Politics

How can scientists in the U.S. file for patents on agricultural and medicinal products with minor innovations from what is traditional knowledge?

The problem lies with the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) systen, under the World Trade Organization (WTO). At the end of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) negotiations in 1994, IPRs were regulated world-wide under the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The system was designed…

READ MORE
Politics

Legalization is… [a] viable drug policy

The market for illicit drugs represents [a massive] commodity business. With an estimated annual turnover of $426-652 billion, it is approximately one-third the size of the global oil market. By calling for legalization, we are not surrendering to the problem posed by drugs. Rather, we are advocating a more effective, lasting, and humane solution. It…

READ MORE
Politics

Denver should legalize magic mushrooms

I do understand, of course, that this measure would decriminalize the drug for all adults, and not just people who might have a medical need for it — but, to me, that’s even better. Our bodies should belong to ourselves, not to the government. If someone wants to take magic mushrooms to help them with…

READ MORE
Politics

[Let’s pay attention to]… black drug policy reformers

“Our [experts’] answers […] suggest that the severity of the opioid crisis is breaking down longstanding divisions between public health officials and law enforcement,” stated that New York Times article, “with over two-thirds of our panel including increased funding for law enforcement or international interdiction efforts.” Might these answers have been different if the panel…

READ MORE
Politics

Has the decade-old war on drugs in Asia succeeded?

In March 2019, the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs will convene in Vienna to evaluate progress on countering the drug problem across the world. When officials sit down for discussions, they should not shy away from asking the tough questions. Current approaches to drug control in Asia overwhelmingly criminalise people already on the margins of…

READ MORE
Politics

Why we should care about global drug policy advocacy

In the past five to ten years, and in particular in the lead up to the UNGASS, civil society has increased in strength and visibility in the global drug policy debate. This is an important achievement because civil society voices have traditionally not been valued within drug policy debates, and it has been a fight…

READ MORE
Politics

Supreme Court limits police powers to seize private property

The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday [Feb. 20th, 2019] that the Constitution places limits on the ability of states and localities to take and keep cash, cars, houses and other private property used to commit crimes. The practice, known as civil forfeiture, is a popular way to raise revenue and is easily abused, and it…

READ MORE
Politics

B.C. health officer wants province-wide plan to decriminalize small amounts of illicit drugs

Health officials and drug policy experts across Canada have called for decriminalization for years, but the federal government won’t budge. Now, B.C.’s provincial health officer is putting together a report on how the province can de facto decriminalize. Drug decriminalization = removing criminal penalties for minor drug use/possession. Person might be steered towards treatment or…

READ MORE