The Drug Law Reform project organizes a series of expert seminars, drug policy briefings and informal drug policy dialogues. The activities serve to cross-fertilise policy debates between countries and regions, stimulating participants to exchange experiences and learn lessons between policy officials, representatives from international agencies and nongovernmental experts and practitioners. Seminars are held under Chatham House Rule to ensure confidentiality and to allow participants a free exchange of ideas.

  • Cannabis Regulation and the UN Drug Control Treaties

    Legal regulation with due respect for international law
    Transnational Institute (TNI), the Global Drug Policy Observatory (GDPO) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
    Amsterdam, 26-28 October 2017

    Significant cannabis policy reforms are taking place that pose considerable challenges to the international legal framework for drug control, and beg important questions regarding states’ international legal obligations. At the April 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session on the ‘World Drug Problem’ (UNGASS), governments studiously avoided discussing the treaty tensions associated with the regulation of cannabis for non-medical use, which the UN drug treaties expressly forbids. The result was an UNGASS outcome document that acknowledged some flexibility but emphasized that national drug policies should be in full conformity with the three prohibition-oriented international drug control conventions.

  • The Heemskerk Declaration

    Final declaration of the Global Forum of Producers of Prohibited Plants
    Global Forum of Producers of Prohibited Plants (GFPPP)
    January 21, 2016

    In a global meeting small scale farmers of cannabis, coca and opium from 14 countries in Heemskerk, the Netherlands, discussed their contribution to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS). The UNGASS will discuss all aspects of global drug control policies, including the worldwide ban on the cultivation of coca, poppy and cannabis, an issue the Global Farmers Forum demands that their voices be heard and taken into account.

    Download the declaration (PDF)

  • Third Myanmar Opium Farmers’ Forum

    Current drug control polices in South-east Asia are repressive and criminalise opium farmers, greatly affecting the lives of communities cultivating opium. Most policy responses – including from some armed opposition groups – focus on eradication of poppy fields and the implementation of strict bans on opium cultivation. The Third Myanmar Opium Farmers’ Forum was held in September 2015 in Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar. It brought together around 30 representatives of local communities involved in poppy cultivation in Myanmar’s major opium growing regions: Chin State, Kachin State, northern and southern Shan State and Kayah State. Farmers and community representatives from Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Kayan, Pa-O, Shan and Ta-ang (Palaung) ethnic communities took part in the forum.

    Download the report (PDF)
    Read the statement (PDF)

  • International Law and Drug Policy Reform

    Report of a GDPO/ICHRDP/TNI/WOLA Expert Seminar
    Final report of proceedings
    July 2015

    Drug policy reform is currently higher on the international agenda than it has been in recent memory. With a United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs set for 19-21 April 2016, the prominence of this issue will further increase. Significant legal and policy reforms at the national level have taken place in recent years that pose considerable challenges to the international legal framework for drug control, and beg important questions regarding states’ international legal obligations.


    Download the report (PDF)

  • Expert Seminar: Policy Responses to Changing Markets of New Psychoactive Substance and Mild Stimulants

    Transnational Institute
    November 28, 2014

    How does national legislation in different EU member states compare and how effective is the adding of new psychoactive substances (NPS) to the existing schedules of drug laws versus legislative experimentation designing new schedules or applying controls under medicines or consumer protection regulations? This report reflects the discussions that have taken place during the Expert Meeting on Policy Responses to Changing Markets of New Psychoactive Substances and Mild Stimulants organised by TNI in collaboration with Energy Control on Nov 28th, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.

    Download the report (pdf, 592KB)

  • Expert Dialogue on Cannabis Regulation Models

    The Expert Dialogue took place in San Sebastian and was hosted by the municipal authorities of the city. Dialogue focused on examining some regulation models currently being implemented. The event was attended by several actors involved in the unregulated market, government officials, politicians and experts from different countries. The debate revolved around the issue of specific laws that need to be changed in Spain in order to bring about regulation; the US-style concept of 'flexibility'; the problems with the CND's multilateral approach; and what can realistically be expected of UNGASS 2016.

    application-pdfDownload the Executive Summary (PDF)
    application-pdfDownload the full Report in Spanish (PDF)

  • Expert seminar: Global experiences with harm reduction for stimulants and New Psychoactive Substances

    Transnational Institute (TNI) and Forum Droghe
    May 20, 2014

    The Expert Seminar on the Global Experiences with Harm Reduction for Stimulants and New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), an initiative of the Transnational Institute (TNI) and Forum Droghe, took place in Rome on May 20, 2014 at Università Pontificia Lateranense. A total of 23 people attended the meeting, representing research and academic institutions as well as non-governmental organizations working in the field. The seminar was organised with financial support of the EC Drug Prevention and Information Programme and the Open Society Foundation.

    pdf Download the report (PDF, 259KB)

  • First Southeast Asia Opium Farmers Forum

    In July 2013 TNI and Paung Ku organised the First Southeast Asia Opium Farmers Forum, bringing together some 30 representatives of local communities involved in opium cultivation and local community workers from the major opium growing regions in Southeast Asia: Chin, Kachin, northern and southern Shan, and Kayah States in Burma/Myanmar and Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India.

    Current drug control polices in the region are repressive and criminalise opium farmers, and have greatly affect the lives of the communities cultivating opium. However, until now these communities have had little or no influence on the design of these policies. Aim of the forum was to identify the main concerns of opium farmers and formulate alternative policy options that respect the rights of producers’ communities, and involve them in decision making processes.

    pdf Download the Report (PDF, 120KB)

  • Expert Seminar: Costs and benefits of cannabis regulation models in Europe

    Transnational Institute
    October 31/November 1, 2013

    The Transnational Institute (TNI) organized an expert seminar on Costs and Benefits of Cannabis Regulation Models in Europe in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on October 31/November 1, 2013. The objective of the seminar was to identify and map existing and possible future cannabis regulation models in Europe, looking at the local, provincial and national levels and the po­tential impact of such models on the illicit cannabis market.

  • Expert Seminar: Where next for Europe on drug policy reform?

    International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) / General Directorate for intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD)
    June 20-21, 2013

    The expert seminar “Where next for Europe on drug policy reform?” analysed the new EU strategy on drugs and its action plan and discussed ways to improve and innovate European drug policy. The seminar comprised of four major sessions : the EU Drugs Strategy and Action Plan and its public health implications; the EU Drugs Strategy and Action Plan and its law enforcement implications; regional challenges and the issue of new psychoactive substances; the role of Europe in global drug policy and the European voice in preparation for the 2016 UNGASS. This report also contains the key note speech presented by the former President of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio.

    pdf Download the report (PDF, 809KB)


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