Drug Policy

The Year in Drug Policy Reform


The indispensable Drug War Chronicle offers a list of the year's 10 biggest "Drug Reform Victories and Advances," along with a list of the year's 10 biggest "Defeats, Downers, and Disappointments." Since the latter list includes items such as "the drug war continues unabated on the streets of America" and "Afghanistan is well on its way to becoming a true narco-state," it's hard to get too excited about, say, a one-year reprieve for Vancouver's "safe injection site." But there have been some encouraging developments in the last year, including Uniao do Vegetal's successful challenge of the federal government's interference with its ayahuasca rituals and the defeat of outgoing Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski's determined attempt to recriminalize private possession of marijuana for personal use. So take heart, or at least dial back on the despair a little.

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  1. The election of Evo Morales brings coca peace to Bolivia.

    DWC is a fine institution, doing the lord’s work and all that, but sometimes they say the silliest things.

  2. defeat of outgoing Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski’s determined attempt to recriminalize private possession of marijuana for personal use.
    The only problem I have with this is the Alaska Supreme Court’s ruling only eliminated the penalty for possesion under one ounce, dropping it from four ounces as determined by Noy v. Alaska.

  3. Plan Colombia continues to roll along, adding fuel to the flames of Colombia’s civil war while achieving little in the realm of actually reducing the supply of cocaine. The US Congress continues to fund Plan Colombia to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year, even though despite six years of military assistance and widespread aerial eradication using herbicides, it now appears that production is higher than anyone ever thought. Perhaps a Democratic Congress will put an end to this fiasco next year, but Democrats certainly can count influential Plan Colombia supporters among their ranks — incoming Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman and presidential hopeful Joe Biden (DE), to name just one.

    This (and countless other waste) dispite our obvious insolvency.

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