Governments will convene in Vienna for the next ten days for the 57th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and its High Level Segment. They will meet to discuss the status of drug control and many will attempt to reaffirm the status quo and restate their commitment to a ‘drug-free’ world. But for the first time it is expected that a few other brave governments will no longer have the stomach to go along with this charade, and will openly question the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to drugs that has relied so heavily on law enforcement and supply reduction measures at the expense of human rights, public health and rational evidence-based policy making.

Today, at last, we can talk of real, actual legal reforms on drug policy that are outside the prohibitionist paradigm that has been dominant for so long.

In December 2013, Uruguay became the first country to make cannabis available to adults for recreational use, with the government regulating cannabis production, trade and sale. Two states in the USA, Washington and Colorado, have voted to create legally regulated cannabis markets, and Colorado began cannabis sales through licensed shops on 1 January 2014.

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