Published since 1884 by the Society for the Study of Addiction.
Editor-in-Chief, Robert West

We welcome suggestions and contributions from our readers. Send your material to John Witton, News and Notes Editor, Addiction, National Addiction Centre PO48, 4 Windsor Walk, London SE5 8AF. Fax +44 (0)20 7848 5966;
e-mail john.witton@kcl.ac.uk

National Ban on Smoking in Public Places in Japan

Posted 06-Aug-18

In July the Japanese parliamentary upper house, the Diet, passed an amendment to the country’s Health Promotion Act 2002 banning smoking in public spaces across the country. The ban will be implemented in stages but completely in place by April 2020, and before the Tokyo Olympics start in July. The Japan Times reports that the amendment designates certain public institutions such as schools, hospitals and municipal offices as nonsmoking. Non-compliant operators and smokers will face fines of up to 500,000 yen and 300,000 yen respectively. But for some public facilities, including restaurants and bars, the amendment only prohibits indoor smoking. Additionally, even inside these spaces, smoking will be allowed in segregated, well-ventilated rooms, where no drinking or eating will be permitted. Establishments capitalized at 50 million yen or lower and with a floor space of up to 100 square metres can choose to allow smoking if they put up a sign warning their customers. Consequently, The Japan Times reports that an estimated 55 percent of restaurants and bars nationwide will be exempt from the ban. In contrast, an anti-smoking ordinance adopted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in June is expected to make more than 80 percent of the city’s restaurants and bars smoke-free. The Japan Times observes that the amendment had met resistance from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and tobacco industry groups which had led to the amendment being weakened. According to Japan’s health ministry the measure will raise the World Health Organization’s grading of Japan’s anti-smoking efforts by one rank to the second-lowest level.

Sources:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/07/18/national/crime-legal/japans-watered-smoking-ban-clears-diet/#.W2GorjqWyUm

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/05/31/national/science-health/japan-violating-anti-smoking-treaty-bowing-tobacco-industry-expert-says/#.W2LPuzqWyUk

Drug War Continues in Philippines

Posted 06-Aug-18

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said in his State of the Nation address in July that the anti-drug campaign, which has led to thousands of deaths in his country, would continue. President Duterte said, “Let me begin by putting it bluntly: the war against illegal drugs is far from over,” adding “It will be as relentless and chilling, if you will, as on the day it began.” Since the anti-drug campaign began in June 2016, 4,354 alleged drug users and dealers have been killed in police operations, according to the government’s figures. However, the New Straits Times reports that human rights organizations and other critics of the campaign say the true number of deaths could be three times higher. New rules governing police operations were introduced in January 2018 following public outcry about the deaths of three teenagers, including 17-year-old Kian delos Santos in August 2017, as a result of police actions. Rappler, an online news service that has been strongly critical of President Duterte and his anti-drug campaign, reports that an order issued to all police officers states that the “Rule of law shall always prevail during the conduct of anti-illegal drugs operations and respect for human rights shall always be strictly observed." Under the new rules, police operations should take place only during the day and the police should wear body cameras and be accompanied by human rights observers. Deaths have fallen since the introduction of the new rules, according to Rappler, from an average of 5 deaths per 100 anti-drug operations to one per 100.

Sources:

https://www.nst.com.my/world/2018/07/393720/philippines-duterte-pledges-unrelenting-drug-war

https://www.rappler.com/nation/207947-pnp-report-death-toll-war-on-drugs-july-sona-2018-philippines

Plain Packaging in Canada

Posted 06-Aug-18

The Canadian federal government passed the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act in May. The legislation imposes new plain and standardized packaging for cigarettes and introduces new regulations around the sale and promotion of alternative tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes. On 22 June the Canadian Health Minister, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, released new national regulations for the plain packaging, which are subject to a 75-day consultation period. Plain packaging is expected to be in operation in Canada sometime in 2019.

Sources:

http://strategyonline.ca/2018/05/11/government-to-impose-plain-packaging-on-tobacco-products/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=government-to-impose-plain-packaging-on-tobacco-products

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/news/2018/06/plain-and-standardized-appearance-for-tobacco-packaging.html

Cannabis Policy Changes in New York

Posted 06-Aug-18

Manhattan District Attorney (DA), Cyrus Vance, announced a new policy in July that will end the prosecution of cannabis possession and use in the New York borough. The initiative follows the publication of a report from the DA’s office, Marijuana, Fairness and Public Policy. Prosecutions will be made only where cannabis is being sold or “it poses a significant threat to public safety.” “Every day I ask our prosecutors to keep Manhattan safe and make our justice system more equal and fair,” Mr Vance said in a statement accompanying the announcement, adding “The needless criminalisation of pot smoking frustrates this core mission, so we are removing ourselves from the equation”. The DA’s office estimates that prosecutions for cannabis offences would drop from 5,000 cases per year to 200 per year in the borough. The new Manhattan policy follows New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement in June that from 1 September, New York City police will give summonses for those caught smoking cannabis, while still arresting those with past arrests or convictions. According to The New York Times Mayor de Blasio said that one of the goals of the new policy would be to address the sharp racial disparity in cannabis offence arrests. These moves come against a backdrop of strong signals from incumbent New York State Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo(Democrat), that his administration is considering cannabis legalization across the state. Governor Cuomo is facing competition from Cynthia Nixon, who favours cannabis legalization, in the Democrat Party primaries in his forthcoming re-election campaign.

Sources:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/marijuana-smoke-manhattan-nyc-cannabis-weed-smoking-cyrus-vance-a8472091.html

https://www.manhattanda.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/DANY-Report-on-the-Legalization-of-Recreational-Marijuana-Final.pdf

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/19/nyregion/nypd-marijuana-arrests-new-york-city.html

Medical Use of Cannabis-based Products to Be Allowed in UK

Posted 06-Aug-18

In June the UK Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, commissioned reviews of the medical and therapeutic benefits of cannabis from the Chief Medical Advisor to the UK government, Professor Dame Sally Davies, and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD). The move followed widespread media attention given to cases involving children being denied access to cannabis oil to control epileptic seizures, most notably 12-year-old Billy Caldwell and six-year-old Alfie Dingley. In her review, Professor Dame Sally Davies concluded that there is evidence that medicinal cannabis has therapeutic benefits. In its review the ACMD recommended that such products meeting a “clear definition of what constitutes a cannabis-derived medicinal product” should be placed in Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001. Cannabis has been a Schedule 1 drug and considered to have no therapeutic value and cannot be lawfully possessed or prescribed in the UK. Following these reviews, Sajid Javid announced on 26 July that he has decided to reschedule cannabis-derived medicinal products and allow them to be prescribed. Javid said that “This will help patients with an exceptional clinical need, but is in no way a first step to the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use.” The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Medicines and Health products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will develop a definition of what constitutes a cannabis-derived medicinal product so that they can be rescheduled and prescribed. Only products meeting this definition will be rescheduled and other forms of cannabis will not be available on prescription. Ash Soni, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, observed that moving cannabis-based medicinal products to Schedule 2 would allow “research to understand the benefits and risks.”

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jul/19/cannabis-based-medicines-should-be-allowed-say-uk-drug-advisers

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cannabis-derived-medicinal-products-to-be-made-available-on-prescription

Supreme Court of Canada Rules against Tobacco Company in Health Data Case

Posted 06-Aug-18

CTV News reports that the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on 13 July that British Columbia (B.C.) does not have to give the tobacco company, Philip Morris International, access to detailed B.C. health databases to help the company in its defence in a damages trial. Together with the other provincial governments of Canada, B.C. is suing the tobacco company to recoup smoking-related health-care expenditures in the province. Philip Morris International had wanted access to B.C. databases which compiled individual health-care records about individuals, including details of medical services and prescription drug use. The tobacco company rejected a compromise offered by the B.C. government that would give it and other tobacco companies restricted access through an agreement with Statistics Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in the province’s favour, saying that the disclosure of such information is barred by a provision of the B.C. legislation protecting "health care records and documents of particular individual insured persons." A trial date of 4 November 2019 has been set in New Brunswick for the first damages trial in Canada, with other provinces still in preparatory stages.

Sources:

https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/supreme-court-affirms-privacy-protections-in-tobacco-health-data-case-1.4011875

https://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/17185/index.do

WTO Rules in Favour of Australia's Plain Packaging Law

Posted 04-Jul-18

The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled on 28 June that Australia’s Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 contributed to improving public health by reducing the use of and exposure to tobacco products. The WTO panel rejected the arguments from the claimants, Cuba, Indonesia, Honduras and Dominican Republic, that alternative measures could be equally effective. The ruling also rejected arguments from the claimants that Australia’s law unjustifiably infringed tobacco trademarks and violated intellectual property rights. The WTO ruling is expected to be appealed and a ruling would normally be expected within 90 days. But Bloomberg News observes that the WTO has not met any 90-day deadline since 2014 and suggests that the complexity of the case and a shortage of panelists in the WTO appellate-body system means the deadline is likely to be extended.

Sources:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-28/wto-tobacco-ruling-opens-door-to-new-plain-packaging-laws

https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news18_e/435_441_458_467r_e.htm

New World Drug Report Highlights Rises in Opium and Cocaine Cultivation

Posted 04-Jul-18

Writing in the preface of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)’s World Drug Report 2018, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov says “We are facing a potential supply-driven expansion of drug markets, with production of opium and manufacture of cocaine at the highest levels ever recorded.” The UNODC report also shows that the largest quantities of pharmaceutical opioids were seized in African countries, with a number of these countries reporting widespread misuse of the opioid painkiller tramadol. Yury Fedotov also comments that “Drug treatment and health services continue to fall short: the number of people suffering from drug use disorders who are receiving treatment has remained low, just one in six.”

Source:

https://www.unodc.org/wdr2018/index.html

WHO FCTC Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products Comes into Force

Posted 04-Jul-18

The Secretariat of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) has announced that, with the ratification of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the necessary number of Parties to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (the Protocol) has been reached for the legally binding instrument to enter into force. According to the WHO FCTC, “the Protocol contains a full range of measures to combat illicit trade distributed in three categories: preventing illicit trade, promoting law enforcement and providing the legal basis for international cooperation.”

Source:

http://www.who.int/fctc/mediacentre/press-release/protocol-entering-into-force/en/

Tougher Cannabis Penalties Planned for South Australia

Posted 04-Jul-18

ABC News reports that South Australia’s attorney general (AG), Vickie Chapman, has announced plans for an increase in penalties for cannabis possession in the state. South Australia (SA) partly decriminalized cannabis possession with its “prohibition with civil penalties” scheme in 1987 and since then the most common penalty for possessing less than 25 grams of cannabis has been an A$125 fine, according to ABC News. Under the SA government’s new plans, the maximum fine for cannabis possession would be increased to A$2,000 and a new maximum prison sentence of two years would be introduced, the same as for possession of other drugs such as ecstasy or heroin. According to AG Chapman, the move had been prompted by a murder in the state in 2012 by a teenager who had used alcohol, ecstasy and cannabis. AG Chapman said the crime had made “everyone to sit up and reappraise the significance of cannabis and the dangers of using the drug.” Increasing cannabis penalties had been part of the ruling Liberal Party’s election manifesto, which said that the move would meet “community expectations and recommendations of the South Australian Coroner who regularly sees the deleterious effects of cannabis use in cases coming before the court.”

Sources:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-02/sa-government-to-quadruple-cannabis-fines/9930344

https://strongplan.com.au/policy/keeping-penalties-in-line-with-community-expectations/

More Executions for Drug Offences in China

Posted 04-Jul-18

According to Amnesty International’s Death Sentences and Executions 2017 report, the organization believes that in 2017 “China was the world’s top executioner, implementing more death sentences than the rest of the world combined.” While the use of the death penalty is classified as a state secret in China, Amnesty International monitors the use of the death penalty and judicial verdicts uploaded on the online database maintained by the Supreme People’s Court. China Daily reported that ten people were executed for non-violent drug offences on 23 June in the city of Lufeng in Guangdong province. The executions were swiftly carried out following a hearing open to the public where the offenders appealed against their earlier convictions and death sentences. The Supreme People’s Court approved the executions and, according to China Daily, said that one of the executed men, Fan Shuixian, “earned 1.1 million yuan (US$172,000) from selling the ephedrine he extracted, and later mixed 16.4 kilograms of methamphetamine, commonly known as ice, with his ephedrine.”

Sources:

https://www.amnesty.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/amnesty-report-death-penalty-2018.pdf

http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201806/25/WS5b304928a3103349141de81e.html

FDA Approves Cannabis-based Medicine

Posted 04-Jul-18

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved GW Pharmaceuticals Plc’s Epidiolex for the treatment of two rare forms of childhood epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex is the first cannabis plant-derived medicine to be approved in the US and is expected to be launched in the US in autumn 2018. According to The Guardian, Epidiolex should be available for prescription in Britain and the rest of Europe by mid-2019 if the European Medicines Agency approves it early next year.

Sources:

https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm611046.htm

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jun/25/uk-epilepsy-drug-set-to-be-first-cannabis-based-medicine-on-us-market

Tokyo Prepares for 2020 Olympic Games with New Anti-Smoking Law

Posted 04-Jul-18

Reuters reports that a new city law passed by the city of Tokyo on 27 June bans smoking in any bar or restaurant with hired employees. According to Reuters, the new Tokyo city law is more stringent than the legislation to tackle second-hand smoke currently passing through Japan’s national parliament. The Tokyo law will take effect several months before the Olympics open.

Source:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-smokingban-tokyo/tokyo-passes-tough-anti-smoking-law-ahead-of-2020-olympics-idUSKBN1JN1LP

San Francisco Bans E-cigarette Flavourings

Posted 04-Jul-18

San Francisco voters approved a ban on flavoured liquids used in e-cigarettes in a ballot in June. San Francisco is the first US city to ban the liquids and the city was unwilling to wait for the Food and Drug Administration to take federal action, according to The Washington Examiner. Supporters of the ban claim that flavoured e-liquids can lead young people to take up e-cigarette use with the latest US National Youth Tobacco Survey finding that e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among middle and high-school students, with 2.1 million of them using e-cigarettes in the last year. A similar ban is under consideration in the New York state legislature.

Sources:

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/healthcare/san-francisco-first-city-to-ban-e-cigarette-flavors

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/p0607-youth-tobacco-use.html

San Francisco Voters Support Flavoured Tobacco Products Ban

Posted 15-Jun-18

CNN News reports that San Francisco voters approved Proposition E that bans the sale of flavoured tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and flavoured vaping liquids, on 5 June.  A ban on flavoured tobacco products was passed by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors in June 2016, but opponents of the measure gathered enough signatures to qualify a ballot referendum on the issue. According to CNN News, filings with the San Francisco Ethics commission recorded that the tobacco company R.J. Reynolds contributed US$12 million to the campaign against the measure, while former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg contributed more than US$3 million in support of it. The American Lung Association was among the organisations supporting a ban and stated "San Francisco's youth are routinely bombarded with advertising for flavored tobacco and e-cigarettes every time they walk into a neighborhood convenience store. It's clear that these products with candy themes and colorful packaging are geared towards teens."

Source:

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/06/health/san-francisco-flavored-cigarettes-proposition-e/index.html

NIH Halts Alcohol Industry Funded Study

Posted 18-Jun-18

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced on 15 June that it plans to end funding for a study of moderate alcohol consumption and cardiovascular health following concerns first raised by The New York Times and Wired, and also voiced by a number of academics and politicians, over the alcoholic beverage industry’s role in the study. The decision followed an investigation by the NIH’s Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) of how the funding for the study was raised, whether NIH employees sought those funds in ways that violated NIH policies and whether the study was still worth pursuing.  According to the NIH, the decision to end its funding was based “on concerns about the study design that cast doubt on its ultimate credibility.  This includes whether the study would effectively address other significant consequences of moderate alcohol intake, such as cancer.” The ACD also noted that there were “significant process irregularities” in the funding process for the study which “undermined the integrity of the research process.” A further report from the NIH Office of Management Assessment concluded that a small number of National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism employees had violated NIH policies in soliciting gift funding and “circumvented standard operating procedures” when obtaining funds for the study.

Source:

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-end-funding-moderate-alcohol-cardiovascular-health-trial

Opioid Prescriptions Falling in US

Posted 15-Jun-18

A progress report from the American Medical Association Opioid Task Force records that the number of opioid prescriptions in the US fell by 22 percent from 2013 to 2017. The report “urges physicians to continue to make judicious prescribing decisions to ensure comprehensive, compassionate pain care and to talk with their patients about safe storage and disposal of all unused and unwanted medications.”   The report also says that physicians have increased access to naloxone and that prescriptions for naloxone more than doubled in 2017.

Source:

https://www.end-opioid-epidemic.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AMA-2018-Opioid-Report-FINAL.pdf

Women Feel Empowered by Alcohol Ban in Indian State

Posted 15-Jun-18

Alcohol prohibition was introduced in Bihar, India’s third most populous state, on 1 April 2016. Introducing the ban, Bihar's Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, said the ban was a response to action by women's groups in the state. “Women in the state started an anti‐liquor campaign,” said Kumar when he announced the ban, and added, “Increasing liquor consumption was a major cause for domestic violence, particularly against women, and had contributed to a rise in crimes.” The Indian Express reports that women in the state say that the ban has led to a decline in the incidence of domestic violence, and has improved family finances.  The Indian Express observes that prohibition was among a series of political actions undertaken to increase the Chief Minister’s support by women.

Sources:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/12018930/Alcohol-ban-third-largest-Indian-state-of-Bihar-to-begin-next-year.html

http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/prohibition-in-bihar-why-nitish-kumar-says-no-to-liquor-5197752/

Global Progress on Tobacco Reduction Uneven

Posted 15-Jun-18

Writing in the foreword of the second edition of the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Global Report on Trends in the Prevalence of Tobacco Smoking, Svetlana Axelrod, Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health, says that at the global level countries are on track to achieve a 22 percent reduction in tobacco use by 2025. However, this reduction is less than the global reduction target of 30 percent agreed under the Noncommunicable Diseases Global Action Plan 2013-2020.  The Americas is the only region set to meet the 30 percent reduction target although the US is not on track to meet the target due to litigation on plain packaging and lags in taxation, according Vinayak Prasad of the WHO’s tobacco control unit and reported by Reuters. Douglas Bettcher, director of the WHO’s Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases Department, said that industrialized countries were making faster progress on tobacco reduction than developing countries.  “One of the major factors impeding low- and middle-income countries certainly is countries face resistance by a tobacco industry who wishes to replace clients who die by freely marketing their products and keeping prices affordable for young people,” Bettcher said in a press briefing.

Sources:

http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/272694/9789241514170-eng.pdf?ua=1

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-smoking/smoking-down-but-tobacco-use-still-a-major-cause-of-death-disease-who-idUSKCN1IV2W2

Coca-Cola Launches Its First Alcoholic Drink in Japan

Posted 15-Jun-18

International Business Times reports that Coca-Cola has launched three lemon flavoured alcopops in Japan. The drinks are modelled on Japan’s Chu-Hi drinks. Jorge Garduño, Coca-Cola's Japan president, said “We haven’t experimented in the low alcohol category before, but it’s an example of how we continue to explore opportunities outside our core areas.” Chu-Hi, an abbreviation for shochu highball, has been marketed as an alternative to beer in Japan, and has been particularly popular with female drinkers. Chu-Hi is usually a mix of local shochu alcohol, usually distilled from rice, barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, or brown sugar, and a range of fruit flavours. The Coca-Cola products range from 3 percent to 8 percent alcohol.

Source:

http://www.ibtimes.com/coca-cola-launching-chu-hi-its-first-alcoholic-drink-130-years-japan-2660526

EMCDAA Briefing on Cannabis and Driving

Posted 15-Jun-18

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has published a policy briefing, Cannabis and Driving: Questions and Answers for Policymaking. The briefing provides an overview of current knowledge and the latest developments and is based on the evidence presented at the Third International Symposium on Drug-impaired Driving, which took place on 23 October 2017 in Lisbon.

Source:

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/joint-publications/cannabis-and-driving

FDA Acts on Juul E-cigarettes

Posted 15-Jun-18

According the The Economist Juul e-cigarettes make up 60 percent of e-cigarette sales in the US and have become a youth fashion. A Juul e-cigarette is a device that looks like a flash drive, is small enough to hide in one hand and comes in a variety of flavours, including ‘Classic Tobacco’ and ‘Crème Brûlée’. In April the Federal Drug Agency (FDA) said that it had issued warning letters to 40 retailers that it says violated the law preventing sales of vaping devices to anyone under 21. The FDA also demanded that Juul Labs submit company documents about the marketing and research, particularly concerning youth appeal, behind its products. The agency’s commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, said “We don’t yet fully understand why these products are so popular among youth,” adding “but it’s imperative that we figure it out, and fast. These documents may help us get there.”   

Sources:

https://www.economist.com/united-states/2018/05/26/juuling-is-popular-perhaps-too-much-so?utm_content=social-ygkx8&utm_medium=social&utm_source=SocialMedia&utm_campaign=SocialPilot

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/24/health/fda-e-cigarettes-minors-juul.html

Heavy Death Toll in Bangladesh's War on Drugs

Posted 15-Jun-18

In May 2018  the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, declared a “War on Drugs” in response to the growth of methamphetamine use in the country. By the end of the month 13,000 people had been arrested and more than 130 people had been killed, according to local media reports and nongovernmental organizations. Government claims that those killed had died in gunfights with security forces have been countered by allegations from the families of victims who say these were extrajudicial killings. Human Rights Watch has called on the Bangladesh government to order an independent investigation into the deaths.  UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said on 6 June, “I am gravely concerned that such a large number of people have been killed, and that the Government reaction has been to assure the public that none of these individuals were ‘innocent’ but that mistakes can occur in an anti-narcotics drive,” adding “Such statements are dangerous and indicative of a total disregard for the rule of law. Every person has the right to life. People do not lose their human rights because they use or sell drugs. The presumption of innocence and the right to due process must be at the forefront of any efforts to tackle crimes.”

Source :

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/06/06/bangladesh-suspend-deadly-war-drugs

Record Opium Harvest in Afghanistan

Posted 15-Jun-18

The latest United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s  Afghanistan Opium Survey 2017 found that  opium cultivation in Afghanistan reached a record high in 2017, with an estimated 328,000 hectares of opium cultivation, compared with 201,000 hectares in 2016. The report also observes that the harvest led to a rapid increase in the illegal economy in the country and estimates that the opiate economy was worth between US$4.1 to 6.6 billion in 2017, or 20 to 32 percent of GDP, exceeding by far the value of Afghanistan's licit exports of goods and services in 2016.

Source:

https://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-monitoring/Afghanistan/Opium-survey-peace-security-web.pdf