The seventeenth issue of Drugs – Policies and Practices
Issue topic: Weed isn’t a drug any longer?
Developing a cannabis legalization/decriminalization model, Interview with Natasha Boshkova, Hajdi Shterjova Simovic and Ognen Uzunovski
We expect intense work regarding the adoption of the planned activities, as well as establishing a comprehensive legal framework to provide consistent cannabis decriminalization, recreational use in legal circumstances, and simultaneously transforming institutions and society to accept and implement decriminalization and legalization.
Cannabis legalization in Macedonia got trapped in the Government’s Working Group, which managed to adjourn only three times. At the same time, Macedonian courts fail to differentiate between cannabis, officially now listed among soft drugs, and heavier drugs, with penalties for cannabis use remaining unchanged, contrary to the spirit of the UN Conventions. Author: Janaki Mitrovski
“Commission for the Dissuasion from Drug Abuse (CDTs)” instead of Prison for Drug Users: Portugal’s Approach
Contrary to drug decriminalization policies, repressive policies criminalizing possession for personal use and drug use fail to take into account the respect of basic human rights. States with humane policies place focus on social needs and offer different services for people who use drugs, ensure social inclusion and employment, increase access to treatment and re-socialization programs, decrease stigma and discrimination, as well as drug-related death cases. Author: Rosana Bogatinova
Most Countries Fail the Test According to the New Index
The first edition of the Global Drug Policy Index published in November 2021 by the Harm Reduction Consortium, a coalition of civil society organizations and community associations, and in partnership with scholars, revealed that national drug policies of most countries around the world do not comply with UN recommendations. Governments were asked to place a priority in reforms related to this field. Author: Vlatko Dekov
The Significance of Psychedelic Substances in Improving People’s Mental Health
Psychedelic substances such as psilocybin, ayahuasca, DMT, kombo, Peyote, Ibogaine, San Pedro, mescaline and a number of other plants have been known to people for centuries (tens thousands of years ago), while some of them, of synthetic and industrial origin, have been around for less than a century, such as LSD, MDMA and others. However, the former and the latter have or could have the potential for a large impact on the human mental health and cognitive development. Author: Filip Sekuloski
Braking Good: or how a TV show about drug production aroused interest in the sciences?
Braking Bad gained something of a cult status in our family, along with Amadeus and Groundhog Day. Lines spoken by the main characters are quoted in casual conversation as if referring to the classics, while all five seasons of the show have been watched several times – first linearly, from the first to last season, then backwards, from last to first, then randomly, and finally a selection of the favourites. And though it might not be the smartest choice of content in pop culture while bringing up a teenager (violence-drugs-sex), it caused an unexpected side effect: a 13-year old boy became so interested in chemistry that he even hung the Periodical Table on the wall, acing the subject at school. Author: Ilina Jakimovska
Addiction and Family
When there is a drug addict in a family, one can almost feel the community built with decades beginning to crack, even at its strongest point.