After Branson Leak, UN Rethinks Support For Decriminalization

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was set to call on every country in the world to decriminalize the possession and recreational use of all drugs, according to millionaire Richard Branson, who leaked the announcement in a blog post published Oct. 19.

But he also cautioned that an unnamed government was "putting an inordinate amount of pressure on the UNODC" to rethink its position.

According to the BBC, that government prevailed in pressuring the UNODC's to withdraw the paper that would have called on the world's nations to replace incarceration for drug-related offences with treatment programs for drug addiction.

Though it has been withdrawn, the leaked briefing paper is available here.

Branson added that the UNODC would have, "unequivocally stated that criminalisation is harmful, unnecessary and disproportionate."

However, the issue of decriminalization will undoubtedly come up at the UN General Assembly in April, which is scheduled to debate drugs for the first time in 18 years.

h/t BBC

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Alberta recently announced plans to stop licensing cannabis retailers until Canada's cannabis supply shortage has been resolved—a move some US experts think is the wrong way for the Canadian province to approach the issue. At the end of November, the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC), which regulates the province's cannabis industry, said they would temporarily stop issuing licenses for new pot shops. The AGLC says they made that move because the province simply can't get enough cannabis to supply any more stores.

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