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USA. Reefer Madness or Pot Paradise? The Surprising Legacy of the Place Where Legal Weed Began

Colorado’s first-in-the-nation experiment with legalized marijuana has infused the drug into almost every corner of life. (New York Times, 30.06.2019)


USA. Will Nearly 2,000 Pending Opioid Lawsuits End In A Master Settlement? 

Attorneys are attempting to put together a settlement that would make a "meaningful impact on the deeply tragic opioid crisis." (The Fix, USA, 11.07.2019)


Comparing alcohol taxation throughout the European Union.

Angus, C., Holmes, J., and Meier, P. S. ( 2019) 

Addiction, 114: 1489– 1494. doi.org/10.1111/add.14631.


GCDP. Classification of Psychoactive Substances: when science was left behind

In Classification of Drugs: when science was left behind, the Global Commission on Drug Policy explains how the biased historical classification of psychoactive substances has contributed to the "world drug problem". It is the first-ever comprehensive report providing a political reading of the current evaluation and classification, or "scheduling" of drugs according to their harms.

Psychoactive substances should be classified with regard to their potential for dependence and other harms. This is not the case today, where some substances are legally available because they are considered beneficial (medicines) or culturally important (alcohol), while others are seen as destructive, and are strictly prohibited. The classification of drugs is at the core of the international drug control system. As such, governments must ensure that such a classification is pragmatic and based on science and evidence, makes clear the benefits and harms of drugs, and allows for responsible legal regulatory models to control drugs. (The Global Commission on Drug Policy, Schweiz, Juni 2019)


UNODC. World Drug Report 2019
The World Drug Report 2019is again presented in five separate parts that divide the wealth of information and analysis contained in the report into individual reader-friendly booklets in which drugs are grouped by their psychopharmacological effect for the first time in the report’s history.

Booklet 1 provides a summary of the four subsequent booklets by reviewing their key findings and highlighting policy implications based on their conclusions. Booklet 2 contains a global overview of the latest estimates of and trends in the supply, use and health consequences of drugs. Booklet 3 looks at recent trends in the market for depressants (including opioids, sedatives, tranquillizers and hypnotics), while Booklet 4 deals with recent trends in the market for stimulants (including cocaine, amphetamine-type stimulants and new psychoactive substances). Booklet 5 contains a review of recent trends in the market for cannabis and for hallucinogens. The section on cannabis also includes a review of the latest developments in the jurisdictions that have adopted measures allowing the non-medical use of cannabis.

As in previous years, the World Drug Report 2019is aimed at improving the understanding of the world drug problem and contributing towards fostering greater international cooperation for countering its impact on health, governance and security. (UNODC, 26.06.2019)


The Drugreporter Video Database

Welcome to the Drugreporter Video Database! The database features hundreds of drug policy reform and harm reduction advocacy videos from all around the world. The videos produced by the Drugreporter – Rights Reporter Foundation team Péter Sárosi and István Gábor Takács (former HCLU Drug Policy Program) since 2008 are marked with blue. The videos produced by members of our Russian speaking blog   DUNEWS , Igor Kuzmenko, Alexander Levin and Alexey Kurmanaevskii, are marked with yellow. The videos produced by our Drugreporter Video Advocacy Network are marked with green. You can navigate the map and click on the markers to see the films. You can also use the filters below to find films by author, topic or country. (Drugreporter, Ungarn, 24.06.2019)


China. Beijing says US legalization of marijuana is a 'threat to China'

Beijing. Beijing's leading drug enforcement body has blamed the legalization of marijuana in Canada and parts of the United States for a spike in the amount of drugs smuggled into the country, describing it as a "new threat to China." (CNN, 17.06.2019)


The China Drug, Crime and Detention Database

The China Drug, Crime and Detention Database Project is the first open access quantitative database focused on Chinese government drug policy and the country's justice system. It is an open access resource for researchers, advocates, journalists and organisations engaged in the study of drug policy, criminal justice, policing and detention in China. (London School of Economics and Political Science, 2019)

Eine fortschrittliche Drogenpolitik ist ganz im Sinne von Kofi Annan

Der verstorbene UNO-Generalsekretär hat sich für eine Drogenpolitik eingesetzt, die Konsumenten entkriminalisiert und ihnen Zugang zu Medikamenten verschafft. Seine Arbeit wird fortgesetzt.

(Ruth Dreifuss in Tagesanzeiger, Schweiz, 18.05.2019)


The beginning of a new decade for Global Drug Policies 

By Marie Nougier and Jamie Bridge, International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC)

In March 2019, the international community gathered in Vienna for a high-level Ministerial Segment. The goal: to take stock of the past 10 years of global drug policy and chart the course for the coming decade in UN drug control. No only a key opportunity for civil society to influence the debates. But also call for more effective drug policies going forward. 

Finally, building upon the momentum created in 2016 by the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs and its relatively progressive Outcome Document. (dianove, 13.05.2019)


EMCDDA. European Drug Report 2019

What are the latest drug trafficking trends and what lies behind them? What substances are causing the most harm today? What’s new in the areas of drug prevention, treatment and policy? These, and other, questions will be explored by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) on 6 June in its annual overview of the European drug situation.


EMCDDA. Europäischer Drogenbericht 2019: Trends und Entwicklungen

Europäische Beobachtungsstelle für Drogen und Drogensucht (2019), Amt für Veröffentlichungen der Europäischen Union, Luxemburg.


Fast jeder Dritte hat europaweit schon illegale Drogen konsumiert

Brüssel/Berlin – Schätzungsweise rund 96 Millionen Menschen in der Europäischen Union (EU) im Alter zwischen 15 und 64 Jahren (29 Prozent) haben mindestens ein­mal in ihrem Leben illegale Drogen genommen. (aerzteblatt.de, 06.06.2019)


How Much Does it Cost to Criminalise People Who Use Drugs?

The massive criminalization of people who use drugs in the EECA region instead of the declared support of public health and social security imposes a financial and social burden on States. On average, incarceration costs are 2-6 times higher than the expenditures for health and social services.

This is evidenced by the results of a study conducted by the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA). The organization collected data on incarceration costs of people who use drugs from countries of the EECA region as well as data on money spent for harm reduction services. (EHRA, 27.05.2019)


Ost-Europa/Zentral-Asien. Crackdown on Civil Society (Video)

Civil society is increasingly under attack in Eastern-Europe and Central-Asia. This movie features the stories of resistance and survival of organisations and activists fighting for the human rights of vulnerable minorities. This film is inspired and a follow up on the assessment "We Fight, We Hide or We Unite: coping strategies amongst resilient harm reduction organizations and community networks in the context of shrinking space for civil society in Eastern Europe and Central Asia" of AFEW International within the Program “Bridging the Gaps: health and rights of key populations.” (Drug Reporter, Ungarn, Video, 29:32, 29.05.2019)


West-Afrika. Model Drug Law for West Africa presented to ministers of health on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly

GENEVA.The West Africa Commission on Drugs, UNAIDS and the Global Commission on Drug Policy today presented the Model Drug Law for West Africa to ministers of health of the Economic Community of West African States. (UNAIDS, 22.05.2019)


USA. The Met Will Turn Down Sackler Money Amid Fury Over the Opioid Crisis

The Metropolitan Museum of Art said on Wednesday that it would stop accepting gifts from members of the Sackler family linked to the maker of OxyContin, severing ties between one of the world’s most prestigious museums and one of its most prolific philanthropic dynasties. (New York Times, 15.05.2019)


OECD warnt vor Opioidkrise auch in Europa

Paris/Berlin – Auch in einigen Staaten Europas sterben immer mehr Menschen am Missbrauch von Opioiden. Das berichtet die Organisation für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (OECD) auf Basis einer neuen eigenen Studie. (aerzteblatt.de, 167.05.2019)


Addressing Problematic Opioid Use in OECD Countries

Over the past few years, Canada and the United States have been experiencing an opioid crisis as a result of problematic opioid use fueled by the emergence of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanil. Problematic opioid use is also spreading in other OECD countries, due to the upward trend of prescription opioid use and the complexities of the illegal drug supply. This report presents evidence on the magnitude of problematic opioid use across OECD countries, describes the main drivers, and identifies a set of policy actions to address them. The report highlights the opioid crisis as a complex public health issue that requires a comprehensive approach across all sectors, including health, social services, and law enforcement. Strong health information systems are also needed, particularly data and research. Preventing problematic opioid use requires a combination of policies that ensure more information is provided to patients and health care practitioners, while providing access to appropriate pain management treatment for patients. A public health approach to problematic opioid use must incorporate socio-economic considerations (e.g. employment and housing), which also need to be addressed to prevent problematic substance use in general. (OECD Health Policy Studies, 16.05.2019, doi.org/10.1787/a18286f0-en)


Kolumbien/USA. US announces $160 mn 'peace' funding payment to Colombia

The US government announced Monday it will provide $160 million in funding to Colombia to help implement the historic peace accord signed between the state and now-disarmed FARC rebels. (France24, 14.05.2019)


Contemporary Asian Drug Policy: Insights and Opportunities for Change. 

Pardo, Bryce, Beau Kilmer, and Wenjing Huang,

Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2019.


329 NGOs call on world leaders to address the global health and human rights crisis among people who use drugs on the occasion of the 26th International Harm Reduction Conference 

As civil society and global experts gather in Porto for the 26thInternational Harm Reduction Conference, 329 NGOs are calling on the international community to address the ongoing global health and human rights crisis among people who use drugs. (IDCP, UK, 30.04.2019)


USA. HHS launches program to cut opioid overdoses by 40 percent in three years

The Trump administration announced an ambitious program Thursday to reduce deaths from opioid overdoses by 40 percent over three years in hard-hit communities across several states. (Washington Post, USA, 18.04.2019)


Kanada. Stopping the Harm: Decriminalization of People Who Use Drugs in BC

In April 2016, in response to an ongoing, escalating crisis of illegal drug related overdose deaths, the PHO declared BC’s first public health emergency under the Public Health Act. A multi-sector response was launched by the provincial government and its partners to keep people who use drugs safe from harm. Early findings show that the province’s strategies are saving lives; however, the number of overdose deaths has continued to rise and remains consistently high throughout the province. This PHO special report provides an analysis of the harms associated with criminal justice-based approaches to drug policy, and offers a recommendation to further support response efforts: decriminalization of people who possess controlled drugs for personal use. The report identifies two potential mechanisms for implementing this change in BC. (Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, British Columbia, 24.04.2019)


People Before Politics: 4 Key Points in HR19’s Opening Ceremony

The Harm Reduction International Conference 2019 (HR19) has begun in Porto, with several influential speakers delivering inspiring and poignant remarks at the opening ceremony.

HR19 comes at a crucial moment in the development of drug policies across the globe. Many countries find themselves at a drug policy crossroads; do they pursue health and human rights-oriented approaches that reduce potential drug harms, or maintain policies of criminalisation and repression that have long-characterised the global drug war?

Here are four key points from the opening ceremony that highlight the need for a harm reductionist approach: Failed drug policies continue to kill millions around the world - Governments’ complacency is fuelling drug harms - Governments continue to commit egregious human rights abuses in the name of drug policy - Drug consumption rooms (DCRs) have arrived in Portugal! The country continues to serve as an important example of how countries can move forward in their drug policy. (TalkingDrugs, UK, 28.04.2019)


USA. Trump to Keep Fighting Opioids 'Until Our Job Is Done'

President Donald Trump is pledging to continue battling the deadly epidemic of opioid drug abuse "until our job is done." (usnews.com, 24.04.2019)


USA. Trump sieht Fortschritte im Kampf gegen Drogenepidemie

US-Präsident Donald Trump sieht nach eigener Darstellung erste Fortschritte seiner Kampagne zum Kampf gegen Drogenmissbrauch in den USA. „Wir machen großartige Fortschritte“, sagte Trump in Atlanta. (aerzteblatt.de, 25.04.2019)


Luxemburg. Luxemburg bereitet Legalisierung von Cannabis vor

Luxemburg will als erstes Land in Europa Cannabis legalisieren. Wie genau und nach welchem Modell ist aber noch offen. Eine Arbeitsgruppe sei derzeit dabei, Fragen zu analysieren und erste Schritte der Vorbereitung zu machen, hieß es aus dem Gesundheitsministerium in Luxemburg. (aerzteblatt.de, 25.04.2019)


USA. Exclusive: DHS is considering classifying fentanyl as a 'weapon of mass destruction'

The Department of Homeland Security is considering designating the painkiller drug fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction "when certain criteria are met," according to an internal memo obtained by Task & Purpose. (Task&Purpose, USA,15.04.2019)


UK. Opioid painkillers 'must carry prominent warnings'

All opioid medicines in the UK will carry prominent warnings on their labels saying they can cause addiction, the health secretary has announced. (BBC, 28.04.2019)