Pien Metaal, Project Coordinator Transnational Institute (TNI)
This session Pien Metaal will present a recent discussion paper on substance scheduling publised by TNI, called “Scheduling in the international drug control system” (http://www.druglawreform.info/images/stories/documents/dlr25.pdf). The paper argues that while often viewed as an obscure technical issue, the problem of scheduling lies at the core of the functioning of the international drug control system. Scheduling – the classification of a substance within a graded system of controls and restrictions, or 'schedules' – must take place in order for a substance to be included in the international control framework, and determines the type and intensity of controls to be applied. For this reason, the topic is of central importance. In the case of Ayahuasca, the past few years’s attempts to challenge its legal status have appeared, seemingly part of a broader “scheduling panic” that emerged around new forms of drugs and intoxicants in the shape of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS). The situation around Ayahuasca resembles more the situation of Khat, which proofs an interesting case for comparison.