Summary of Drugs & Democracy Activities, July - September 2014

Martin_Jelsma_2_BCNIn this issue we proudly want to highlight the fabulous reception our Spanish version of report on cannabis, Auge y caída de la prohibición del cannabis received in Spain. The presentation of the report in Barcelona on July 23 -  a joint effort of TNI, Cáñamo Magazine and the Hash Marihuana Cáñamo & Hemp Museum - received major press coverage by Spanish mainstream and independent media outlets.


The report has been highly praised by both media and also by the Spanish cannabis federations, who argue that the contents could mean a turning point in the local debate.


Spain is currently one of the lead countries in the world on drug policy reform. Cannabis clubs in Spain are an innovative model of drug regulation that also complies with current international drug treaties. Spanish clubs have stimulated discussion and  interest in other countries, particularly in Latin America. We are pleased that the TNI GDPO report is feeding into the development of alternative cannabis policies. With 37.000 copies of the report distributed, as an annex to the 200th issue of Cáñamo Magazine and at events in Spain, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico), this is a record-breaking publication by the TNI Drugs and Democracy Programme.


CoverReportAnother important event of this period was the presentation of the new report Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work, by the Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP) The report provides an important tool for discussion in runup to the upcoming UNGASS 2016.


Washington knows that legalisation of cannabis is irreversible, Martin Jelsma


Newsletter in PDF


6th Asian Informal Drug Policy Dialogue. New Delhi, 29 and 30 September 2014 - An initiative of the Transnational Institute (TNI) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ), in collaboration with the Indian Government. The Dialogue focused on how the UN Guiding Principles on Alternative Development can be implemented in the Asian context; how to implement alternative development programmes in conflict areas; how to better involve affected communities in policy making and project implementation; the state of drug law reform efforts in the region, and on recent developments in international drug policy in light of the upcoming UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs in 2016. Government officials, NGO representatives and drug policy and rural development experts from India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and China as well as from international agencies attended the dialogue. Martin Jelsma, Ernestien Jensema, Tom Kramer and Tom Blickman traveled to Delhi to attend the meeting.


Ayahuasca2 World Conference on Ayahuasca – organized by ICEERS. The conference was held in Ibiza the 25 and 26th of September, and was a first attempt to connect the drug policy reform discusion with the communities traditionally involved with ayahuasca. Pien Metaal presented the TNI drug law reform paper Scheduling in the international drug control system and participate in a meeting of the International Committee for the Normalisation of Ayahuasca.


Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP) meeting in New York. Martin Jelsma participated in his capacity of advisor to the Commission, and a new report was presented to the media and at the UN: Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work, 8-10 September 2014.


CostaRicaConf25th Latin American and I Central American drug policy conference -  As a member of CONFEDROGAS in San José, Costa Rica, TNI helped organized the conference on the 3rd and 4th of September. Pien Metaal participated in the conference as a moderator of the UNGASS panel, and at the numerous satellite events surrounding it.


Meeting of the Research Consortium on Drugs and the Law CEDD – The meeting was also held in Costa Rica on the 5th and 6th of September. The goal was to evaluate the previous phase and outcome, and to define the study subject for the next phase of the groups' endeavor to influence drug policy reform in the region.


Workshop in Nay Pyi Taw with Burma Drugs Office CCDAC -  In August 15 Tom Kramer took part on this Workshop on Alternative Development in Southeast Asia, with the participation of Myanmar government officials in Nay Piy Taw.


Rueda_de_prensa_Camo_200_23.07.2014Launch of Auge y caída de la prohibición del cannabis – The launching took place in Barcelona on July 23 and was attended by Martin Jelsma and by the Spanish translator of the report, Beatriz Martínez, who answered to questions from the public.





Blog: Colombia, more than three decades of toxic sprayings. Enough! - Amira Armenta (Sep 26)

Briefing Serie Reforma legislativa en materia de drogas No 25 - La clasificación en el sistema internacional de control de drogas, July 2014

Informe - Auge y caída de la prohibición del cannabis. La historia del cannabis en el sistema de control de drogas de la ONU y opciones de reforma. July 23rd

Article: Reforming the global drug-control system: The stakes for Washington, by Martin Jelsma. July 11. (Also in Italian, in Fuoriluogo magazine, July)

Drug Policy Briefing No.42 - How does the agreement on drugs between the government and the FARC help to put an end to the armed conflict in Colombia? Ricardo Vargas (July 9)

Drugs and violence in the Northern Triangle. Two sides of the same coin? Pien Metaal, Liza ten Velde - July 8



Política de Drogas, en busca de un consenso latinoamericano (September 6, 2014)

Cada vez más jóvenes europeos legalizarían la marihuana (25 de agosto)

¿Está condenado al fracaso el acuerdo sobre drogas alcanzado por el gobierno de Colombia y las FARC? (August 8)

The launching of the cannabis report in Barcelona triggered a broad press coverage on July 23rd and 24th: 

Press conference and presentation:

Marihuana Televisión News 26Presentación del Número 22 de la Revista Cáñamo Interview with Martin Jelsma 

Las asociaciones culpan a las administraciones del turismo canabico 

Clubes canabicos atribuyen a la prohibición la proliferación de este turismo en Catalunya

Los clubes cannábicos atribuyen a la "falta de regulación" la proliferación de este turismo en Catalunya 

Martin Jelsma: En España existe una descriminalización en el uso y consumo de cannabis 

Los clubes ‘cannábicos’ confían en la inercia regularizadora.

Cada vez hay más países que apuestan por legalizar la marihuana

Las asociaciones cannábicas atribuyen el turismo del porro en Barcelona a la "falta de regulación"  

Martin Jelsma: "En Washington saben que la legalización del cannabis es irreversible"   

Martin Jelsma: regular el mercado del cannabis no significa facilitar el acceso  

Radio Interview

Our monthly column in Cáñamo magazine (Barcelona)

-La reincidencia de las drogas en el Asia. Se necesitan políticas de drogas que comprendan cómo funciona el mercado.
-La coca en el debate internacional. Uso tradicional y nuevos usos de la hoja de coca
-El control de drogas visto desde Washington

Coming up the next quarter

Brookings Institution / WOLA - “International Impacts of the U.S. Trend towards Legal Cannabis: Reverberations Abroad and Implications for the UN Drug Control Treaties”, Washington, D.C. 17 October (Martin in panel)


Experts seminar on reform options for the UN drug control treaty regime, TNI together with WOLA, the Global Drug Policy Observatory (Swansea University), and the International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy (Human Rights Centre, University of Essex), Washington, D.C. 17-18 October

Spanish cannabis dialogue, Donostia/San Sebastian, 24-25 October

National AD workshop in Nay Pyi Taw in cooperation with GIZ _ December 2014

Legislative reform workshop in Nay Pyi Taw – December 2014

Publications amongst others:

Brookings paper (final version only published in January)

Legislative reform briefing paper EU, Morocco and Cannabis

Legislative reform briefing paper on access to essential medicines

Legislative reform briefing paper on the impact of drug laws in Burma

Legislative reform briefing paper on cannabis legislation and practices in Europe

Legislative reform briefing paper on modernizing drug law enforcement