Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Press Release: Law Enforcement Group Argues for UN Restoring National Sovereignty as INCB Releases Annual Report

Contact: Darby Beck                                                                               For Immediate Release:

darby.beck@leap.cc                                                                                March 2, 2015

(+1) 415.823.5496



Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Proposes Treaty Amendment to Allow 

National Sovereignty in Drug Policy, Co-Sponsors Side Event at UN Commission on 

Narcotic Drugs 

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) will release its annual report on March

3rd, only days before the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) meets in Vienna,

Austria. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a NGO in consultative status

with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)  led by police officers and other

criminal justice professionals opposed to the drug war, will attend the 58th Session of the

CND and promote a proposal of amendment to the three UN drug-control treaties that

serve as fountainhead for the failed global drug prohibition. LEAP argues that this model

has accelerated rather than reversed the “rising trend in the illicit production of, demand

for and traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances” (Preamble, par. 1, 1961

Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs) the treaties were designed to address. The LEAP

Proposed Amendment would vest principal authority for drug control in the hands of

sovereign nations, cooperatively, rather than mandate national subservience to

international prohibition. Attending LEAP representatives will be available to comment

on the report and LEAP’s Treaty Amendment draft.

The data provided by the INCB and the UNODC reports will help serve as a guide for the

58th Session of the CND, which precede and serve as preparation for the Special Session

of the UN General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS) in 2016. The

INCB and its President, Dr. Lochan Naidoo, have expressed great concern over the

widespread problems related to drug use and abuse, yet continue to cling to the failed

prohibition model that decades of policy have proven ineffective.

“Drug abuse affects nearly every aspect of culture and society, yet our existing policies to

address it have clearly failed,” said Maj. Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of

LEAP. “We need to acknowledge that the current prohibition model of drug control has

failed and allow countries to find the solutions that work for them.”

One of the major issues to be discussed will likely be the Brownfield flexibility doctrine,

announced last year by William R. Brownfield, US Assistant Secretary of State for the

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). This doctrine

stated that existing conventions are flexible enough to embrace differing national drug

policies including developing world drug legalization. While this seems like a positive

development, since it allows room for American states and countries like Uruguay to

legalize cannabis, for instance, the doctrine fails to challenge the treaties themselves or

the flawed theory of prohibition underlying them. In a statement in early February,

International Narcotics Control Board President Dr. Lochan Naidoo denounced the idea

of flexibility.

Former Prosecutor Jim Gierach, board member and draftsman of the proposed treaty

amendment for LEAP, said: “Dr. Naidoo is right.  UN drug treaties are inflexible and

unmistakably prohibit and criminalize the production, supply and recreational use of all

drugs. The INCB must recognize the serious shortcomings of prohibition ‘drug control’

and lead the nations of the world away from the criminalization and incarceration model

to new and higher ground. To reach that higher ground, change in the structure and role

of international drug control bodies is essential, just as amendment of the three

conventions is essential. Treaty ‘flexible construction’ is no answer.”

LEAP and the Czech Republic will co-sponsor a unique side event in Vienna to discuss

“Treaty Amendment: A Choice for Drug Policy Reform,” to which all media are invited.

The side event will be presented Monday, March 9, at 2:20 pm CET at the Vienna

International Centre (VIC) in Room MOE79  and will offer an opportunity for more

informal discussion, networking and collaboration between delegations regarding the

proposed treaty amendment.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) is an organization of criminal justice

professionals who want to end the gang violence, skyrocketing incarceration, and

dangerous underground markets fueled by the war on drugs and return to a world in

which law enforcement officials are free to focus on serious crime.


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