• Uruguay poised to legalize marijuana: Is this the right way forward?

    Vatican Radio
    Friday, August 2, 2013

    cannabis-leafUruguay is poised to become the first nation in the world to create a legal, regulated marijuana market. .. but is this the right way forward? Martin Jelsma is a leading expert on Latin America and international drugs policies. He told Vatican Radio's Susy Hodges that he's in favour of the new law in Uruguay and says it is not intended to liberalize the cannabis market but instead regulate it.


  • Legalization of marijuana seeks to protect teens and minor addicts from addiction - expert

    Roman Kozarev
    The Voice of Russia (Russia)
    Thursday, August 1, 2013

    Voice-of-RussiaUruguay's House of Representatives has passed a bill to legalize marijuana by 50 of the 96 MPs following 13 hours of tough debates. Now the bill is to be approved by the Senate to make Uruguay the first country to regulate the production, distribution and sale of marijuana. President Jose Mujica believes that the measure will remove profits from drug dealers and divert users from harder drugs. Martin Jelsma, the Coordinator of Drugs & Democracy program at Transnational Institute in Amsterdam, shared his thoughts on the new legislation with the Voice of Russia.

  • Nederland wietland ingehaald door Uruguay

    NOS Op 3 (The Netherlands)
    Thursday, August 1, 2013

    CannabisSativaWij hebben het er al jaren over, Uruguay doet 't gewoon: wiet wordt er legaal. Niet alleen de verkoop, ook de productie. Daarmee is Uruguay het eerste land ter wereld waar wiet legaal is, en zijn wij onze koppositie een beetje kwijt...

  • In Mexico, guilty till proven innocent

    Maureen Meyer
    CNN (US)
    Wednesday, June 5, 2013

    meyer-mexico-prison-story-top-1The case of Yanira Maldonado brought international attention once more to the innocent people getting caught in Mexico's drug war. Maldonado, a U.S. citizen and mother of seven children, was released late last week after spending more than a week in a prison in Nogales, Mexico, accused of trying to transport marijuana aboard a bus.

  • De wankele 'Weense consensus' over drugsbeleid

    Internationale Spectator
    April 2013

    ??20130400_is_art_jelsmaNederland is met zijn drugsbeleid in de achterhoede terecht gekomen, zo stelt Martin Jelsma. Zo zijn Uruguay en de Amerikaanse staten Washington en Colorado met hun besluit om de cannabismarkt van teelt tot gebruik te legaliseren, Nederland voorbijgestreefd. Ze schenden daarbij de VN-verdragen en lijken daarmee hervorming van het wereldwijde drugsbeleid af te dwingen. Ook vanuit het door drugsgeweld geteisterde Latijns-Amerika wordt de roep om legalisering van de drugsmarkt steeds groter.

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    De PDF van dit artikel is met toestemming van de redactie overgenomen uit de Internationale Spectator, maandblad voor internationale politiek, uitgegeven door de Koninklijke Van Gorcum te Assen namens het Nederlands Instituut voor Internationale Betrekkingen ‘Clingendael’ te Den Haag.

  • Towards a ceasefire

    Winding down the war on drugs. Experiments in legalisation are showing what a post-war approach to drug control could look like
    The Economist (UK)
    Saturday, February 23, 2013

    economist230213Partial reforms have their limits. Most drug crime is not cannabis-related. Moving from punishment to harm reduction may help drug users, but it leaves gangsters in control of supplies and revenues. Many countries still stick to prohibition. The votes in Colorado and Washington were hardly imaginable ten years ago and make deeper change likely. They weaken the Single Convention, the illegal trade, and the prohibition industry that feeds on it.

  • Major victory for President Morales: UN accepts “coca leaf chewing” in Bolivia

    MercoPress (Uruguay)
    Monday, January 14, 2013

    morales-cocaBolivia will again belong to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs after its bid to rejoin with a reservation that it does not accept the treaty’s requirement that “coca leaf chewing must be banned” was successful Friday. Opponents needed one-third of the 184 signatory countries to object, but fell far, far short despite objections by the US and the International Narcotics Control Board.

  • Uruguay postpones vote on 'state as dealer' approach to drug regulation - but not for long?

    Few think this postponement means the project is forever shelved
    Christian Science Monitor (US)
    Sunday, December 23, 2012

    Uruguay has been on the vanguard of drug policy reform in the Americas, proposing a state regulatory market for the cultivation and consumption of marijuana. (See Latin America reinventing the War on Drugs). But last week the project’s No. 1 proponent, President Jose Mujica, told Parliament to postpone the vote. Mujica always said he would not go forward with the proposal if a majority of Uruguayans did not accept it. A new poll by the firm Cifra shows 64 percent of those surveyed remain opposed.

  • Latin America looks to Europe for drug fighting models

    Reuters (UK)
    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    Latin American countries are turning to Europe for lessons on fighting drugs after souring on the prohibition-style approach of the violent and costly U.S.-led war on drugs. Until recently, most Latin American countries had zero-tolerance rules on drugs inspired by the United States. But now countries from Brazil to Guatemala are exploring relaxing penalties for personal use of narcotics, following examples such as Spain and Portugal that have channeled resources to prevention rather than clogging jails.

  • U.S. marijuana vote may have snowball effect in Latin America

    One expert said that if U.S. states such as Colorado and Washington could permit a system for consumption of marijuana that didn't cause usage to soar, "it could mark a snowball effect on Latin America"
    Tim Johnson (McClatchy Newspapers)
    The Seattle Times (US)
    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

    Voters in Colorado and Washington state who approved the recreational use of marijuana Tuesday sent a salvo from the ballot box that will ricochet around Latin America, a region that's faced decades of bloodshed from the U.S.-led war on drugs. Experts said the moves were likely to give momentum to countries such as Uruguay that are marching toward legalization, to undercut Mexican criminal gangs and to embolden those who demand greater debate about how to combat illegal substances.


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