February 24, 2016
Contact: Adela Falk

POW420 ~ UNGASS Press Release

UN General Assembly plans to hold a review of the drug control system April 19–21, 2016, in New York City.

What is UNGASS?

The United Nations General Assembly Special Session, or UNGASS, is a meeting of UN member states to assess and debate global issues such as health, gender, or in this case, the world’s drug control priorities. The last time a special session on drugs was held, in 1998, its focus was the total elimination of drugs from the world. Today, political leaders and citizens are pushing to rethink that ineffective and dangerous approach.

Why does this summit matter?

International debates on drugs are rarely more than reaffirmations of the established system. But 2016 is different.

Never before have so many governments voiced displeasure with the international drug control regime. Never before, to this degree, have citizens put drug law reform on the agenda and passed regulatory proposals via referenda or by popular campaigns. Never before have the health benefits of harm reduction approaches—which prevent overdose and transmission of diseases like HIV—been clearer. For the first time, there is significant dissent at the local, national, and international levels.

UNGASS 2016 is an unparalleled opportunity to put an end to the horrors of the drug war and instead prioritize health, human rights, and safety.

Our partners are working with civil society groups and governments to promote real debate on drug law reform. This work includes coordinating meetings between governments and grassroots organizations, publishing reports on priorities for international debate, organizing days of action to draw attention to the damages of the drug war, and holding events that will engage policymakers.

Why a POW420 ~ Press Release?

It is important for the cannabis comunity to be present at this event. POW420 is happy to announce that we have been working for a year to guarantee stakeholders position. In February 2016 Dennis Boisvert attended a pre-UNGASS event. Dennis and Adela Falk will be attending this event representing cannabis prisoners. POW420 is currently working on an application that will allow 11 people to speak at this event, wish us luck. 

We are asking for your help - First and foremost we need your feedback, please, share your opinions, tell us what is important to you.  Most importantly none of this would be possible without your donations. Attending this event is totally out of pocket for Dennis and Adela- who both feel this is vital to ending cannabis prohibition. If you can help make this trip possible and allow Dennis and Adela to spread the message that No-one belongs in jail for a plant donate today - Click here-donate!

On behalf of POW420 - Thank you!

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  • commented 2016-03-24 09:15:20 -0700
    Yes, UNGASS2016 is an opportunity for reform, but not one country optimized the chance for reform by filing a proposed amendment of UN drug prohibition treaties that serve as the foundation and fountainhead for the World War on Drugs.

    Without having filed proposed amendments, there is no chance for UNGASS2016 to be more than the annual Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) sessions — lots of health, harm reduction and human rights talk but no action.

    The CND just adjourned its 59th Session in Vienna without recommending to the nations of the world a single treaty amendment proposal — not rescheduling cannabis, removal of the word from the treaties, decriminalize… Nada!

    The US, Russia, China, Iran, Japan… are proponents of the status quo, so the WW on Drugs will continue.

    Nevertheless, we must remain hopeful. We must demand amendment or repeal of UN drug treaties.

    Ass’t Secretary of State Brownfield talk of “treaty flexibility” is nonsense as two presidents of the Internat’l Narcotic Control Board have said over the past two years. Such Brownfield talk is also intellectually dishonest. He, like US drug czar Botticelli and Atty General Lynch are drug prohibitionists.

    All laws outlawing any drug, any drug, are suspect of causing more harm than good.

    See proposed UN treaty amendments I drafted for LEAP at UNGASS2016 document contribution site sponsored by UNODC and my blog, GIERACH BLOGS for Gierach Drug War Axioms and much more, www.jamesgierach@tumblr.com