ENCOD BULLETIN ON DRUG POLICIES IN EUROPE
UNITING DRUG USERS’ VOICES AGAINST THE UN CONTROL SYSTEM
International drug prohibition has been maintained through international treaties and conventions, spear-headed by the US – led « War on drugs ». The recognition that this war has been comprehensively lost is leading to an international rethink about prohibition and about these treaties and conventions.
In spite of the increasing evidence that current policies are not achieving their objectives, most policymaking bodies at the national and international level have tended to avoid open scrutiny or debate on alternatives. So the biggest winners from the current policy are those in league with organised crime and those corrupted by it. For them who manage to read between the lines of so many reports and statements recently issued on drug policy, it is now obvious that the days of the current drug scheduling system are counted. But it may still takes ten years to see a real change, and concrete results from a long paradigm shift which stated that prohibition does not diminish drug use and makes it more risky, and that alternatives should be adopted that effectively protect public health and accomplish Human rights principles.
From the WHO Expert committee to the INCB
Mounting evidence shows that « cannabinoids » reduce cancer growth, inhibit the formation of new blood cells that feed a tumor, and help manage pain, fatigue, nausea, and other side effects. What’s more, like a heat-seeking missile, THC selectively targets and destroys tumor cells while leaving healthy cells unscathed. Conventional chemotherapy drugs, by contrast, are highly toxic ; they indiscriminately damage the brain and body.
This is something wellknown since October 7, 2003 when the US Government, represented by the Department of Health and Human Services, was granted a U.S. Patent (#6630507) on any and all uses and applications of cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.
It is up to the Expert Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) to decide what recommendation to make on the scheduling of any reviewed substance. The WHO Secretariat prepares the documentation for the meeting, but is assumed to be neutral. In the case of cannabis, it is listed currently in Schedules I, which is the strictest possible, and IV. A number of solutions are possible to modify the scheduling of cannabis. In theory, it is also possible that a recommendation be made to move it to one of the schedules of the 1972 convention or to delete it from all schedules, which could ease the end of cannabis prohibition.
At the opposite of the Expert Committee of WHO, we have the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) which is the governing body to control substance availability. In the report launched in October 2012, « Governing global drug wars », Joanne Csete characterises INCB for « its support for unscientific policies internationally and its refusal to endorse best practices in public health policies, particularly around HIV/AIDS prevention ». She argues that the INCB remains « the most closed and least transparent of any entity supported by the United Nations.’ »
ENCOD wants governments to feel uncomfortable about the predicament all policy makers have put their people in. They are running a system that is causing a lot of harm. Until they start to look for alternative solutions no progress can be achieved. By maintaining prohibition and suppressing or avoiding debate about its costs and benefits, it can be argued justifiably that our governments and other community leaders are standing idly by while people and mostly youth and children are killed and/or criminalised.
The world we want
“As we seek to build the world we want, let us intensify our efforts to achieve a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable development path built on dialogue, transparency and social justice.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for the 2013 World Day of Social Justice
This is the « World we want »
We want to end the drug war
We want to change the drug control system
We want to heal the planet and the people.
We want to use our ressources and don’t want them to be spoiled by a corrupted political system.
We want to spread the seeds of peace and freedom
We want to send back home all prisoners of the current drug war.
We want to stop death penalty, and all violence related to drug smuggling, simply by legal regulation of drug markets
We want to ensure that no more people will suffer because of the lack of painkillers.
We want to get revenue with fair trade, take the income out of the pockets of organised crime and put it into the real economy.
ENCOD was set up in 1993 to promote dialogue between civil society organisations and European institutions, in order to establish a common strategy to tackle the drug phenomenon with a clever and pragmatic view. The ENCOD Manifesto has been signed by more than 350 civil society organisations worldwide.
Let’s join efforts to speak out the truth on drugs.
By Farid Ghehioueche
Events in March
On 2 March, the Encod coordinator will participate at the General Assembly of groups in Pisa, Italy planning to set up a Cannabis Social Club for medical use.
From 11 to 16 March, an Encod delegation will attend the annual meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna.