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      Marijuana Advocates Point to Signs of Change
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    The New York Times - April 19, 2009


    — On Monday, somewhere in New York City, 420 people will gather for High Times magazine’s annual beauty pageant, a secretly located and sold-out event that its sponsor says will “turn the Big Apple into the Baked Apple and help us usher in a new era of marijuana freedom in America.”

    They will not be the only ones partaking: April 20 has long been an unofficial day of celebration for marijuana fans, an occasion for campus smoke-outs, concerts and cannabis festivals. But some advocates of legal marijuana say this year’s “high holiday” carries extra significance as they sense increasing momentum toward acceptance of the drug, either as medicine or entertainment.

    Vienna Consensus on Drug Policy Cracks
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    By Tom Blickman, TNI
    April, 07/2009

    A clear divide in drug control approaches became apparent at the end of the High Level Segment of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) on March 11-12 in Vienna, where countries gathered to review to progress since the 1998 UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) and set a framework for the next 10 years through a Political Declaration and Plan of Action.

    At one side of the divide a growing number of countries opt for pragmatic evidence-based harm reduction policies, while at the other side countries desperately cling to a zero tolerance approach that has failed to produce any significant result the past decade. Despite the diplomatic façade, the conclusion cannot be otherwise that the Vienna consensus on drug control that has paralysed progress in international drug control for decades, has fallen apart.

    Intervention of the Minister Chief of the Institutional Security Cabinet and President of the National Drug Council, General Jorge Armando Felix, at the High Level Segment of the 52nd Commission on Narcotic Drugs
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    March 11th 2009

    Mr Chair,
    The revision of the proposals and aims established and agreed by member States
    during the Twentieth United Nations General Assembly Special Session – UNGASS, in
    1998, offers the world the opportunity to consider the progresses and challenges related
    to the drug control strategies in place. It also serves to reiterate Brazil´s commitment
    with the international community and its own people regarding this matter.

    According to Brazil´s responses to its international commitments, important
    progresses have been achieved regarding areas such as institutional development and
    improvement on the overall conditions for combating the drug problem.