Most of us predicted a dull Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) this year, but it turned out to be surprisingly eventful – a pleasant surprise for veterans, if still frustratingly opaque for those looking for open and vibrant debate.
For many years under the Berlusconi government, Italian drug policy has been directed by ideology. The government passed a legislative amendment to increase penalties for all categories of drug possession and use, treating cannabis with the same severity as heroin and cocaine.
Last week in Bangkok (6th to 8th February 2012), delegates from governments, UN agencies and civil society organisations (CSOs) based in the Asia-Pacific region gathered in the UN Conference Centre to discuss the progress they have made in taking action on problems related to HIV/AIDS.
Drug policy is too often abstract. Government policy makers and Vienna-based diplomats spend much of their time debating drug law ideology, while forgetting the realities of people badly hurt by the laws and policies they create.
Over the past decades, there has been much discussion about the effectiveness of several aspects of the drug control system. The police play a decisive role in enforcing drug laws, and directly experience the effects caused by the implementation of several provisions that aim to reduce drug use in our society.