Head Chair: Christopher Cross Vice Chair: Daniel Rodriguez Moderator: Natalie Murphy
Position papers will be due on February 2, 2018. The position paper format, and all other important conference documents, can be found on our conference website, http://lhhsconference.weebly.com/. Email all position papers to our committee email: lhhsNARCSadv@gmail.com. Feel free to contact us via email if you have any questions or concerns!
Hi everyone! My name is Christopher Cross and I will be your Head Chair for this committee! I am currently a senior here at Laguna Hills High School and this will be my third year of Model United Nations. Other than being involved in MUN, I am involved in robotics, computer science, a service clubs. Outside of school, you can usually find me popping ollies at the skatepark or expanding my streetwear collections at the Dollar Tree. Hello delegates! My name is Daniel Rodriguez and I will be your Vice Chair for this committee! I am a senior at Laguna Hills High School and this will be my third year of MUN. Outside of MUN I love following professional soccer in Europe and volunteering in my freetime. I hope everyone will have a fantastic time at our conference. Hi all! My name is Natalie Murphy and I will be your Moderator for this committee! I am a sophomore at Laguna Hills High School and second year member of MUN. I love talking with delegates and I hope you all will enjoy debating in our committee.
Topic A: Marijuana Legalization
Background: Throughout the United States, and other parts of the world, the legalization of recreational and/or medical marijuana has been highly debated for several years. Currently in the United States, many states have begun to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession as of 2016 and 2017, but despite rising legalization, many other places are trying to fight back. Surprisingly, 60% of people in the United States believe that marijuana should be legalized, and 71% believe that the federal government should not interfere with the buying and selling of the drug. In fact, the debate about marijuana has actually increased its usage and market demand. In other parts of the world, many support medicinal uses of marijuana, but do not believe that recreational uses are easy to legalize and legislate. The drug is still considered a narcotic by the United Nations, and is gathering data about nations who have legalized it and those who have yet to make their decision. Marijuana is divisive due to ambiguity with regards to its effects on the health of its users as well as the negative connotations associated with drug use in general in many countries.
UN Involvement: There is increasing global support for drug decriminalization, and for some years now, many have had difficult challenges arguing against drug decriminalization. In the UN can not make laws and instead creates frameworks for countries to improve. In 2016 the UN held a special session on illicit drugs requested by México, Columbia, and Guatemala. These countries called for a meeting to create a final drug policy reform and clearing up the marijuana legalization surprise. Many countries around the globe are hindering at a possible exception for marijuana by decriminalizing the drug. The UN will support drugs for scientific and medical purposes and the most controversial drug today is marijuana. However, the UN does not support drugs that are labeled “gateway drugs”. The UN must reassess their plans for marijuana and other illicit drugs trying to be decriminalized. The UN has attempted to pass different resolutions and are currently studying the effects of some resolutions. In Uruguay marijuana is currently completely decriminalized, this is supposed to stop violence over the drug.
Bloc Positions: African: Marijuana is an strictly illicit substance in vast majority of nations in this bloc due to the predominant conservative view towards drugs in this continent. Very few nations allow the legalization of marijuana, even for medicinal purposes.
Asian: Marijuana is illegal in most Asian nations, although there exist some exceptions (e.g. India allows marijuana usage in small doses).
Middle Eastern: The substance is illegal in this bloc, though it is tolerated in some even conservative nations. For instance, in Iran marijuana is legal - if strictly regulated by the government.
Latin: Roughly half of the nations in the Latin bloc considering marijuana use illegal (e.g. Bolivia), while the other half is generally lenient (e.g. Uruguay). However, the cultivations and sale of this substance remains largely illegal in a large majority of these nations.
Western: Marijuana is banned from being sold and used in most European nations. However, it is legal in some parts of the United States and Canada for medicinal and recreational purposes.
If your nation views marijuana usage as illegal, how should it view medicinal uses?
How should marijuana policy differences in adjacent nations be resolved in order to prevent border disputes in the movement of drugs between countries?
What are the positive and negative effects of marijuana legalization?
How should current criminals who have been jailed for marijuana use or sale be treated?
If marijuana legalization is approved in your nation, should the government take a role in regulating the sale of the substance?
Background: In many Latin American countries, the underground drug market has become bigger and more organized than it has in years. Nations such as Mexico and Colombia are some of the biggest perpetrators and have the biggest impact on the drug world today. The violence and organization of this system affects much more outside the underground market, such as North American governments and political figures, a main example being the United States. Over the years, more harmful narcotics have been produced and distributed out of Mexico and Colombia, such as methamphetamines. This has been going on in Latin American regions since 1945, but despite the War on Drugs and many NGOs and organizations attempting to contain the illicit market, these drug controlling regions are continuing to show persistence. Cartels have shown to have a direct negative effect on the crime and overdose rates in nations plagued by cartel activity. Cartel presence also has been linked to poverty rates in many Latin American countries.
UN Involvement: Drugs will always be a part of crime and will be characterized as potential threats to a peaceful world.The UN has never obtained a clear solution to drug trafficking, but there is progress. The UN expects the developed countries to be role models to the undeveloped countries, however, if they are both involved in illicit drug trafficking then that expectation is shattered. Latin América suffers the most out of the drug dilemma and the UN wants to help stop the detriments causing all the influences. The UN would like central american countries to contribute and help end the horrid criminal rates drug cartels bring. The UN can not work alone and will keep stalling until fellow central countries help end this wretched situation. An example of a resolution being attempted is improving border security, law enforcement, and different organizations that will help stop the cartels movements. NGOs that are being involved such as Oxfam and Christian Aid fear that on certain cases the problem will turn into complete chaos.
Bloc Positions: Latin: Since this is the region that is most closely tied to this topic, the discussion will mainly revolve around the concerns and opinions of countries in this bloc. Specifically, Central American Nations such as Mexico are especially integral to this topic due to the prevalence of cartels in this region compared to South America.
Western: Both the United States and Canada have a vested interest in the development of the cartels in Latin America due to their profound influence on crime rates and drug use in their respective border states/ provinces.
Asian: Although most of the nations from this bloc do not have direct connections to this topic, there are many parallels that this topic has in many Asian Nations. China’s experience with triad syndicates and Japan’s experience with crime organizations like the Yakuza gives them the insight to be particular help to the discussions in this committee.
African: Though this bloc is largely uninvolved in this issue, many nations who have also dealt with illicit drug trade by illegal organizations will be vital in discussing solutions.
Questions to consider:
What IGO’s and NGO’s can be utilized to combat the spread of cartels?
What kinds of economic solutions can be employed to target cartels?
How can we ensure there isn’t power vacuums aren’t created in nations if an especially prolific cartel organization is eliminated (e.g. Medellin Cartel in Columbia)?
To what extent should military methods be used to reduce the influence of cartels?
How should we punish leaders and especially heinous individuals from these cartels?