Tag Archives: War on Drugs

Contrary to common belief, marijuana is not legal in the Netherlands, but decriminalised.

What is the difference between legalisation and decriminalisation?

What is the difference between legalisation and decriminalisation?

In the debate over drug policy reform, we often hear the words ‘decriminalisation’ and ‘legalisation’ being used. Both are alternatives to prohibition, however they vary significantly. Below are some of the key differences. (Note: Specific legislation may vary by jurisdiction) [table id=2/]

Police exercise stop-and-search among London youths

UK Government Report Describes Futility of Drug Laws

The UK government has released a report illustrating the inability of punitive drugs laws to curb drug use. Additionally, a parliamentary debate – led by Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas – has taken place to consider the effectiveness of contemporary drug legislation and alternative approaches. The Home Office – the British governmental department responsible for

Michael Botticelli, the new US drugs czar

Will the United States Lead or Follow on International Drug Reform?

More than three years ago, the Global Commission on Drug Policy urged the world to recognize that the war on drugs has failed and to consider policies that would reduce violence, decrease mass incarceration, and promote health. Since then, sitting presidents and premiers, mainly from Latin America, have called for a review of the entire

Liberal Democrat leader and deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg

UK’s Liberal Democrats Pledge Drug Decriminalisation

The Liberal Democrats, the minority party in the UK’s coalition government, have announced a pledge to decriminalise the possession of all illegal drugs. Decriminalisation is inherently different from legalisation; the latter refers to the regulation of the product (such as with alcohol and tobacco), whereas the former retains the illegality of the substance’s production and

Jonathan Yates (Photo: The Gloucester Citizen)

Elderly UK Cancer Patient Avoids Jail Over Marijuana

In an unprecedented development, a British judge has avoided punishing a man for possessing, growing, and supplying marijuana. The defendant, grandfather Jonathan Yates, is in remission from throat cancer, and has described using marijuana to self-medicate. The Gloucester Citizen reported that Yates, 65, admitted smoking “three joints before [going] to bed” each day to treat

Kerala Toddy Shop (Photo: Mahendra Palsule)

Alcohol Prohibition in Kerala: A Dangerous Development

Last week, in the southern Indian state of Kerala, the local government outlined its intention to make the state “liquor free” by closing bars, implementing alcohol-free days, and restricting sale to ‘five-star’ hotels and shops that sell toddy – a traditional liquor made from the sap of palm trees. The end goal, the state’s Chief


The UK’s War on Drugs is a Tool of State Oppression

Drug prohibition – the illegality of many psychoactive substances – is an accepted norm in the UK, although this hasn’t been the case for long. In 1971, Parliament passed the Misuse of Drugs Act; the first major national prohibition legislation, and the cornerstone of the British war on drugs. A few amendments have been added

John Oliver

John Oliver Attacks the Role of the Drug War in the US Prison System

In the tradition of Jonathan Swift and Voltaire, the ever-brilliant comedian, John Oliver, satirised the War on Drugs and the prison industrial complex on the HBO show, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. While examining the fact that the United States has over two million people behind bars, Oliver uses wit and satire to unravel

WHO Flag

The Importance of the WHO’s Call for Drug Decriminalisation

Last week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) called for the decriminalisation of drug use. This is one of the most significant developments in drug policy reform, as the United Nations – the WHO’s parent organisation – was responsible for creating the international laws that form the basis of global drug prohibition. In 1961, the UN