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Kanada. Safe drug supply key to fighting overdoses: Trudeau

VANCOUVER — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa is moving forward “aggressively” on ensuring a safe drug supply amid an ongoing overdose crisis that’s claimed more than 900 lives in B.C. alone this year. (The Canadian Press, Kanada, 02.09.2020)


International Development Policy, Nr. 12, August 2020 - Conflict and Coexistence

The 12th volume of International Development Policy explores the relationship between international drug policy and development goals, both current and within a historical perspective. Contributions address the drugs and development nexus from a range of critical viewpoints, highlighting gaps and contradictions, as well as exploring strategies and opportunities for enhanced linkages between drug control and development programming. Criminalisation and coercive law enforcement-based responses in international and national level drug control are shown to undermine peace, security and development objectives. (globalinitiative.net, Schweiz, 31.08.2020)


USA. “The Drum Beat in My Head Gets Louder”—Meet DPA’s New Leader

“Is it going to be Kassandra?” There’s a reason that question was asked over and over in harm reduction circles after the departure of Maria McFarland Sanchez-Moreno, the previous executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, was announced at the beginning of the year. (…) 

Filter called Frederique at her home in Manhattan, with DPA’s offices still closed because of COVID-19, to ask about her priorities and get a sense of how the movement might evolve under her leadership. Our interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity. (Filter, USA, 10.09.2020)


USA. Kassandra Frederique, DPA’s New Executive Director, Shares Her Message to the Movement

(DPA - Drug Policy Alliance, USA, 08.09.2020)


NEJM: Race and Medicine

A selection of articles on race and medicine, with implications for improving patient care, professional training, research, and public health. (NEJM – New England Journal of Medicine)


Europa. Open letter on the proposed EU Drugs Agenda

A sign-on letter of the International Drug Policy Consortium’s (IDPC) members, raising our very serious concerns regarding the new EU Agenda and Action Plan on Drugs, recently published by the European Commission was prepared and sent to the German presidency of the EU Horizontal Working Party on Drugs.

We have serious concerns regarding both the process for its development as well as with the substance of the document and urge the German Presidency to propose to the EU Horizontal Working Party on Drugs (HDG) that this draft cannot be accepted, and to outline an appropriate and inclusive strategic development process for the next EU drugs strategy.

The new EU Agenda proposes a drastic and negative change in EU drug policies that could also end up impacting funding priorities and national policies. (IDPC - International Drug Policy Consortium’s, 07.09.2020)


USA. Why did the US justice department let Purdue off the hook for the opioid crisis?

Prosecutors believed Purdue was implicated in mail and wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy. Yet the firm got a slap on the wrist. (The Guardian, UK, 08.09.2020)


31. August: International Overdose Awareness Day


USA. US States Seek $2.2 Trillion From OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma

(Medscape, USA, 17.08.2020)


Helen Clark wird neue Vorsitzende der Weltkommission für Drogenpolitik Genf, 26. August 2020 (Weltkommission) –Die 26 Mitglieder der Weltkommission für Drogenpolitik (Global Commission on Drug Policy) haben die Neuseeländerin Helen Clark mit sofortiger Wirkung zur Vorsitzenden ernannt. Helen Clark übernimmt das Amt von Ruth Dreifuss, der ehemaligen Bundesrätin der Schweiz, die den Vorsitz der Weltkommission seit 2016 innehatte. Seit ihrer Gründung im Jahr 2011 setzt sich die Weltkommissionfür eine evidenzbasierte Drogenpolitik ein. Sie stellt denrepressiven Ansatz in Frage, der über Jahrzehnte hinweg international die Richtung vorgab und manche widersinnige Auswirkung mit sich brachte, einschließlich Menschenrechtsverletzungen und der Masseninhaftierung.


USA. Multiple States Seeking $26.4 Billion From Drug Companies Over Opioid Crisis: Report

Multiple states are seeking a combined $26.4 billion from three major drug distributors and drugmaker Johnson & Johnson to help pay for damages brought on by addiction to opioid drugs manufactured and sold by the companies, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing sources. (Forbes, 18.08.2020)


Health, Human Rights: 330+ NGOs warn changes in Dutch funding priorities will disrupt global HIV and hepatitis response for people who use drugs

The Netherlands has been a global leader for ensuring the health and human rights of people who use drugs and has contributed significant funding over the past decade for harm reduction and drug policy reform. Within this frame, recent funding decisions signify a withdrawal from this critical agenda. (International Drug Policy Consortium, 20.07.2020)

Health, Human Rights: 330+ NGOs warn changes in Dutch funding priorities will disrupt global HIV and hepatitis response for people who use drugs

USA. States Scramble To Deal With The Compounding Covid And Opioid Epidemic

States are rushing to amend their laws surrounding opioid use disorder treatment as Covid threatens to exacerbate the opioid epidemic. (Forbes, USA, 29.07.2020)

USA. States Scramble To Deal With The Compounding Covid And Opioid Epidemic

Kanada. The Canadian government is allowing 4 terminally ill patients to use psychedelic mushrooms to help ease their anxiety

The Canadian government will allow four patients with incurable cancer to receive psilocybin therapy, which uses the drug found in the so-called "magic mushrooms" or "shrooms," to ease their end-of-life distress. (CNN, Kanada, 06.08.2020)

Kanada. The Canadian government is allowing 4 terminally ill patients to use psychedelic mushrooms to help ease their anxiety

Bolivien. Protesters paralyze Bolivia over election delays, threaten escalation

Parties across Bolivia’s political spectrum are racing to defuse massive street blockades that have paralyzed the nation, as some protesters threaten to march on La Paz and demand the resignation of interim president Jeanine Áñez.

Nearly 150,000 miners, labor unionists, coca leaf farmers and indigenous activists took to the streets last week after the national electoral council delayed the presidential election for a second time amid the country’s spreading coronavirus outbreak. The vote that was initially scheduled for May 3 is now planned for Oct. 18. (Washington Post, USA, 12.08.2020)

Bolivien. Protesters paralyze Bolivia over election delays, threaten escalation

Europa. The new EU Agenda and Action Plan on Drugs 2021-2025

On the path toward building up its internal security, on 24 July 2020, the European Commission adopted a new EU Agenda and Action Plan on Drugs 2021-2025 (and the Annex) as part of the Security Union Strategy. The new EU Agenda and Action Plan on Drugs 2021-2025 sets out the political framework and priorities for action in the next five years. (EMCDDA, Lissabon, Juli 2020)

Europa. The new EU Agenda and Action Plan on Drugs 2021-2025

USA. Dismantling the Federal Drug War: A Comprehensive Drug Decriminalization Framework (The Drug Policy Reform Act) 

For most of the past century the United States has adopted increasingly punitive policies toward the possession, use and distribution of drugs; and, particularly in the last 50 years, has built a massive regime to enforce those policies. (DPA – Drug Policy Association, USA, 29.07.2020)

USA. Dismantling the Federal Drug War: A Comprehensive Drug Decriminalization Framework (The Drug Policy Reform Act) 

Kanada. B.C. premier formally asks federal government to decriminalize illegal drugs

B.C. Premier John Horgan is formally asking the federal government to decriminalize possession of illegal drugs for personal use.

In a letter sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday, Horgan says decriminalization would ‘reduce the systemic stigma associated with illicit drug use and support people to access the services that they need’. (Global News, 20.07.2020)

Kanada. B.C. premier formally asks federal government to decriminalize illegal drugs

Europa. How can EU countries be prepared and equipped for a continued rise in Synthetic Opioids prevalence, use and incidents?

Synthetic Opioids – PREParedness: On this website, you find the project related information. Reports, resources, briefing papers and fact sheets will be added during the course of the project. (TRIMBOS INSTITUUT, Niederlande, Juli 2020. This project is funded by the European Union’s Justice Programme – Drugs Policy Initiatives)


Kanada. Trudeau ministers welcome decriminalization endorsement as opioid crisis deepens

Canada's attorney general and federal health minister say they welcome the call from Canadian police chiefs to decriminalize drugs for simple possession, as the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the opioid crisis.

Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer, president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), said July 9 that “the tide is turning” with a new generation of law enforcement now acknowledging that arresting people for drug possession isn't effective and “does not save lives.” 

“We are here today to officially state that the CACP recognizes substance use and addiction as a public health issue. Being addicted to a controlled substance is not a crime and should not be treated as such,” Palmer said. (National Observer, Kanada, 10.07.2020)


USA. New peak of 71K US overdose deaths in 2019 dashes hopes

Nearly 71,000 Americans died of drug overdoses last year, a new record that predates the COVID-19 crisis, which the White House and many experts believe will drive such deaths even higher. (MecialXPress, USA, 16.07.2020)


USA. Jonathan Sackler, joint owner of opioid maker Purdue Pharma, dies aged 65 

Former pharmaceutical executive died of cancer on 30 June

Sackler was named as defendant in key opioid lawsuits. (The Guardian, UK, 06.07.2020)


The war on drugs is built on racism. It’s time to decolonise drug policies.

Ann Fordham

(…) The acute racial injustices of drug control efforts around the world cannot be overstated and are the subject of growing attention. Last year, a group of UN experts on people of African descent noted that “the war on drugs has operated more effectively as a system of racial control than as a mechanism for combating the use and trafficking of narcotics”. Drug law enforcement has led to mass incarceration, arbitrary arrests and detention and devastating police brutality, the burden of which has fallen disproportionately on people of colour across the globe. All of this repression has sought to eliminate the illegal drug trade, yet year on year the UN’s own data shows an ever growing, diversifying and robust global market and this year’s World Drug Report released today, once again confirms the trend. (IDPC – International Drug Policy Consortium, UK, 26.06.2020)


USA. “Whatever they do, I’m her comfort, I’m her protector: How the foster system has become ground zero for the US drug war.” 

American society is in a critical moment - one of progress and revolution full of promise for the liberation for Black and Brown people that we have been working towards. Dialogue about racism, anti-Blackness, policing, the need to divest from harmful systems, and invest in communities is rightfully at an all-time high. It is within this context that Movement for Family Power, along with co-publishers the Drug Policy Alliance and NYU Family Defense Clinic, are releasing a new report on the child welfare and foster system and the drug war. (Juni 2020)


USA. Overview: The opioid crisis in America

Vanda Felbab-Brown, Jonathan P. Caulkins, Carol Graham, Keith Humphreys, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Bryce Pardo, Peter Reuter, Bradley D. Stein, and Paul H. Wise Monday, Brookings, USA, 22.06.2020


USA. When Justice for Black People Begins, the Looting Will Stop

Mr. Malakai Z. Hart and Dr. Carl L. Hart discussed the fallacy that drug use played a role in George Floyd's death and examined how this myth is used to justify police brutality and perpetuate racism against Black people. (Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, USA, 26.06.2020)


NIDA. Nora's Blog: A Message from the Director on Racially Motivated Violence 

(…) The long history of discrimination against racial minorities in America bears directly on NIDA’s mission to address addiction as a disease rather than a moral failing to be dealt with through punishment. Whites and Black/African Americans use drugs at similar rates, but it is overwhelmingly the latter group who are singled out for arrest and incarceration. This use of drug use and addiction as a lever to suppress people of a particular race has had devastating effects on communities of color. (NIDA – National Institute on Drug Abuse, N.Volkow, 04.06.2020)


Amnesty International. „The COVID-19 pandemic must serve as a catalyst for the transformation of outdated and failed drug policies“

The COVID-19 pandemic, and government responses to it, are exacerbating existing inequalities that pose particular risks and challenges for people who use drugs worldwide. As activists around the world come together in a Global Day of Action through the Support. Don’t Punish campaign and call for the reform of drug policies, Amnesty International joins all these brave human rights defenders raising their voices against the harmful and repressive policies implemented under the so-called “war on drugs”. Amnesty International, UK, 26.06.2020)


UNODC. World Drug Report 2020

Presented in six separate booklets, the World Drug Report 2020 provides a wealth of information and analysis to support the international community in implementing operational recommendations on a number of commitments made by Member States, including the recommendations contained in the outcome document of the special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem, held in 2016. (UNODC, Juni 2020)


New WHO report on alcohol pricing: Europe ignores cost-effective ways to lower health risks

Not all alcohol taxation policies have the same impact on health 

According to the new WHO/Europe report, “Alcohol pricing in the WHO European Region”, increasing the prices that consumers pay for alcohol is one of the most cost-effective tools available for policy-makers looking to reduce alcohol consumption and associated harm.

Well-chosen pricing policies can help countries not only lower alcohol consumption and associated health risks, but also benefit economies. While every country in the WHO European Region has some form of pricing regulation in place on alcohol markets, these existing measures are often poorly designed and therefore ineffective, concludes the new WHO/Europe report. (WHO, Regional Office for Europe, 30.06.2020)