By Juan Gabriel Tokatlian for Open Democracy. According to the Real Academia Española dictionary, opportunity is understood as the existence of “appropriate circumstances” while opportunism refers to taking advantage of such circumstances to obtain “the greatest possible benefit”. The recent (April 19-21) third United Nations General Assembly Special Session on drugs (UNGASS) promised to be a propicious opportunity to rethink and reorientate the issue of illicit psychoactive substances, towards a different track from the current prohibitionist approach. However, a preliminary assessment shows that this was an opportunist summit in which defenders of the status quo were able to abort aspirations of an effective transformation of the field.

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