GDPO Quarterly News: April – July 2019
As part of the Cannabis Innovate initiative, late April saw Martin, Dave and others associated with the project attend a workshop hosted by GDPO-Swansea University partner the Institute Scientifique, Université Mohammed-V de Rabat, Morocco. Back in Swansea in May, Dave lectured on ‘Drug Wars: From Reagan to Trump’ on PCS colleague Dr Luca Trenta’s module, Shadow Wars: US Presidents and Covert Action from the Cold War to Obama. As part of his work on the GDPO’s metrics project and as a member of a UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights delegation later that month he was also in Vienna to attend a UNODC hosted meeting on the ongoing review of the Annual Report Questionnaire; a UN tool designed to collect drug related data from member states. In June Martin was an invited panel speaker (‘The Politics of Spliffs and Butts’), at The Economist Cannabis Summit in Toronto and, on a closely related theme, Axel, Branwen and WOLA’s John Walsh visited the Caribbean. This was part of the GDPO’s ‘Cultivating Change: UN Treaties, Cannabis Regulation and Options for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean’ project. Supported by the UK Global Challenges Research Fund, the aim of the scoping trip was to develop closer ties with the GDPO’s new partner, the University of the West Indies, Mona, discuss future collaboration and learn more about the situation in the country following the decriminalisation of cannabis and amidst rapidly changing policy and market landscapes. The team met with UWI staff from the Department of Government, including Vicki Hanson, to whom we are grateful for her work in organising the itinerary, government officials and visited the Alternative Development programme in Accompong. They also spent some time talking to cannabis growers in Westmorland discussing the impact of the Cannabis Licensing Authority regulations on the farming community and their efforts to transition to licit medical markets. Meanwhile, Dave attended The Stockholm Criminology Symposium. Speaking on the history of criminalisation within the international drug control system, he was privileged to be part of a panel marking the award of the Stockholm Prize in Criminology to Madam Ruth Dreifuss, Chair of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, former President of Switzerland and GDPO patron. The same month also saw Khalid lecture on the international drug control regime at the Geneva Summer School course, ‘Drugs, Health and Human Rights’ run by the Global Health Institute at the University of Geneva.
Dave in Stockholm with Madam Ruth Dreifuss and Pavel Bem
The GDPO team in Jamaica with Vicki Hansen
In terms of publications and media engagement, Khalid had a particularly busy quarter. In addition to OP-Eds in Al HuffPost Maghreb (North Africa), Cannabis, banlieues et stigmatisation en France, and Le Monde (France), La politique publique sur la consommation de stupéfiants devrait être évaluée de manière indépendante, he was also quoted among other places in Le Monde Afrique (francophone Africa), La légalisation du cannabis, une opportunité pour l’Afrique. His peer reviewed publications appeared in The Lancet, ‘The international drug control system: the need for guiding principles for public health’ (with Kronig-Romero N, Goulão J, Stoltenberg C, Kazatchkine M, Clark H) and the Brown Journal of World Affairs, ‘Towards the End of the Global War on Drugs’. In-house, and following on from the CND, April saw the publication of Axel’s of ‘What have the Russians done for us in the international drug policy field? A timely reminder to take back control’ on the GDPO blog.