The War on Drugs is an international travesty. This section of the Monthly Mosaic, co-sponsored by SSDP’s International Outreach Committee, will highlight some of the top drug policy reform news from around the world.Bolivia:Negotiating with Growers, Bolivia Forges its Own Approach to Coca Production“The new coca law nearly doubles the area for legal cultivation of coca in Bolivia to 22,000 hectares, or nearly 55,000 acres. It legitimates the existing 20,000 hectares of coca fields that have been informally permitted since Morales, a former coca farmer who has been the head of the Bolivian coca grower’s union since 1996, was elected president in 2006.”Burundi:Drug Users Say They Need Medical Prescription Rather than Being Arrested“The Burundian Alliance against HIV/AIDS and for Health Promotion (ABS) organizes from this 17 April, a two-day meeting with the decision-makers on HIV/AIDS and harm reduction for People Who Inject Drugs…People who inject drugs are 28 times more likely to get infected with HIV than other people…HIV prevalence among people who inject drugs in the Sub-Saharan region averages 30%…Currently, Africa accounts for more than 70% of the Global AIDS epidemic with 91% of all HIV positive children in the world living in Africa.”Canada:Trudeau Unveils Bill Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in Canada“While the federal government will license and regulate growers, each of Canada’s provinces will need to decide exactly how the drug will be distributed and sold within its boundaries.”China:China Vows to Intensify Drug War“In October 2016, President Xi Jinping met with Rodrigo Duterte, the President of the Philippines who is responsible for the mass slaughter of people allegedly involved with drugs. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that Jinping’s government would ‘[support] the new Philippine government’s efforts in drug control’, among other security issues.”Indonesia:UN Support Sought to End Death Penalty in Indonesia“Indonesia’s human rights groups are bringing the country’s controversial capital punishment into the global spotlight after demands to abolish it back home had fallen on deaf ears…President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo’s administration had so far executed 18 death row drug convicts”Ireland:Medicinal Cannabis Seized from Mother at Dublin Airport“Customs officers have seized medicinal cannabis at Dublin airport, brought into Ireland by a woman looking for access to the drug for her young daughter…The drug, which is illegal in Ireland, is available under a special compassionate access programme, if prescribed by a consultant. No consultant in Ireland will currently prescribe the medication to Irish patients, which Ms Twomey says can help ease Ava’s epileptic seizures.”Mexico:Surge in Drug Gang Violence Leaves 35 Dead in One Weekend“Battles between gangs have increased in the area following the arrest last year of Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, who was extradited in January to the United States.”New Zealand:Drug Law Reform Needed to end Māori Over-Incarceration“‘Our criminal justice system has been failing Māori for decades and we’re not seeing any sign of improvement despite reports over decades highlighting these failures,’ said Ross Bell, Drug Foundation Executive Director.”North Korea:North Korea Began Mass Crackdown on Drug Offenders Last Month“According to Asia Press’ sources based in North Hamgyong and Ryangang provinces, anyone with a drug record is being sent to disciplinary labor camps.”Philippines:Criminal Case vs Duterte Filed Before International Criminal Court“Lawyer Jude Sabio accused Duterte of being a ‘mass murderer’ and asked the international court to prosecute him over his involvement in the so-called Davao Death Squad.”Trump Invites Rodrigo Duterte to the White House“Mr. Trump had a ‘very friendly conversation with Mr. Duterte,’ according to a statement issued by the White House…It said that the two leaders ‘discussed the fact that the Philippines is fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs.’”South Africa:South African Court OKs Marijuana for Home Use“The ruling struck down part of an old law that prohibits private and personal use of marijuana. The ruling still has to be solidified by parliament and pass through the constitutional court, which could take up to two years.”Switzerland:Swiss Aim to Shape International Drug Policy“Switzerland’s reappointment to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs ‘strengthens its presence in a key international body and allows it to take part in actively shaping the development of global drugs policy,’ the foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday.”Tunisia:Tunisia Parliament Votes to Ease Harsh Drug Law“Tunisia’s parliament voted on Tuesday to ease the country’s harsh law on drugs, in a move that could see offenders like youths caught smoking marijuana escape jail terms.”United Kingdom:Psychoactive substances: Tough new law drives drug trade underground“The act has succeeded in hiding the problem, but arguably exacerbated it by pushing production and sales of the most dangerous substances underground.”Uruguay:Uruguay to Sell Cannabis in Pharmacies from July“Uruguay will begin selling cannabis in pharmacies from July, the final stage in the country’s pioneering regularisation of the drug.”
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