Examples of Reform

Drug law reform is occurring around the world. This page contains information and examples of reform and efforts to reform drug policy on an international stage.

Portugal

Switzerland

Denmark

Israel

United Kingdom

New Zealand

Controlling and Regulating Drugs – A Review of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975

It has been more than 30 years since the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 was first enacted. The Act has been amended on numerous occasions and is complex and difficult to understand and navigate. The Act’s framework is based on the recommendations of the 1973 report of the Blake-Palmer Committee and largely reflects the drug policies and issues of that era. There is concern that the Act is not well aligned with New Zealand’s National Drug Policy and does not provide a coherent and effective legislative framework for responding to the use of psychoactive drugs. The objective of the review is to propose a contemporary legislative framework for regulating drugs that is consistent with New Zealand’s international obligations concerning illegal and other drugs and reflects current knowledge and understanding about drug related harm.

USA

Czech Republic

New legislation proposes legalization of medical cannabis

A government expert group is adding finishing touches to new draft legislation proposing the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. While still banning patients from growing medical cannabis on their own, the amended legislation allows importing as well as the cultivation of medical hemp by local private companies under strict state supervision. The committee, whose existence was prompted by a petition initiated earlier this year by doctors, researchers and patients and is supported by the chairwoman of the lower house of Parliament, is supposed to submit the final draft proposal to the Prime Minister in about a week’s time.

The Czech Parliament began to consider re-classifying drugs according to their health risks in 2003 and on 14 December 2010 Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer approved new legislation that would decriminalise the possession of drugs for personal use. The law reform was aimed at differentiating between producers and users, in an attempt to clamp down on the Republic’s growing reputation as a narcotics factory (for example, recent years have seen the Czech Republic become Europe’s chief methamphetamine producer). [3]

Despite partial decriminalisation, marijuana is still illegal in the Czech Republic. Possession of more than the permitted 15g of marijuana is subject to a fine of up to CZK 15,000, or a prison sentence of up to a year [4]. However possession of quantities under the thresholds is generally only met by a police warning, but can receive a misdemeanour charge. Link.

More information about the drug policy reforms in the Czech Republic can be found here.

Spain