo has given authorities wider powers, drug laws have been tightened and the death penalty for drugs reinstated
    South China Morning Post (China)
    Tuesday, November 21, 2017

    In the eyes of Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, drug use is a serious problem. Inspired by his Filipino counterpart Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, authorities have been granted shoot-on-sight orders for dealers and traffickers, while lawmakers are introducing increasingly tougher regulations. Yet the world’s fourth most populated country remains awash with drugs. According to Sulistiandriatmoko, the chief representative of the National Anti-Narcotics Agency, official data shows there are nearly six million drug users across the sprawling archipelago. A 2016 report by international research and advocacy group the Transnational Institute found that between 2009 and 2012, about 37,000 Indonesians were sentenced to jail terms for using cannabis.

  • Some Arab governments are rethinking harsh cannabis laws

    Others use them to lock up restless young men
    The Economist (UK)
    Wednesday, April 12, 2017

    The Moroccan authorities look at the issue from the other direction. Though the government bans the production of cannabis, its growth is tolerated in the Rif, a northern region that supplies Europe. “Travel around in some areas and you see the plants all over the place,” says Tom Blickman of the Transnational Institute, a research group. Ironically, a draft law that would legalise cannabis production countrywide for medical and industrial uses has worried the region’s growers. They fear that rich landowners or the government, which would collect the entire crop, could push them out of business. (See also Haaretz)

  • Criminalizing cannabis in Indonesia might do more harm than good

    Synthetic cannabinoids will continue to spread as long as cannabis remains illegal
    Tom Blickman Dania Putri &
    The Jakarta Post (Indonesia)
    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

    Indonesia’s National Narcotics Board (BNN) together with the Health Ministry recently made a swift move to criminalize synthetic cannabinoids called “super tobacco”, also known as “Gorilla tobacco”, as part of their anti-narcotics efforts. However, synthetic cannabinoids will continue to spread as long as cannabis remains illegal. A better approach would be to develop a regulatory framework for the use and production of natural cannabis.

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  • The DEA wants to ban another plant

    Researchers say the plan is 'insane'
    The Washington Post (US)
    Thursday, September 15, 2016

    The Drug Enforcement Administration has received a torrent of backlash from patients with chronic pain and former opiate users after announcing plans to ban kratom, a plant gaining popularity across the United States for its opiate-like effects. A DEA spokesman said that the agency has received a surprising number of comments about the ban and could ease the restrictions after further research. Kratom has been used in the Southeast Asia for recreational and medical purposes for centuries, according to a 2011 report from the Transnational Institute.

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