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Afghanistan; Iran; Pakistan: Agreement to Halt Drug Traffic

(Nov. 30, 2011) On November 28, 2011, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) praised the three-way pact on drug smuggling signed by officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran on November 27. The agreement is designed to increase information sharing in the fight against the drug trade. Ninety percent of the opium in […]

Switzerland: Decriminalization of Narcotics Consumption Proposed

(Oct. 20, 2010) On October, 15, 2010, the Committee for Social Security and Health of the National Council (Nationalrat), the representative chamber of the bicameral Swiss Parliament, resolved to initiate the legislative process for amending the Narcotics Act (Betäbungsmittelgesetz, Oct. 3, 1951, Systematische Sammlung des Bundesrechts No. 812.121, http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/c812_121.html). The purpose of this proposed reform […]

England and Wales: Government to Introduce Legislation to Prevent “Legal Highs”

(Aug. 24, 2010) The British government announced on August 20, 2010, that it will introduce legislation to temporarily ban psychoactive substances that are currently legal, but used by people to become intoxicated. The temporary ban will mean that it will be unlawful to possess with intent to supply, supply, offer to supply, import, export, or […]

Mexico; United States: Agreement Results in Convictions

(July 29, 2010) Two Mexican nationals captured in Nogales, Arizona, were recently convicted of marijuana trafficking in Mexico pursuant to the Controlled Substances Program (CSP), an agreement between the United States and Mexico “to prosecute, under Mexican law, drug smuggling cases that originate at Nogales ports of entry.” (Press Release, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, […]

Russia: New Restrictions For Controlled Substances

(Jan. 27, 2010) On December 31, 2009, the Government of the Russian Federation issued two regulations which extend the list of narcotic and psychotropic substances and establish a new procedure for their storage and preservation. (Regulations of the Russian Federation Government No. Nos. 1148 & 1186 of Dec. 31, 2009, in force since Jan. 22, […]

United States: Minnesota Supreme Court Holds That Bong Water Can Be a Controlled Substance

(Nov. 13, 2009) The Supreme Court of Minnesota has held that bong water can be a controlled substance under state criminal law. A defendant was arrested on multiple drug charges, including the commission of a first-degree controlled-substance crime. Under Minnesota law, a person possessing “one or more 'mixtures' that contain a controlled substance and that […]

Netherlands: Marijuana Pass Planned for Nationals Only

(Sept. 17, 2009) The Dutch government plans to introduce a national marijuana pass, available only to Dutch nationals over 18 years of age, under a program that would ban foreigners from visiting “coffee shops” (marijuana cafes). The pass will also limit coffee shop visits to one per day and marijuana purchases to a maximum of […]

Mexico: Law Allowing Personal Drug Use and Against Small-Scale Drug Trafficking

(Sept. 4, 2009) On August 20, 2009, the Mexican government officially published a new decree amending the General Law on Health and the Federal Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure. It entered in force on the following day. The amendments grant power to the state authorities to prosecute all crimes related to drug […]

Somalia: Restrictions on Sale of Khat

(Apr. 3, 2009) It was reported on March 25, 2009, that a law imposed by Al Shebaab, a group that controls Baidoa and other major towns in southern Somalia, banning the sale of Khat inside the city limits of Baidoa has sent hundreds of people out to the streets in protest. Khat is a stimulant […]

Netherlands: Efficiency of Drugs Policy Under Scrutiny

(Mar. 2, 2008) For three decades, the Netherlands has had a tolerant policy towards drugs, having decided in the mid 1970s to distinguish between cannabis and hard drugs, "which no other country does officially." According to Bert Bieleman of the Intraval Research Bureau, "[t]he Dutch drugs policy seems reasonably successful in comparison with that of […]