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Grasping the Links in the Chain: Understanding the Unintended Consequences of International Counter-Narcotics Measures for the EU

Final Report Summary - LINKSCH (Grasping the Links in the Chain: Understanding the Unintended Consequences of International Counter-Narcotics Measures for the EU.)

Executive Summary:
The LINKSCH project was conceived under the security theme within the Framework Seven programme of the European Union (EU), and ran from February 2012 to March 2015. Our main assignment was to study possible ‘unintended consequences’ that could result from any future cooperation with third countries on Counter Narcotics (CN). The countries selected where: Afghanistan, Morocco, Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan and Spain. Given the existing global division of labour in the illicit drug trade, this meant that we looked predominantly at two illicit economies, opiates and hashish, even if synthetic drugs, precursors, illicit financial flows, and other plant based drugs like cocaine may also form a (secondary) part of illicit drug related flows between many of these states and the EU.
Rather than starting from a legal (prohibitionist) perspective, this project started from a vantage point that would allow for a better understanding of the political economies that countries are facing when dealing with the illicit drug trade, and so open a much wider perspective on what drug policy is actually dealing with, and what the EU and MS are engaging with, when they engage with third countries in CN-related cooperative activities. In theoretical terms, this made us broadly decide on three different approaches to the study of drug issues in these countries. Theoretically we selected three broad approaches by which to understand the drug economies and states’ drug control practices under review. 1. The Global Commodity Chain (GCC) perspective; 2. Hybrid Political Regimes (HPR); 3. Health messaging. Fourthly, we sought to test existing definitions of unintended consequences (UCs) provided by the UNODC itself since 2008 in a ‘proof of concept’ sense by examining the specific phenomenon of the so-called ‘balloon effect’, something widely taken to be a major UC of drug prohibition regimes around the world today.
The project conducted hundreds of fieldwork interviews with a range of state and non-state actors in the countries concerned. It employed a range of innovative research techniques, including in the case of Afghanistan high resolution remote sensing imagery, the sub-contracting of an Afghan NGO, and numerous semi-structured interviews. Fieldwork in Afghanistan alone saw 602 interviews conducted in 8 research sites in the area north of the Boghra canal between May 2011 and December 2013, and a further 170 interviews were conducted in 12 research sites in Bakwa in October 2013. Results have been and continue to be disseminated via published papers, conference panels, a major bespoke conference held in Brussels in 2014, workshops, media interviews, and the project website.

Project Context and Objectives:
The context of the project was in part generated by the identification of ‘unintended consequences’ of the existing drug control regime by the UNODC itself since 2008. The 2009 study by Peter Reuter of RAND, conducted for the European Commission, and concerning ‘The unintended consequences of drug policies’, identified seven types of unintended consequence (geographical displacement, needle sharing, lack of quality control, inaccurate spraying, expanding production areas through eradication, intensified interdiction, and the supply reduction effect of treatment), working these through from the five broader classes of unintended consequences previously identified by the
UNODC, namely: the creation of huge criminal black markets, policy displacement (from health to enforcement against those markets), geographic displacement, substance displacement (to less controllable drugs), and change in the way we perceive and deal with the users of illicit drugs (stigmatization). However past studies incorporated almost no geographical component in terms of looking at the compound impact of policy in specific commodity chains from source to market, nor, as a generic study, did they contain much specific data on the manner in which different drug markets operate.
The objectives of the project have been to re-interrogate and further problematize the notion of ‘unintended consequences’ within current drug policy from both a conceptual and an empirical perspective. From an empirical perspective, for example, geographical displacement or the ‘balloon effect’ has been assumed to be (a) a common characteristic of all drug crop eradication programs and (b) objectively verifiable as a direct result of those eradication measures themselves. The fieldwork conducted by LINKSCH in both Morocco and Afghanistan has by contrast underlined that this cannot be simply be assumed to be the case; in the case of Morocco, hashish crop eradication measures have in fact not generated any notable crop displacement effect, whilst in the case of Afghanistan, there are multi-causal explanations behind the displacement of opium poppy from Helmand to Bakwa province. However beyond taking past definitions for review via a ‘proof of concept’ type analysis, the definition of ‘unintended consequences’ also depends upon the referent object chosen. First, as to choosing the independent variable: the issue can be approached either by taking legal prohibition as the independent variable, or, as with crop eradication programmes, by looking at specific CN measures, and dissecting the extent to which each of them produce or do not produce unintended consequences. Although there may appear to be an argument for doing one or the other, our project offers insights from both perspectives, simply to highlight the complexity of unintended consequences as a subject, and to underline the significance of choosing the appropriate starting point for policy debate. A better targeted communication strategy at the public health level may indeed reduce certain unintended consequences daily experienced by the drug using community; however whilst prohibition itself remains without decriminalization or regulation measures, it is highly unlikely to have any major effect on the limited access orders created within certain states by drug prohibition measures themselves. Second, as all governments have to make these choices, many policies undertaken in the drug field may actually seek to remedy certain consequences of prohibition (they may i.e. seek to regulate (licence, tax and set normative rules) operations in the drug economy, where the legal framework has abolished such regulations for non-medical drug production, trade and distribution. The uneven spread of such policies clearly adds an additional complication to any generalizations that could be made regarding ‘unintended consequences’. Thirdly, drug policies – especially drug law enforcement - may also be instrumentalized to serve goals quite distinct from any of the formal goals of prohibition, i.e. when CN resources and discourse are used to legitimize the use of force against specific targets. CN may thereby become part of the conflict dynamic within societies (for example in the conflict between the PKK and the Turkish state), as well as legitimizing foreign interventions in third countries. A variation on the theme here is where - at least discursively – organizations and states enhance the threats emanating from transnational organized crime, corruption, money laundering, in order to legitimize claims on scarce budgetary resources, be it from either local or national treasuries, or from international donors. In the cases of Afghanistan, Russia, Turkey and Tajikistan, considered by this study, the discourse over drug prohibition measures and related resource capture mechanisms have also been important sub-components of more general regime consolidation.
Due to the nature of drug policy itself historically serving multiple agendas and purposes-the emergence of the global drug prohibition regime as a whole between 1912 and 1988 is a history of the gradually managed convergence of frequently divergent agendas and priorities-calculating the distinction between the unintended consequences of regime implementation as a whole, and the unintended consequences brought about by local implementation is therefore always destined to be a contested subject, not least since any portrayal also only amounts to a snapshot of the regime in action at one particular moment in time. To be clear, tactical compromises within individual states are not themselves unintended consequences of prohibition, but they compromise the way policies are carried out, imply that both goals and consequences require re-evaluation, and also then shape the nature and scale of the unintended consequences generated by prohibition itself. Most problematic in the UNODC's own list in general has proven to be the 'one-size-fits-all' approach-the tendency to avoid factoring in proximate factors when it comes to generating 'unintended consequences', together with the tendency to generalize (the 'stigmatization' of drug users for example) whilst failing to take into account local cultural and historical factors, local public communication strategies, and local power dynamics.

The core finding that we as a consortium have drawn from our field study and data analysis is the vast scarcity of research-informed approaches to drug policy (on local and international levels)-on Central Asia in general, for example, and Kazakhstan in particular, from longitudinal perspectives rooted in social science or political economy. Until now no scientific work using a multiple sourced empirical approach had been applied to examine the alleged ‘balloon effect’ in Afghanistan; similarly, drug policy has not been formulated in a manner that integrates the existing political accommodations and limited access orders created in the Afghan-Tajik borderlands by past cycles of prohibition, nor the manner that managed prohibition has shaped and sustained the political economy in SE Turkey for decades. The study by Professor Jonathan Goodhand in our final report for example examines critically the political economy of Badakhshan from a trafficking perspective in microcosm, surveying the 2001-09 period. It concludes that, whilst interpreted as a success story for international institution building, declining production in these provinces was, in practice, less to do with effective CN measures than with shifting local political alliances: ‘… this shift had more to do with changes in the terms of trade than effective CN policies. Badakhshan continued as a trafficking route and the drugs economy remained deeply embedded, even though cultivation did not begin again on a large scale until 2010/11.’ His conclusions also point to the importance of taking a more longitudinal approach when assessing the effect and impact of CN policies: ‘…on balance, programmes that actively target drugs may have less of an impact on the drugs economy than other larger programmes linked to military, development or state building goals. Therefore drug-blind counter insurgency, development or state building has at times been equally, if not more damaging, than drugs focused programmes.’ Taking the Kazakh case, given the significant sociocultural differences and specifics of Kazakhstan’s landscape, the lack of socio-psychological insight into drivers of drug-related behaviours and responses to CN interventions is also highly problematic. The current situation is exacerbated by the scattered, uneven engagement of international bodies with local government and non-government initiatives and organisations there. The more rural areas in many cases present the greatest proportion of the population engaged in drug-related activity, and the greatest proportion of vulnerable population groups, but are also largely overlooked.
General dissatisfaction with 'unintended consequences' as currently defined has therefore informed and led to further nuancing of the entire consortium's work. In particular, it became apparent that there existed a failure in much of the existing literature to aptly distinguish counter-narcotic specific interventions from general policy interventions (military or civilian aid and development programmes for example) in terms of 'unintended consequences'. Lack of accountability, and the generation of often opaque patronage networks, are clearly a generic 'unintended consequence' of such policy interventions in general, against the backdrop of which the specific utilization of a counter-narcotics agenda to justify spending programs that have little in fact to do with counter-narcotics then forms an almost universally observable sub-trend. The policy-related instrumentalization of the counter-narcotics agenda for purposes of state, (counter-terrorism for example) or for ring-fencing and defending budgets, clearly forms a distinct 'unintended consequence' of its own under the current system, but one that must also be distinguished from a counter-narcotics intervention which has a direct and obviously identifiable CN-intended purpose-crop eradication for example, or the development of a harm reduction intervention strategy for injecting drug users (IDUs).
Once considered in these terms, amongst the most interesting distinctions amongst the countries covered by the study was that between countries that have clearly instrumentalized the CN agenda to a greater or lesser degree, from the point of view of seeking to attract and capture resources, compared to those countries which have by contrast endeavoured so far to keep such an agenda at arms' length. Here the breakdown amongst the countries studied by this project emerged as follows:
Countries instrumentalizing the CN agenda Countries which so far have avoided instrumentalizing CN in relative terms
Russia Morocco
Turkey Kazakhstan

Amongst the major results of this distinction is that the 'unintended consequences' of CN policy then manifest themselves differently in countries according to the degree of their instrumentalization of the CN agenda for resource-capturing purposes, despite these countries also often occupying related positions within a single 'commodity chain' from production to consumption. These differences however are neither directly attributable to individual agencies or attitudes, nor are they monocausal. Russia in recent years has strongly instrumentalized the counter-narcotics agenda for the purposes of its own foreign policy, whilst Kazakhstan has generally opted for a more low-key approach, in the context of which civil society elements are, if anything, occasionally more active, vocal, and biased, than government organs themselves. Interestingly however, no direct correlation between stigmatization and instrumentalization can be drawn since, as the study by Coventry Business School in the final report shows, levels of stigmatization of drug users within Kazakhstan remain high; social attitudes run in parallel, not in sync, with government health messaging, and ‘negative views remain pervasive.’ Social perceptions in Kazakh society towards drug abuse remain highly negative despite the relative absence of an instrumentalized security agenda to capture resources or exert pressure which is visible in the Russian case: ‘Our data demonstrates that in Kazakhstan the overriding view [of drug abuse] has never tended towards the concept of illness or disease, but rather towards blame and crime.’ This suggests that in understanding how drug abuse is perceived and treated within certain societies, there remains a real danger of assigning too much weight or blame to how governments themselves instrumentalize the CN agenda, and accordingly on counting upon better results being achieved by ‘importing’ Western models; as Coventry note in their study, ‘Devising an intervention based on a culture of tolerance towards drug users, then implementing it in one where drug users are considered to be the "outcasts" of society…will have a severe impact on its success.’

Developing these distinctions further, Afghanistan as both a production country, and historically something of a 'rentier' state, has repeatedly utilized the drug agenda to attempt both to capture international aid and assistance, and also build up its own tools of surveillance and coercion. Morocco by contrast, also a production state, has sought to keep oversight of its own 'drug issue' strongly within domestic control, to the extent of even expelling UNODC observers in the recent past. Afghanistan correspondingly now has a relatively long history of foreign sponsored CN orientated interventions, where today explaining the perverse 'unintended consequences' of such policies requires both local contextualisation, an appreciation of the multiple foreign aid agendas active at various moments in time, and an understanding of the actual-as opposed to theoretical- social and economic effect of multiple past interventions (attempted opium bans). In Morocco by contrast, CN interventions in terms of crop eradication lack such a cyclical structure, but have by contrast been sporadic, historically limited, and have been kept deliberately isolated from international observation, control and regulation, in order to preserve domestic regime legitimacy and monopoly over the means of coercion. The apparent recognition by the Moroccan government that hashish cultivation to some degree substitutes for an effective development strategy, or might be conceived of as itself an ‘alternative development strategy’, providing jobs, livelihoods, and a modicum of stability in economically marginalised areas, is further reflected by the fact that crop eradication attempts in that country practically stopped in 2011, partly in response to the Arab Spring.

In the case of both Morocco and Afghanistan, innovation at the production level has been a further unintended consequence of prohibition itself, preserving employment at levels which might not otherwise exist, but at the same time perpetuating an unregulated, marginalized economy in ways which lead to greater environmental harms, such as soil degradation and the exhaustion of local water aquifers, whilst also perpetuating conditions in which the human labour involved remains insecure, and highly vulnerable to harassment, stigmatization and abuse. This reflects the asymmetry of current CN measures when comparing the regulated, decriminalized manner in which drug consumption (particularly marijuana consumption) is treated in a number of EU countries with the conditions that continue to prevail in the majority of drug production countries; the political accommodations, power brokerage and compromises that in practice characterise the limited access orders that prevail in SE Turkey, Morocco and the Afghan-Tajik borderlands should not in any way be read as a satisfactory substitute for the more consciously regulated market that prevails around consumption in many EU countries. As international lawyers Robin Geiss and Daniel Wisehart therefore make clear in their contribution to the consortium final report, there therefore remains a strong argument, not least from the legal perspective, for re-visiting and reviving the concept of ‘shared responsibility’ when it comes to revisiting the existing UN conventions at UNGASS in 2016.

Project Results:
The S&T objectives of the project as planned from the outset were:
S&T Objectives
Objective 1: to design, develop and characterise a model of the institutional arrangements that mediate the interests and conflicts of different stakeholders around drug economies within the existing international system, including a behavioural model of how both state and non-state actors behave within this specific market system, utilising historical data, the conceptual paradigm of global commodity chains, and associated social theory. This model needs to take into account in particular the historically and culturally different markets of heroin and marijuana production, but also the social, political, cultural and economic interstices that link global forces to local arrangements of social control between the two.
Objective 2: Investigate the effects and effectiveness of existing illicit control measures as well as of alternative governance types within at least two commodity chains (as currently proposed-the commodity chains North Africa-EU and Afghanistan-EU) via interviews, data collection and literature surveys. Whilst the traditional benchmark of prohibition will be covered, the predominant focus will be on other benchmarks, such as the nature of corruption, the relative effectiveness of government health messaging, and the operation of hybrid political systems/poor governance structures and their effect on other segments and institutions in society, as from this perspective we expect to derive an understanding of the major unintended consequences of the existing control regime, rather than investigate purely the absolute number of addicts and consumers.
Objective 3: Analyse the tools available to engender a more effective comprehensive control approach, incorporating both the behavioural models affecting both state and non-state actors along the commodity chains concerned, and the historical strategic context and strategic model developed by objective one. This effort is to include a typology of existing counter-narcotics policies and more informal control practices, and an assessment of their relative effect and effectiveness in the countries concerned, measured against a range of behavioural/social/legal benchmarks (generally associated with conceptions of human security and human rights evaluations, but also incorporating broader concerns of the EU and its member states).
Objective 4: Determine the specific interaction in terms of perverse incentive models between existing drug control regimes and local drug markets, with consideration as to how such perverse incentive structures could be minimised and market and state actors made more responsive to the wider needs of society. Undertake further data collection and field research with this end in view.
Objective 5: Design, via objectives one, two, and three, a list of calibrated options of how a more integrated supply-and-demand counternarcotics strategy to these drugs, aimed at diminishing the most salient undesired side effects of current drug policies, might operate, reshaping the model developed by objective one if necessary in light of subsequent empirical research. As such ´unintended consequences´ touch upon the competencies of EEAS, FPIS and related Directorates and departments (EuropeAid, Enlargement and Trade), and the working of foreign policy instruments such as AA and the European Neighbourhood Policy, the implications of our findings will be made relevant to the law enforcement community as well as actors and institutions responsible for more comprehensive foreign policy initiatives.
Objective 6: Disseminate the study results widely via both a major conference within the EU, a cycle of workshops, an edited set of peer-reviewed papers, and at least one major monograph. This stage is to include both a final report detailing all expenditures and outcomes of the project, and a clear set of finalised typologies and policy recommendations that could help the EU and its member states to assess and improve its policies across a range of benchmarks related to the unintended consequences of the existing control regime.
The main results of the project reflect the fulfilment of these objectives, and can be summarised as follows:
Objective 1. The first two years of the project, via both fieldwork and secondary research, involved building up a picture of the institutional arrangements at play within the current system, and also involved organizing contact with and arranging meetings with institutional nodes critical to understanding the current prohibition regime along the two main commodity chains concerned (EMCDDA, CADAP, TUBIM, TADOC-the Turkish National Police Academy). Numerous obstacles were placed in the way of this process, and collaboration and the exchange of information was often reluctantly rendered in many countries-cooperation from the FSKN in the Russian Federation for example was minimal, despite months of effort. Interviews with a number of key actors were nonetheless carried out, with cooperation from the Turkish authorities being particularly forthcoming despite a total lack of institutional support from the main EU agency within Turkey itself. A paper composed on global commodity chains in the first twelve months, included in the final report, helped intellectually contextualise both what kinds of questions such an approach could offer, where data was likely to be lacking in terms of fully executing such an approach (above all, it became clear that granular data on countries such as Iran or Russia were likely to remain completely lacking), and the utility of combining and overlapping this approach with the insights to be gained from writings on hybrid political regime theory and limited access orders. A review of ‘unintended consequences’ as a general theme also underlined the lack of empirical data or study of certain key generalizations within existing definitions, such as the ‘balloon effect’. Comparing the alleged ‘balloon effect’ on the basis of such empirical data as could be gathered in Afghanistan and Morocco thereafter became another key research objective of the project.
Objective 2. Fieldwork interviews in Turkey, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Spain, Russia and Afghanistan helped further nuance the understanding of the unintended consequences of the existing drug control regime in each of these countries. In particular, it helped underline the utility of a hybrid regime political economy model for understanding the manner in which the system currently operates in practice, not least in the manner in which power structures utilize CN funds and interventions for reasons only indirectly related to CN policy.
Objectives 3, 4 & 5. The consortium developed a typology of interventions to help shape the research and, on the back of fieldwork informed by this approach, a range of policy recommendations to help facilitate a more effective comprehensive control approach. Policy recommendations included, but are not limited to such recommendations as:
The EC needs to encourage others states and multilateral institutions to advocate a policy of eradicating illicit drug crops only where farmers have a viable alternative.
Crop destruction in the absence of alternatives has subjected the rural population to losses in welfare, increased antipathy to the state, and led to both people and opium poppy cultivation relocating to new areas which is likely to impose long term environmental costs.
There is a need to develop a deeper understanding of the prohibition regime's impact on rural communities that grow illicit drug crops in the global south, and to develop a clearer picture of how moves to deregulate or reform might affect them.
There needs to be greater socio-psychological analysis of individual and group drivers and outcomes related to drug behaviours occurring across the entire drug chain. Engagement in drug-related behaviour (whether production, trafficking or consumption) can be an interrelated network of human activity, meaning that a selective focus on one aspect of this activity may produce incomplete or misleading insights. So far the focus of extant socio-psychological research predominantly has for example been on the consumption element of the chain, overlooking the intersections between consumption and production and trafficking aspects. Furthermore, current perspectives on drug consumption behaviours mostly derive from studies conducted in Western contexts, which are not directly transferrable to non-Western contexts due to sociocultural contextual differences.
These and more comprehensive policy recommendations are listed under section four, on potential impact. The consortium here offers 17 potential key recommendations and 3 key areas highlighted by the project that clearly require further funded research.
Objective 6. The findings of the project were disseminated both at a major conference that occurred in Brussels in June 2014, at conference panels in London, Salamanca and Rome that same year, via two published articles, one the peer-reviewed Journal of Drug Issues and the other the International Journal of Drug Policy, via the circulation of a paper on Russia within the HDG of the EU which was also published online by Swansea University, via the publication of the contribution by Geiss/Wisehart in the Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law, and via a workshop that accompanied the June conference in 2014. It is hoped to eventually publish the entirety of the consortium’s remaining papers in a leading peer-reviewed journal special edition during the summer or autumn of 2015. Part of the work of the consortium is also being incorporated in a major monograph being submitted by the consortium PI to Verso Press in August 2015. The findings of the project were also incorporated into the academic teaching of the consortium PI at honours level for Glasgow University in the first term of the 2014-15 academic year.
Conceptual overview
To better understand the role of the actual arrangements currently prevailing in many production and transit countries, in several of the contributions in the final report we review the development of ‘Hybrid Political Regimes’. For example Dr Jonathan Goodhand analyses along these lines the political economy of opium in the borderlands between Tajikistan and Northern Afghanistan; Dr Alex Marshall describes the instrumentalization of CN in Turkey and Russia, and Hans van der Veen provides his understanding of Prohibition and CN interventions in the hashish trade originating in Morocco as an ‘Entrapment Machine’, the latter in his view serving a multiplicity of state/ societal/political purposes, yet also using the means and discourse of CN to bring about desired outcomes. The EU and most of its member states are unlikely to be exceptions to this rule. In fact, it appears from our analysis that any assessment of outcomes of Prohibition and CN efforts should be held against a broad gamut of policy domestic and foreign policy objectives, to assess outcomes, including developmental goals, crime control, social control, and the containment of political contention.
Two of the contributions in our final report additionally address one specific outcome that is often cited as an ‘unintended consequence’ of CN policies, the so called balloon effect. Both Chouvy and Mansfield have made contributions in this report that analyse the eradication of illicit drug crops – respectively in Morocco and Afghanistan – and dissect mechanisms through which any displacement of drug crops has come about in these countries. In their respective analysis both authors actually discern very different dynamics at play, where in the Afghan case-study it becomes clear that many proximate causes play a role in crop displacement, eradication possibly not even being the most important one; in Morocco crop displacement has rather been prevented by important technological innovations through the introduction of new seed varieties and irrigation techniques. The contribution of van der Veen on how the hashish trade actually functions provides further clues as to the many endogenous factors that dynamize drug economies, as well as the multiple ways states try to manipulate these dynamics to serve their goals. Again this shows that the causality and its mechanisms purportedly producing ‘unintended consequences’ needs to be very well understood, certainly where independent and dependent variables are not clear, or clearly defined.

Potential Impact:
The work of the project resulted in the generation of both clear policy recommendations, and the identification of major 'black boxes' in terms of data where much more work simply needs to be done. As these recommendations embody the impact that the project is intended to have, the best approach appears to be to list them. There are 3 research recommendations , 17 specific policy recommendations, and 3 notable ‘research gaps’, or black boxes, which the consortium’s work has highlighted as meriting future funded research and greater attention.
Specific research recommendations include the following:
1. There needs to be greater socio-psychological analysis of individual and group drivers and outcomes related to drug behaviours occurring across the entire drug chain. Engagement in drug-related behaviour (whether production, trafficking or consumption) can be an interrelated network of human activity, meaning that a selective focus on one aspect of this activity may produce incomplete or misleading insights. So far the focus of extant socio-psychological research predominantly has for example been on the consumption element of the chain, overlooking the intersections between consumption and production and trafficking aspects. Furthermore, current perspectives on drug consumption behaviours mostly derive from studies conducted in Western contexts, which are not directly transferrable to non-Western contexts due to sociocultural contextual differences.
2. Current understanding of the drug situation and the impact of CN interventions in most states is mostly underpinned by analyses utilising quantitative metrics, such as mortality, incarceration, hospitalisation, interception, number of information flyers, or distribution statistics. Our findings identify a range of pitfalls resultant from overreliance on these indicators, and provide impetus for greater use of qualitative longitudinal and ethnographic approaches. Such methodologies will enable closer, more coherent and in-depth evaluation of the role of front line services (such as rehabilitation centres, NGOs engaged in prevention interventions, etc.) in the CN interventions’ successes or failures. Such aspects as accessibility and content, use of relevant expertise, and scientific underpinning of prevention and treatment require examination, to inform the design and implementation of more effective policies and upskilling local frontline interventionists.
3. Concerning the role and influence of the EU on drug policy, our findings highlight two broad areas requiring further development. First is the need for provision of expertise, training and support to local NGOs, and closer collaboration with local government and non-government bodies, in developing more contextualised interventions that have greater relevance to the current realities. The three areas offering fruitful EU collaboration that emerged from our findings are: a) development of prevention and education programmes underpinned by evidence-based research; b) provision of expertise and training to support prevention communication campaigns designed to increase public awareness of the different treatment methods and provision of detailed, accurate information on the nature of opiate substitution therapy; and c) stimulating attitudinal changes toward drug addiction to alleviate stigma and marginalisation of those affected by drug use and therefore improve their social re-integration. Second is the need to further research to account for and factor in existing limited access orders, instrumentalized approaches, and local political economies when crafting EU policy interventions, in a manner that then shapes policy to creates greater accountability over the use of resources.

Based on our findings summarised above, our key policy recommendations are as follows:

1. Greater utilisation of the extant socio-psychological theories to support the development, implementation and evaluation of CN interventions is required.
2. In-depth evaluation of the effectiveness of existing initiatives and programmes developed and implemented by local NGOs should be undertaken to identify the most innovative and effective initiatives.
3. Expert support and specialist training should be provided for interventionists to ensure that a range of evaluative approaches are deployed when assessing the adequacy of intervention initiatives at all points of their lifecycle (conception, development, implementation, post-implementation).
4. Greater engagement with and more consistent support of local frontline interventionists on a national scale should be undertaken in states like Kazakhstan where political conditions facilitate EU engagement. Recommended forms of support include: joint training sessions, development of a consistently operating nation-wide knowledge repository, and collaborative platforms accessible to the networks of local NGOs. These activities will contribute to building competences and capabilities to reside in-country, and therefore alleviate reliance on international donors in the long-term.
5. The activities of social movements and local NGOs are recommended to be consistently monitored to form and maintain an up-to-date knowledge database on the social trends instigated/lobbied by these actors and identify the drivers of their activities.
6. Intervention development and/or adaptation processes must include a feedback loop to ensure evaluation of adequacy of the intervention, the dissemination of experience and the establishment/growth of a knowledge base for more informed subsequent intervention development.
7. As a means to develop a coherent approach to implementing the recommendations listed above, we recommend the application of an intervention mapping framework (Heaney 1998, Bartholomew and colleagues 1998, 2011, 2006, 2011). Intervention mapping is a tool that coherently maps the cycle of intervention development, including an evaluation and feedback loop.
8. There is a need to look beyond the claim that reductions in drug crop production in one area simply result in an increase elsewhere and further investigate the potential multiple factors that lie behind new areas of cultivation. While relocation in drug crop production may in part be a consequence of efforts to reduce supply, other factors also play a role. Increases may even pre date drug control interventions and be a function of wider socio-economic, political and environmental processes with little to do with specific supply side efforts. More robust primary research is required to examine the different factors that both facilitate and impinge on cultivation relocating and/or expanding to new areas of production in other source countries.
9. Development interventions implemented in drug producing countries - be they alternative development and specifically aimed at reducing drug crop cultivation, or conventional development measures designed to improve the welfare of the rural population - need to fully integrate an understanding of what impact they will have on the different population groups involved in illicit drug crop cultivation. This is required to ensure that interventions do not marginalise the most vulnerable and facilitate a relocation of the population and a potential expansion of illicit drug crop cultivation into new areas.
10. The EC needs to encourage others states and multilateral institutions to advocate a policy of eradicating illicit drug crops only where farmers have a viable alternative. Crop destruction in the absence of alternatives has subjected the rural population to losses in welfare, increased antipathy to the state and les to both people and opium poppy cultivation relocating to new areas which is likely to impose long term environmental costs.
11. There is a need to develop a deeper understanding of the prohibition regime's impact on rural communities that grow illicit drug crops in the global south, and to develop a clearer picture of how moves to deregulate or reform might affect them. Illicit drug crop cultivation has supported an improvement in the welfare of parts of the rural population in Afghanistan and other developing nations. At the same time as facing a threat of crop destruction and interdiction farmers have benefitted from relatively high far gate prices for the illegal crops they grow over an extended period of time, as well as an almost guaranteed market for opium and coca. For example, the benefits of the illicit market have allowed those in the desert areas of south and southwest Afghanistan to acquire land and assets that they would not have realised if opium poppy were not illegal. Given that Afghanistan does not have a competitive advantage in licit opium production - a function of small landholdings, poor infrastructure, limited capital and weak institutions - moves to legalise or regulate supply would have a significant impact on the rural population and the wider economy. How the costs and benefits of reform impact on these populations and other rural communities, needs to be calculated and properly factored in to the current policy debates in the run up to UNGASS in 2016.
12. EU aid programs should identify and distinguish between the 'unintended consequences' of drug policy being instrumentalized, and narrower drug specific intervention activities. In the case of Turkey for example, many of the most directly observable unintended consequences are a result of the instrumentalization of drug policy to facilitate regime consolidation in Turkey's internal balance of power-initially also with a view to trying to accelerate Turkey's accession to the EU. The indirect unintended consequences of all of these changes since 2003 has been the consolidation of power by President Erdogan, the more widespread use of wiretapping across civil society as a whole, the political emasculation of the Turkish military, and the parallel ascendancy of the Turkish police (TNP) as a major new 'power ministry' within the Turkish state. Aid and cooperation therefore needs to be more tightly defined in future, with greater conditionalities applied to see that resources have a CN-specific purpose, rather than merely facilitating the greater accumulation of resources by certain arms of the state for an abstract- but supposedly CN related- purpose.
13. CN interventions in general remain over-focused on mastering and containing the local market in coercion and violence, rather than analysing and understanding the parallel market in capital accumulation, which can have both positive and negative effects (see case studies in our report on Badakhshan and Spain for example). Policy interventions therefore remain decoupled at the point at which they in fact need to be most integrated-so that policy towards Morocco and the hashish trade, for example, currently occurs without consideration of the inter-linkage of this market to economic conditions within Spain itself, the role played by remittances from Moroccan migrants working in the black economy, and the parallel bubble in the Spanish property market, also fed by money laundering activity, which has had destabilizing consequences within Spain as a whole. CN interventions therefore need to continue to integrate and harmonize better the need to target products, people and capital.
14. Several of the case studies involved in this study underlined the fact that correlation cannot automatically be equated with causation. In Turkey, for example, a recent rise in domestic drug use has occurred against a backdrop in which drugs were increasingly demonised in public discourse, offering a potential example of the ‘forbidden fruit’ syndrome of drug use amongst adolescents (Filley, 1999). This effect has potentially been heightened by a government crackdown on public alcohol consumption (at rock concerts for example) and the demonization of cigarettes, the normally-approved legal alternatives to illicit drug consumption (Interview at UK Embassy in Ankara, February 2013). An eradication campaign against cannabis cultivation in SE Turkey, which has led to the burning of large scale cannabis fields, one which has been instrumentalized in counter-terrorism terms as striking at the economic support base for the Kurdish PKK, has in the last three years also occurred against a backdrop of rising fatalities from synthetic drug use (bonzai) in cities like Istanbul. Again, one potential hypothesis here is that a shortage in the availability of organic cannabis products, and rising prices, has generated a displacement effect, where the same target market then takes up use of cheaper synthetic cannabis products, which ironically pose a greater immediate risk to public health. Preliminary studies have suggested there may be considerable merit in this argument (see chapter 11). However at present there is simply too little quantitative data, notably in the form of treatment statistics and interviews with drug users and traders, to prove this hypothetical causal link in general, which instead remains at the level of an observable potential line of causation in regard to the specific phenomenon of bonzai. Other countries with a regulated, depenalized cannabis consumption regime (for example the Netherlands) nonetheless also have a market in synthetic cannabis, and the general rise in consumption may well have other proximate causes beyond government messaging and repression/eradication efforts-traffickers for example dumping product originally destined for the EU, as an improvised response to greater seizure rates on the Turkish borders, a growing economy with rising living standards, and an attraction towards European cultural behaviours caused by migration, diaspora interaction, and electronic media.
15. In terms of CN-specific interventions, beyond reining back on aid in general which, if too loosely defined in purpose, goes on to generate as much harm as good, the EU can potentially wield greatest influence in terms of harmonising the communication strategies used within harm reduction and demand reduction campaigns (see points 4,5 & 6 above). In order to do this however, the EU also needs to become both more internally consistent, taking on board the best practice of public communication strategy in general, and to provide greater assistance in then exporting a demand reduction model, but one which is at the same time culturally specific to the states it is addressed at. Consideration here needs to be paid, in particular, to combating the perception that the EU favours exporting models of decriminalization, or policies of greater toleration and liberalisation towards drug abuse; more emphasis needs to be placed instead on the EU's capacity to objectively facilitate and assist the generation of communication strategies that are genuinely effective, not least through its deep reserves of academic, public policy, and public health-related expertise.
16. The study on Morocco’s hashish smuggling trade concluded that any drastic change in legal regime on cannabis could largely wipe away the economic base of millions of people in Northern Morocco, as presently Moroccan cannabis farmers would probably not be able to compete with the industrial indoor production of similar products. Any such change would therefore result in great disruptions, social unrest and migrations flows to other Moroccan cities and to the EU. In the event of a European constituency demanding the legalization of cannabis, great efforts may be necessary to either prepare Moroccan cannabis farmers to meet such competition, or to come up with other flanking policies that would either allocate Rif farmers privileged market access for cannabis products, or find ways of disbursing funds to contain such upheaval.
17. As for the time being both Morocco and the EU and its member states appear quite content with the present situation of concentrated cannabis production in Northern Morocco, efforts should be maintained to help and direct GOM in averting the most dramatic ecological consequences of cannabis production in the Rif area, as well as supporting farmers outside the cannabis region in growing other products so as to maintain cannabis price levels.
The project at the same time identified serious gaps in terms of knowledge which would merit further funding by the EU. In particular, the project came to acknowledge that:
1. Data remains lacking for a more comprehensive commodity chain approach. This would require a deeper, more fully funded study, able to encompass dynamics in Iran, the Middle East, China and India. However very significant swathes of data are also lacking on Russia, which has become in the UNODC's own account a major new consumer market for Afghan heroin. Such data will only become more available via deeper cooperation with these countries, itself dependent upon the EU addressing and combating the perception that it is seeking to export its own model, rather than disinterestedly contributing to local capacity building (see policy recommendation 12).
2. The manner that data is gathered in general remains deeply problematic. In Afghanistan, production and market figures are collated based upon gross rather than net returns, and via the use of opium surveys which themselves on occasion embrace problematic methodologies. In Morocco, data on the market in general is almost completely lacking, to the point where it is practically impossible to discern the profit rate or level of return within the hashish market for the individual cultivator. More livelihood-based research needs to be funded in general therefore, from the point of view of understanding drug producing countries internal dynamics.
3. Given that a major finding of our work has been the degree of conceptual bias in the collation of figures and the unproductiveness of existing research when examining or seeking to ameliorate ‘unintended consequences’, more research in general is required on the hybrid political regimes and political economies produced by drug control regimes. The existing literature is somewhat from necessity dominated by theory to the detriment of empirical data. Funding needs to be directed at research itself undertaking a longitudinal approach, looking at the role of actors and agencies within specific episodes of drug policy interventions in specific countries. Here the potential greater integration of historical case studies offers a complimentary angle.

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