U.S. States’ Pot Legalization Not In Line With International Law: U.N. Agency

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Moves by some U.S. states to legalize marijuana are not in line with international drugs conventions, the U.N. anti-narcotics chief said on Wednesday, adding he would discuss the issue in Washington next week.

Residents of Oregon, Alaska, and the U.S. capital voted this month to allow the use of marijuana, boosting the legalization movement as cannabis usage is increasingly recognized by the American mainstream.

“I don’t see how (the new laws) can be compatible with existing conventions,” Yury Fedotov, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), told reporters.

Asked whether there was anything the UNODC could do about it, Fedotov said he would raise the problem next week with the U.S. State Department and other U.N. agencies.

Legislators Ask Why Mexicans Should Die Over A Drug The U.S. Is Legalizing

MEXICO:  Two Mexican legislators say they’re sick of cramming their jails full of pot smokers.

Few countries have suffered the consequences of the U.S.-led war on drugs more than Mexico. As the principal supplier of marijuana to the United States, as well as a major transit country for cocaine and other hard drugs, Mexico has seen organized crime flourish within its borders. According to some estimates, as many as 80,000 Mexicans have died since former President Felipe Calderón launched a frontal assault on the country’s drug cartels in 2006, and Mexico has seen its prison population nearly double since the 1990s, largely from prosecuting drug crimes. [Read more…]

Filipino Lawmakers Endorse Medical Marijuana

PHILIPPINES:  The House minority bloc is pushing for the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Minority leader Ronaldo Zamora said they would join minority colleague Rep. Rodolfo Albano III of Isabela in advocating and promoting medical marijuana.

“We are in agreement that marijuana for medicinal, strictly medicinal, purposes should be examined and legitimized. For recreational purposes, that’s an entirely different issue,” he said. [Read more…]

Davos: Kofi Annan Urges 'Rising Up' Against Drug Prohibition

SWITZERLAND:  A high-profile panel featuring Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, discussed drug decriminalization Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Annan and Santos, joined by Ken Roth of Human Rights Watch, condemned drug prohibition as unsuccessful and insisted on a new approach.

“I believe that drugs have destroyed many people, but wrong governmental policies have destroyed many more,” Annan said. “When we realized [alcohol] prohibition wasn’t working we had the courage to change it.” [Read more…]

Davos: Kofi Annan Urges 'Rising Up' Against Drug Prohibition

SWITZERLAND:  A high-profile panel featuring Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, discussed drug decriminalization Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Annan and Santos, joined by Ken Roth of Human Rights Watch, condemned drug prohibition as unsuccessful and insisted on a new approach.

“I believe that drugs have destroyed many people, but wrong governmental policies have destroyed many more,” Annan said. “When we realized [alcohol] prohibition wasn’t working we had the courage to change it.” [Read more…]

Leaked Paper Reveals UN Split Over War On Drugs

NEW YORK:  Major international divisions over the global “war on drugs” have been revealed in a leaked draft of a UN document setting out the organization’s long-term strategy for combating illicit narcotics.

The draft, written in September and seen by the Observer, shows there are serious and entrenched divisions over the longstanding US-led policy promoting prohibition as an exclusive solution to the problem.

Instead, a number of countries are pushing for the “war on drugs” to be seen in a different light, which places greater emphasis on treating drug consumption as a public health problem, rather than a criminal justice matter.

It is rare for such a document to leak. Normally only the final agreed version is published once all differences between UN member states have been removed. [Read more…]