Category Archives: International

The U.S. State Department May Push for Decriminalization of Drugs at UNGASS Convention

 

As reported in High Times, the U.S. State Department seems confident that prohibition may become unhinged at some point in 2016 and lead to the possible decriminalization of all illegal drugs around the globe.

On Tuesday, William Brownfield, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, told reporters that U.S. officials are currently at the drawing board in an attempt to draft an all-powerful piece of documentation — what he calls a “pragmatic reform agenda” — that they intend to present at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs next month in New York City.

Brownfield suggests that the proposed “recommitment” to the international drug conventions would be designed to persuade countries to remove the focus of the Drug War away from arrests and harsh penalties, and instead attack the issue from a public health standpoint.

President Obama has said many times publicly, that “we should decriminalize much of the basic behavior in drug consumption in order to focus law enforcement resources on the greater challenge of the large transnational criminal organizations.”

Major rewrites to the UN’s drug treaties would be necessary before governments could begin exploring new approaches to handling drugs without violating international law.

The details of the Obama Administration’s recommended revisions are not completely clear; however, they may support the philosophies that are in line with the text of the current three major international drug control treaties.

This is a great opportunity for the global community to recognize the realities of drug use in our modern world, and make choices that are more in sync and common-sense related, while prioritizing health issues.

 

[ Header image from http://www.freewebheaders.com ]

The UN Is Assessing the World’s Drug Problem

 

united nations

An historic opportunity to achieve more humane and effective drug policy is at risk.

The 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the world drug problem is an initiative that came from sitting presidents of Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico.  The UN General Assembly endorsed the call for an open, honest and evidence-based debate.

The UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) will be convening in New York from April 19-21 and is the first such meeting in 18 years.

Since the deliberations began in Vienna in 2015, they have been neither transparent nor inclusive.  In other words, closed doors negotiations ensured that crucial priorities were neglected and outdated policies retained.

It is expected that the outcome of the April meeting will not result in meaningful change; however, there is evidence of ways to put people’s health, safety and human rights first.  These fundamental aspirations cannot be met without:

 Ending the criminalization and incarceration of drug users;

 Abolishing capital punishment for drug-related offenses;

 Empowering the World Health Organization (WHO) to review the scheduling system of drugs on the basis of scientific evidence;

 Ensuring a broad spectrum of treatments for dependent people and services designed to reduce the harms of drugs; and

 Allowing governments to apply different approaches to drug regulation in order to maximize public health, and destroy the power of organized crime.

[ Header image from http://www.freewebheaders.com ]

[ U. N. image from bingdotcom ]

 

 

 

NYC Police DON’T Kill a Black Guy

Now, this is the type of police work I like to hear about. Maybe we should send our police recruits to Sweden for training??

The Old Liberal

In one of the weirdest stories on the interweb this week we see the NYC police in action.

There is a fight on the uptown 6 subway and the conductor calls for help. Four cops, not in uniform , immediately respond. They subdue both of the apparently homeless black guys who are fighting. Since the cops are not carrying weapons they have to use their BARE hands. But they get the job done.

No choke holds. No tazers. No guns drawn and fired. Using only their wits and training they stop the fight and hold the men down until more help arrives.

While one of the combatants yells and screams the police CALMLY settle him down. The police keep their cool. Defusing the violent situation. One cop can be heard calming reassuring  a combatant as he holds the man in check and tries to calm him down. No punching. No…

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Artful Stairways

There are amazing stairways in the world.  Artists have done themselves proud.  I “imported” them from my Pinterest account where I have a board called, “The Art of Stairways.”  I’d love to walk up any or all of these, wouldn’t you?  Except for those in Tehran, Iran and Syria, of course.

San Francisco CA-16th & Moraga St.

San Francisco CA-16th & Moraga St.

Morlaix, France-

Morlaix, France

Sicily, Italy-Constructed in 1608

Sicily, Italy-Constructed in 1608

Beirut, Lebanon-Dizzying, brightly colored stairway

Beirut, Lebanon-Dizzying, brightly colored stairway

Tehran, Iran-Floral stairway

Tehran, Iran-Floral stairway

Seoul, South Korea-Leading to a musical theater.

Seoul, South Korea-Leading to a musical theater.

Philadelphia PA-Museum of Art

Philadelphia PA-Museum of Art

Istanbul, Turkey-Rainbow stairway

Istanbul, Turkey-Rainbow stairway

Seoul, South Korea-Koi in a pond.

Seoul, South Korea-Koi in a pond.

Syria-Stairs of Peace

Syria-Stairs of Peace

Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaiso, Chile

I hope you enjoyed your travels on these fantastic stairways!

[images from Pinterest]