Monthly Archives: December 2013

INCB vs Uruguay: the art of diplomacy

INCB President Yans disqualified himself and should consider stepping down

International tensions over Uruguay’s decision to regulate the cannabis market reached new levels when Raymond Yans, president of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), accused Uruguay of negligence with regard to public health concerns, deliberately blocking dialogue attempts and having a “pirate attitude” towards the UN conventions. President Mujica reacted angrily, declaring that someone should “tell that guy to stop lying,” while Milton Romani, ambassador to the Organisation of American States (OAS), said that Yans “should consider resigning because this is not how you treat sovereign states.”

The majority vote in the Uruguayan Senate on Tuesday, December 10, gave the final green light to legally regulate the domestic cannabis market for medical, industrial and recreational use. The system for licensed cultivation and distribution through pharmacies will start in the spring under strict state controls. And as soon as president Mujica signs the bill, people will be able to grow up to six plants for personal use, and cannabis clubs can be registered to allow 15 to 45 members to grow up to 99 plants collectively. INCB president Raymond Yans said in a press release he was “surprised” that Uruguay “knowingly decided to break the universally agreed and internationally endorsed legal provisions of the treaty”.

The outcome of the Senate vote was as expected (the approval in the House of Representatives earlier this year was much more a cliff-hanger) and the fact that the INCB came out with a strong statement against it was no big surprise either. There is little doubt that the cannabis regulation schemes approved in the US states of Colorado and Washington, and now in Uruguay, fall outside of the “limits of latitude” of the UN drug control conventions. The INCB mandate includes monitoring compliance with the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the treaty in which cannabis is scheduled, so the Board can legitimately express its concern over the increasing defiance of international cannabis control requirements. As the Commentary on the 1972 Protocol Amending the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs explains, however, the Board “has to maintain friendly relations with Governments, guided in carrying out the Conventions by a spirit of co-operation rather than by a narrow view of the letter of the law” (p. 11, § 5).

The real issue at hand is how the UN apparatus has been dealing with the reality of ongoing cannabis policy changes that appear to be irreversible, spreading out rapidly and posing fundamental challenges to the treaty system. The 2006 UNODC World Drug Re­port recognised that “much of the early material on cannabis is now considered inaccurate, and that a series of studies in a range of countries have exonerated cannabis of many of the charges levelled against it.” The report concludes that “[e]ither the gap between the letter and spirit of the Single Convention, so manifest with cannabis, needs to be bridged, or parties to the Convention need to discuss redefining the status of cannabis.”[1]

The real surprise this week, therefore, was to see how ill-prepared, politicised and undiplomatic the statements from both INCB and UNODC were, given that they were well aware of Uruguay’s plan and would have been conscious of the need to respond. Perhaps their awkward remarks reflect their recognition this is the beginning of an irreversible trend that they are powerless to stop. The first dominoes have fallen and there are more to come… Some US states are preparing regulation initiatives to bring to the ballot in November next year, and several more intend to do so for the 2016 presidential elections.

Offensive accusations

In the INCB press release, Yans accused the Uruguayan government and parliament of not acting in the interest of the health and safety of the population. Without any references or sources, he said that “the decision of the Uruguayan legislature fails to consider its negative impacts on health,” that “available scientific evidence … was not taken into consideration by the legislators” and that the stated aim of the legislation to reduce crime “relied on rather precarious and unsubstantiated assumptions.”

Without devoting a single word to the justification provided by the government, the detailed presentation by senator Roberto Conde or the arguments given in the nearly twelve hours of debate about the law, Yans simply gave his own unsubstantiated judgement. The legislation “will not protect young people but rather have the perverse effect of encouraging early experimentation, lowering the age of first use, and thus contributing to developmental problems and earlier onset of addiction and other disorders.”

Uruguay has developed evidence-based policies on prevention, demand reduction and risk and harm reduction for all psychoactive substances. The strong public health approach adopted by Uruguay is also showcased by its strict tobacco controls for which the country is currently being sued by Philip Morris, who are claiming billion dollar losses, and by new alcohol misuse prevention measures that will be introduced next year. Accusing this government and these legislators of negligence in the area of public health protection is unjustified and offensive. UNODC issued the same day a fairly lame statement, simply to say that they agreed with everything the INCB president said: parroting Yans was apparently the best UNODC could come up with on this crucial moment for the global drug policy debate.

The Dread Pirate Mujica

Things got worse when Yans was interviewed by EFEand accused the Uruguayan government of having a “pirate attitude” to the conventions. In a previous video interview, referring to the referenda in Colorado and Washington, he had called on these states to “stop this nonsense” – once again a disrespectful way to describe the outcome of a democratic decision making process. He hasn’t accused the US government of negligence or a “pirate attitude” yet, prompting Mujica to question a double discourse: “One for Uruguay and one for the powerful.”

To EFE, Yans also expressed his frustration on how difficult it has been to get access to the government to discuss these matters: “We have desperately tried to meet with Uruguayan authorities for two years. It is the only country in the world, with Papua New Guinea, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau, that has refused to have a dialogue with the INCB.” Twice before, Yans had expressed the same frustration, first when a proposed INCB mission to Montevideo was cancelled and later on when “Uruguay-Guinea” decided not to send a delegation to the November 2013 INCB session.

It is not true that a high level political dialogue has not taken place. In the margins of the 2013 Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) session in March in Vienna, the Uruguayan Minister for the Presidency (“prosecretario”, equivalent to “Prime Minister”) Diego Cánepa had extensive meetings with Raymond Yans. But it is true that there was a certain reluctance on the Uruguayan side to receive Yans in Montevideo before the Parliamentary process was concluded. Yans’ attitude raised concerns that the already polarised and politicised national debate in Uruguay might be further “polluted” by his unsubstantiated personal opinions if they were presented as official UN positions. Uruguay expressed its willingness to engage in further dialogue with the Board once the legislation had been approved. By now, however, dialogue seems pointless as long as Yans remains president.

Raymond Yans is not known for his excellence in the art of diplomacy and nuance, and his controversial remarks do not represent the opinion of all thirteen INCB members. Usually no prior consultation takes place before issuing such statements presumably done by the president in name of the INCB, and as one of the members made clear that was the case again now.


Looking at the long-term implications for international drug policy, UNODC Executive Director Yuri Fedotov said, in response to Uruguay’s decision: “It is unfortunate that, at a time when the world is engaged in an ongoing discussion on the world drug problem, a unilateral action has been taken ahead of the outcome at a special session of the UN General Assembly planned for 2016.” An intensive debate about the future direction of drug policy is ongoing, particularly in the Western Hemisphere, as Yans also recognised and “welcomed”. “Yet, such discussions should be within the framework of the drug control conventions,” he said, trying to impose limits on what states are allowed to discuss.

The reality is that as long as no country has the courage to truly challenge the dominant paradigm and to pioneer alternative policies in practice, the 2016 UNGASS will most likely result in nothing more than a slightly tweaked new “consensus” declaration. Uruguay’s Drugs Strategy for 2011-2015 mentions the need for a new drug control paradigm based on science, public health, social development and human rights, and promises to promote “a great international debate about the implementation and the results of the hegemonic drug policies in force in the last 50 years, prompting the review of the international conventions governing the matter.” According to the policy document, international agencies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNODC, the Joint UN Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), the Human Rights Council, OAS/CICAD, etc., all should be involved in the debate.

Such a process to redefine future UN drug control policy guidance is starting right now, with the CND high-level segment in March 2014 and the preparations for the 2016 UNGASS. Managing the upcoming debate constructively to reflect the diverging opinions and policies will require not only basic understanding of the art of diplomacy, but also respect for the difficult choices countries need to make in the process. In theory, the INCB could play a useful role in assisting member states to carefully manage the unavoidable future changes in the treaty system. With his blunt statements on Uruguay, however, Yans has disqualified himself, become an obstacle to constructive dialogue and should indeed consider stepping down.

This blog was written by Martin Jelsma and originally appeared on the TNI Drugs and Democracy website here.

The UN drug control authorities reinforce the ‘received wisdom’ on drugs in Sub Saharan Africa

The proliferation of drug trafficking in West Africa, as measured by drug – and most specifically cocaine – seizure data, has drawn considerable attention from the United Nations drug control bodies, and from West European and North American countries  that are engaged in anti-poverty, state stabilisation and counter terrorism activities in the sub-region. Underscoring concerns as to the rise of West African ‘narco states’ and penetration by South American drug ‘cartels’, drug seizures in the first three quarters of 2007 were 60 times higher than in 2002, with 33 tons of cocaine seized.

In its 2007 report, ‘Cocaine Trafficking in West Africa: The Threat to Stability and Development‘, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) highlighted the challenges posed to West African peace and security by the transit of an estimated $1.8 billion of cocaine (at wholesale prices) through countries such as Guinea Bissau, where the entire national budget for 2006 was just $304 million. Specific impacts related to increased trafficking volumes detailed in the 2007 report included corruption of poorly remunerated local security sector officials (police, military, customs and judiciaries), politicians and national governments; the distorting impacts of the illicit economy on development prospects and economic stability; rising domestic drug consumption linked to an increase in availability; and drug related violence.

The latest report by the Global Drug Policy Observatory explores how West Africa has become a new ‘front’ in the drug ‘war’ (see GDPO Briefing ‘West Africa: A New Front in a Losing War’).  The report explores how donors and other external actors and institutions stepped up financial support to, and political pressure on, West African countries for strengthened counter narcotics activity.  This has included the training of local security sector officials, robust domestic anti-drugs legislation, judicial reform and demand prevention measures. While this was in part influenced by the negative domestic implications of drug trafficking for the achievement of peace, security and development objectives in West Africa, it was also informed by traditional ‘supply side’ approaches that seek to prevent drugs reaching consumer markets in Europe.

This bias toward the priorities and approaches of wealthy, Western consumer states has led to the formulation and implementation of drug control measures that do not always take into consideration African concerns. Furthermore, policy responses are based on limited and very often poor data, while the use of contestable statistical indicators to legitimise the reorientation of public and donor spending toward counter narcotics activity obscures rigorous assessment of the dimensions and implications of West Africa’s drug ‘problem’.  As an example of the ‘bad practice’ in counter narcotics responses, statistics relating to levels of drug consumption in West Africa are discussed below.

In its Annual Report for 2012, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) highlights cannabis as the ‘most widely abused illicit substance in Africa’,  with a prevalence rate for the entire continent of 7.8% (range: 3.8 – 10.4%). This is considerably higher than the global average, which is estimated at 3.8% (range: 2.8 – 4.5%). West Africa, the INCB adds, is the sub-region with the highest prevalence rate within the continent (12.4 %, range: 5.2 – 13.5%) with Nigeria showing the highest national annual prevalence: 14.3%. These cannabis consumption statistics are extrapolated from the limited data sets of just 6 of West Africa’s 16 states: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo, of which three (Burkina Faso, Liberia and Togo) show prevalence rates slightly below the global average according to the  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime World Drug Report Statistical Annex.

In the case of cocaine prevalence rates  the INCB estimates that there are1.5 million cocaine users in West and Central Africa, with Nigeria having the highest prevalence rate in the region. However, as with the cannabis consumption statistics, projections of cocaine use are based on data provided by only 2 of the 23 Western and Central African countries Nigeria (0.7%) and Cape Verde (0.23%). Moreover the figures for these two countries are from different years (2008 in the case of Nigeria, 2004 in Cape Verde).

In relation to heroin, the INCB sets out that ‘heroin abuse is perceived [emphasis added] to be increasing and is mainly concentrated in East and West Africa’. This assessment is based on East Africa’s emergence as a transit zone for Afghan heroin and not detailed epidemiological surveys of heroin use in East Africa. The most recent prevalence rates for opioid use in the region are from 2004  with only Senegal and Nigeria updating their statistics  –  in 2006 and 2008 respectively.  Without reliable, robust data on contemporary heroin use, the assertion that there is rising heroin consumption lacks empiricism. It should be further noted that the INCB’s report does not detail the source of evidently influential ‘perceptions’, nor does it provide citations for all data sources within the report.

All aspects of the drug market, including drug use, within West, Central and East Africa are clearly areas worthy of concern. The region undoubtedly has significant drug related problems that merit an energetic response.  However, effective, targeted interventions in the interest of public health and human security require a radical enhancement of the collation and processing of statistical information, and improved support to information gathering by sub Saharan states. Conversely, debates and strategies based on limited and archaic data runs the risk of doing more harm than good, which is to say replicating ineffective and inappropriate policies imported from other parts of the world.

Uruguay Votes to Become the First Nation to Legally Regulate Cannabis

 The traditional [interdiction] approach hasn’t worked. Someone has to be the first [to try this].  President José Mujica of Uruguay, June 2013

On Tuesday 10th December Uruguay made history by voting to establish a legally regulated system for production and supply of cannabis for recreational purposes.  In November 2012, two US States – Washington and Colorado – voted to legally regulate marijuana for recreational purposes, but the vote in Uruguay makes it  the first country to establish such a system anywhere in the world.

After much debate, on 31st July 2013 Uruguay’s House of Representatives voted in favour of a bill to regulate the production, sale and use of cannabis.  Details of the bill can be found here (in Spanish).  This bill was then passed to the Senate who approved the bill on 10th December.  The bill passed by 16 to 13 votes.  President Mujica is likely to sign the bill into law before the end of 2013 with the first sales likely to be in April 2014.

The new law was proposed in many ways as a response to the increased use within the country of a highly addictive cocaine derivative called ‘paco’ and the fact that the markets for this drug and marijuana are closely connected. Key aims of cannabis regulation are  to separate the markets so that marijuana users are  not exposed to ‘paco’ by dealers and to allow law enforcement officials to concentrate on what is deemed to be a more problematic substance.  It is also intended that the legislation will  reduce the size and impact of the black market in marijuana as well as tackle drug trafficking organisations, particularly those importing the drug from neighbouring Paraguay.

The law will:

  • Create a state-run monopoly of production, distribution and consumption of marijuana
  • Establish a government-run Institute of Regulation and Control of Cannabis  (IRCCA) that will set the price – initially likely to be  $1 a gram in order to undercut the black market – and monitor the impact of the programme.
  • Mean that cannabis will be sold only at licensed pharmacies
  • Allow registered consumers  (Uruguayan nationals only) over the age of 18 to buy up to 40 grams (1.4 oz) of cannabis per month from licensed pharmacies and grow up to 6 plants for personal consumption
  • Allow cannabis clubs to be established for up to 45 members who will be able to cultivate as many as 99 plants.

In seeking to ensure successful passage of the bill, its supporters within the Uruguayan government and civil society groups, have been in communication with their counterparts in Washington and Colorado in order to learn from their experiences.  One of these civil society groups – Regulacion Responsable – created a video in an effort  to help explain the benefits of the new bill to the general public, large sections of which still remain  sceptical of it.

Polls suggest about 60% of the population remains opposed to legal regulation although support has been growing slightly.  Opposition politicians have threatened to call a referendum on the bill but the ruling Frente Amplio (FA) coalition has framed it as an ‘experiment’ and has promised that they are willing to look at any evidence both in support of, and against, the new regulatory regime. 

Uruguay’s groundbreaking new law will be watched by many other countries who are interested in reforming their drug laws.  While no country is currently ready to replicate the Uruguayan model, the historic policy shift will surely send ripples across the international community.  Indeed, operating at odds with the UN drug control treaties that bind parties to the prohibition of non-medical and non-scientific use of cannabis, events in Montevideo have provoked condemnation from both the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). 

The INCB President Raymond Yans said on Wednesday  11th December that he was “surprised that a legislative body that has endorsed an international law and agreements, and a Government that is an active partner in international cooperation and in the maintenance of the international rule of law, knowingly decided to break the universally agreed and internationally endorsed legal provisions of the treaty”.

Both these UN drug control bodies fear for the integrity of prohibition-oriented international drug control framework.  So they should. As Martin Jelsma, Coordinator of the Drugs & Democracy Programme at the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute (TNI) has noted: “The approval of regulation under state control in Uruguay marks a tipping point in the failed war against drugs. The trend is becoming irreversible: the era of a globally enforced cannabis prohibition regime is drawing to a close”.

Human rights, harm reduction and you


The UN has declared Tuesday, 10 December as Human Rights Day. The theme this year is ’20 Years Working for Your Rights’, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has been established. Among the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is article 25, stating that ‘everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being’ of themselves and their family. The Blue Point Foundation has been striving to uphold article 25 since 1996, and aims to celebrate 20 years of operation in 2016.

The Blue Point Foundation is a Hungarian NGO that provides a range of services for one of the most stigmatized groups in society: injecting drug users. Blue Point’s needle exchange programme, the largest in Hungary, is located in the impoverished VIII district in Budapest. The programme responds to the needs of the client population living in the area by providing services such as needles exchange, outreach and prevention programmes, as well as pioneering programmes including a women’s only day at the needle exchange location, a City Art Workshop for young people, and harm reduction party services.

The work of Blue Point is recognised internationally. The MAC AIDS Fund has recently awarded Blue Point the equivalent of almost £14,000 to continue their services in the VIII district, including the implementation of on-site rapid HIV and hepatitis C testing. This is the second year in a row Blue Point has been granted this award by the MAC AIDS Fund.

This year Blue Point was also awarded a grant from the Norway Civil Fund to develop innovative peer-led services at the needle exchange location. This project is based on an intervention model of care, and is the first of its kind in Hungary. The uniqueness of this pilot project is the key role needle exchange clients have in developing and adapting the centre’s services and outputs in partnership with volunteers and workers of Blue Point.

While international funders continue to acknowledge and support the valuable work of Blue Point, the local VIII district council in Budapest has chosen to ignore the centre’s collaborations within the community. During a council meeting in mid-September of this year, the representatives of the council voted to terminate the 2010 agreement that covered cooperation between Blue Point and the local government. This agreement will end on 31 December 2013. Blue Point already operates in an unfavourable political environment in Hungary, as the new National Drug Strategy that was enforced in July 2013 includes criminalising the consumption of drugs and enforcing more strict penalties for drug related offences.

International evidence has consistently affirmed that needle exchange programmes and other harm reduction initiatives are effective public health measures and reducing drug related harms including the spread of infectious diseases. It is baffling that the VIII district council has chosen ideology over evidence-based research to make their decision. Human rights organisations such at the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union have voiced their opposition to the decision of the VIII district council’s decision.

On Human Rights Day 2013, the Budapest council of the VIII district should be reminded that their decision to end the agreement with Blue Point is a statement against supporting the most vulnerable people in their district. Taking steps to ensuring human rights of all citizens, especially those in most need of help, means continuing to cooperate with health and social services designed to respond to those needs.

Every signature counts; please show your support to Blue Point by signing the Correlation Network petition here.

This blog was written by Camille Stengel who is a member of the GDPO PG Network

It originally appeared on the IDPC blog –



GDPO launches new website and publications


The Global Drug Policy Observatory (GDPO) at Swansea University, UK, is pleased to announce the launch of its new website. Engaging in a range of ‘impact’ oriented activities, the recently established Observatory operates with the goal of promoting evidence and human rights based drug policy through the comprehensive and rigorous reporting, monitoring and analysis of policy developments at national and international levels. The new website provides a platform from which to disseminate a range of research outputs to broad and diverse audiences with the aim of helping to improve the sophistication and horizons of the current policy debate among the media and elite opinion formers as well as within scholarly, law enforcement and policymaking communities.

The website includes project pages on the topics of drugs in West Africa and regulated markets for the recreational use of cannabis within the USA.  Containing GDPO publications, as well as related blogs, audio files (which are also embedded within reports and briefs) and interactive maps where appropriate, these pages move away from the traditional snapshot approach towards the analysis of specific issue areas. Rather they are designed to provide users with a range of accessible resources that, as a topic selected for GDPO reporting, monitoring and analysis, develops over time.  The core of the West Africa project page is the policy brief ‘Telling the story of drugs in West Africa: The newest front in a losing war?.  A draft of this briefing was presented at a co-hosted GDPO – International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) event, ‘The securitisation of drugs in West Africa’, in London in October.    

Our detailed policy report on the cannabis policy in the US project page, Legally regulated cannabis markets in the US: Implications and possibilities, will soon be supplemented by a shorter policy brief, Voter demographics and campaign messaging: Lessons from Colorado, Washington and Oregon. Forthcoming project pages include the ‘narco-diplomacy’ of the Russian Federation and the privatisation of the drug war in Latin America.

The website will also be the repository for an additional publication stream, the GDPO Situation Analysis (SA) series.  Comprising documents of around 1,000 words, this aims to provide the diversity of stakeholders within the drug policy arena with concise, cutting edge analysis of key topics, enabling informed engagement with pertinent developments and debates.  Presented in a focused and standardized format, the GDPO-SA flag risks, opportunities and future trends in crucial issue areas, delivering readers actionable information and evidence based insight. Our first GDPO-SA focuses upon Afghanistan’s Bumper Opium Harvest, with others on drugs and cyber-crime and the khat regulation debate in the UK to follow shortly.

As well as containing a directory of our technical advisors and partner organizations, who both play a crucial role in peer reviewing Observatory publications, the website provides information on forthcoming drug policy related academic conferences and events and details of the GDPO Post Graduate Network.   The Network aims to bring together post graduate students and early years researchers in order to share ideas, discuss articles and provide support to any PG students working on drug policy or related issues.  The group will have a virtual presence on our website as well as meeting face-to-face when possible.

Please take a few minutes to visit the website and see what we’ve been working on over the past few months.  Remember, you can also follow GDPO on Twitter @GDPO_Swan and ‘like’ us on facebook where we will let you know about any new reports, briefs, blogs, GDPO-SA’s and related audio material.

Professor Julia Buxton joins GDPO


Julia, also a Professor of Comparative Politics within the School of Public Policy at Central European University in Budapest, brings to the Observatory a diverse portfolio of academic and policy experience. A specialist on South America and the region’s rapidly evolving political, economic and security architecture she is an expert on Venezuela and is widely published on South America, including books, journal articles and media commentary.  Julia was previously Adjunct Professor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where she directed the Venezuela Studies programme. She is a member of the Latin American Studies Association and has served as track chair for Violence and (In)Security.

Outside of her geographic specialism, Julia has thematic expertise on democratisation and transition processes, post conflict recovery and conflict analysis, including conflict sensitive design and policy implementation, as well as gender, and gender sensitive design. Her work in this area is based on her policy and consultancy experience, including with USAID, SIDA and the UK Department for International Development. She has authored and contributed to over thirty commissioned reports relating to peace, conflict and security (2006-2012), including analysis of gender based violence, implementation of UNSCR 1325 and assessment of the conflict sensitivity of donor programs in West Africa, South and Central America, and South East and South West Asia. She has substantial experience in private sector consultancy, particularly as these relate to oil, industrial and financial investment and risk, and is Venezuela contributor at Oxford Analytica.

Pulling Julia’s diverse research strands together is her academic and policy work on narcotics. A published expert on the drug trade, she has a particular interest in the impact of narcotics and counter narcotics policies on development, peace building, poverty and human rights. She is currently ethical adviser on the LINKSCH project ‘Drug Policy: Unintended Impacts’ directed by Dr. Alex Marshall, Glasgow University and was a member of the Andean Development Corporation project on drug policy reform in South America, contributing a working paper on the limitations of alternative development strategies in counter narcotics efforts. Her drug related publications include The Political Economy of Narcotic Drugs (Zed, 2006), the edited collection The Politics of Narcotics Drugs (Routledge, 2010), ‘Opportunity Lost: Alternative Development in Drug Control’ in J. Tokatlian (ed) Old Wars: New Thinking, (Libros Zorazal, 2010); ‘A History of Drug Control’ in P. Keefer and N. Loayza (eds) Innocent Bystanders, (World Bank Publications, 2010) and ‘The UK drug problem in global perspective’, Soundings, Issue 42, Summer 2009.

In her role as GDPO Senior Research Officer, Julia will be working on a number of projects, including a drug policy focused critique of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals and a toolkit on the mainstreaming of the illicit drugs issue within a broader development agenda.  You can follow her on twitter – @buxtonjulia

GDPO Establishes a Post Graduate Network


On 26th November GDPO held the first meeting of the newly established post graduate network.  The network aims to bring together post graduate students and early years researchers in order to share ideas, discuss articles and provide support to any PG students working on drug policy or related issues.  The group will have a virtual presence on our website as well as meeting face-to-face when possible.

The first formal meeting was held in Bristol and attended by the following people:

IJ Benneyworth, PhD candidate at Cardiff University

John Collins, PhD candidate at the London School of Economics (LSE) and coordinator for the LSE IDEAS International Drug Policy Project

Emily Crick, PhD candidate Swansea University and GDPO research assistant

Karina Garcia, PhD candidate at the University of Bristol

Lisa Sanchez, is currently pursuing an MSc in Public Management and Governance at LSE.  She is also Latin American Programme Manager for Transform Drug Policy Foundation and México Unido contra la Delincuencia (MUCD) and is collaborating with LSE IDEAS as Project Associate

Other members who were unable to attend yesterday but will hopefully join us in either a physical or virtual presence in the future are:

Joe Dixon, PhD candidate at Swansea University

Jorge Linares Hamann, PhD candidate at the University of Bristol

Constanza Sanchez Aviles, PhD candidate at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

Rajeev Gundur, PhD candidate at Cardiff University and founder of The Judicalis Group, a collective of scholars writing about crime and society

Camille Stengel, PhD candidate at University of Kent, Eötvös Loránd University, Utrecht University and University of Hamburg

Claire Yorke, PhD candidate at Kings College London

Clara Musto, PhD candidate at University of Kent.  Clara also works for Regulacion Responsible in Uruguay

Srinjoy Bose, PhD candidate at Australia National University

Chris Suckling, PhD candidate at the London School of Economics (LSE)

More details of each persons’ research interests can be found on our website under ‘PG Network

Please feel free to share this blog with any PG students that you think might be interested in joining us.  If you are interested in joining us, please contact Emily Crick, research assistant at GDPO with a short summary of your research.

Thanks and happy researching!