Faced with a complex range of drug related problems, a growing number of nations are exploring the development of nationally appropriate policies that shift away from the prohibition-oriented approach that has long dominated the field but is losing more and more legitimacy. In so doing, such countries must pay close attention to the UN based global drug control framework of which practically all nations are a part.

This briefing paper outlines the international legal drug control obligations, the room for manoeuvre the regime leaves open to national policy makers and the clear limits of latitude that cannot be crossed without violating the treaties. It also covers the vast grey area lying between the latitude and limitations, including the legal ambiguities that are subject to judicial interpretation and political contestation.

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The briefing paper is available below in English, Spanish  and Greek.