The purpose of the lecture is to consider the case for alternative drug policies and law reform in light of the forthcoming United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs which takes place in New York between the 19th-21st April this year. The lecture will assess alternative drug policies designed to mitigate and reduce the negative side effects associated with global drug prohibition. Furthermore the lecture will evaluate how The War on Drugs has led to the globalisation of organised crime and the destructive impact which this has had on developing countries such as Mexico and Columbia.
The lecture will also examine international developments such as the Portuguese model for decriminalisation and the legal regulation of cannabis in places such as Uruguay, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Alaska as well as the District of Columbia. Finally, the lecture will critically evaluate proposals for domestic policy reform and ask what Irish policy makers can learn from those international developments likely to figure in the UNGASS debates?