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Will Marijuana Activists Become Global Drug Reformers At UN Drugs Summit?


Originally written by Dee Giznik for The Cannabist

For the first time since 1998, the U.N. will hold a United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem. April 19-21, world leaders will come together to discuss ongoing issues facing the global war on drugs. Dangerous drug cartels, opiate addictions, the ever-changing marijuana legalization laws and complete reform of all drug-related laws, are just a few of the topics on the meeting’s agenda.

Cannabis advocacy groups from around the world are urging countries who have already integrated legalized marijuana, like the United States, to demand changes be made to the harsh, drug-related penalties still faced by most of the world.

Coalitions geared towards legalizing marijuana are banning together, urging the U.N. to consider serious drug-reform laws across the globe. Members of many different organizations have taken the upcoming UNGASS as their opportunity to finally be heard on the real issues, facing real people, dealing with serious drug addiction and the severe criminal penalties associated with, what many view as, a sickness.

StopTheDrugWar.org is one of the largest supporters of reforming global drug laws. Executive director, Dave Borden, views marijuana legalization as a stepping stone to much broader legalization laws. Borden says since the early 90’s, when he began advocating drug reform, things have taken an immense turn for the positive.

“At that point, there were tough-on-drugs bills all the time,” said Borden. “Today, reforming drug sentences is one of the few partisan issues on Capitol Hill. There’s been a total reversal of politics on this issue, even though the changes are still slow to unfold.”

Denver Relief Consulting, Marijuana Policy Project, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and Americans for Safe Access are just a few of the major organizations presenting reports and petitions to the U.N., urging for reformed drug laws…

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