ENCOD BULLETIN ON DRUG POLICIES IN EUROPE
A QUESTIONNAIRE FOR CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR OFFICE
On Encod’s General Assembly that was held in June 2012 we decided to compose and elaborate a questionnaire for political parties and candidates participating in the next elections for the European Parliament in June 2014.
The goal of the questionnaire is to find out the level of knowledge and positions on drug policies among political candidates running for office in the next European Parliament, that will be chosen in June 2014. But it can very well be used for local and national elections as well.
The questionnaire can be used first and foremost by ENCOD members in their respective countries and by anyone interested to expose the positions of individual candidates running for office (or already elected officials), to form an opinion on the candidate, hold them accountable and start a dialogue to (hopefully) influence their positions in a positive way, if necessary.
QUESTIONNAIRE ON DRUG POLICIES
Name of the candidate/elected official……………………………..
Running for/serving as………………………………………………
Please respond to the following questions/statements by YES or NO, and add your remarks if you wish
Category 1: On international drug policies
1. We are winning the war on drugs
2. We should continue drug prohibition as it is
3. The drug issue is a law enforcement and not a health issue
4. People should be punished for their illegal drug use
5. How much was spent on the war on drugs since 1961 (when the Single Convention on Drugs was signed by the United Nations?
1) A Billion dollars
2) 100 Billion Dollars
3) A Trillion Dollars
6. Do you support the statement: “Those supporting drug prohibition are actually helping to maintain drug cartel profits, funding terrorism and drug related violence?”
7. Afghanistan is the largest producer of Opium – do you support the purchase of the annual crop from Afghan opium farmers for an amount of approx. 600 million Dollars in order to cut off the profits from terrorist organizations (Taliban etc), reduce the world supplies of heroin, provide opiate based pain medications (morphine etc) for 90% of the world’s inhabitants who can not afford it because it is bought by the 10% who live in the richest nations?
8. Which country in the Western world has the toughest anti-drug laws and the greatest number of drug users in most categories:
Category 2. On drug laws
9. Drug laws have a direct effect on drug use levels
10. More prisons should be built to accommodate drug users
11. All drug use should be de-criminalized
Category 3. Knowledge on drugs
12. Alcohol is safer then Marijuana
13. Tobacco is safer then Marijuana
14. According to World Health Organization – which is the most dangerous drug to individuals and society?
15. Which drug is safer and less expensive:
1) Synthetic and pharmaceutically processed cannabinoids (Sativex, Marinol)
2) Natural cannabinoids (Cannabis flowers)
Category 4. Harm reduction
16. Should Governments fund & incorporate drug related harm reduction measures in their policies?
17. Should Governments install low threshold barriers to drug treatment and rehabilitation?
Category 5. Cannabis
18. Cannabis should be regulated in the same way as alcohol and tobacco
19. People should have access to medical cannabis grown by authorized growers
20. People should be allowed to grow up to five plants of cannabis for self-consumption in order to avoid interaction with the illegal market
21. Do you know what “Cannabis Social Clubs” and their goals are?
Of course this questionnaire is only meant as a model, people are free to modify or add other questions. If you decide to use the questionnaire, please keep us updated on your experiences. We may use them to start a voting advise campaign in the run up to EP elections in 2014.
By: Boaz Wachtel
Report from the ENCOD secretariat
The past month, a delegation of Encod Steering Committee members attended the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna. A report on their experiences will be published soon.
The Encod coordinator was on a mission in Bolivia for the Association ‘Friends of the Coca Leaf’. Contacts with coca growers, citizen experts and government officials were made and maintained. The impression of all interviews is that we are on the right track with the promotion of the import of organic coca leaves to Europe, since both the organic farming of the coca leaf and finding ways to export it to Europe are important alternatives for the Bolivian coca growers. who still find themselves trapped between drug traffickers and those who are supposed to fight them.
An idea that surged these days is to organize a visit of a large group of people from both Europe and North America to Peru and Bolivia in June 2014, in order to bring the message that there are many of us in the Western world who wish to import coca leaves in a sound manner, and we want to collaborate with everyone in the Andean region who wants to make this a reality.
During the trip meetings would be organised with coca growers, manufacturers of traditional coca leaf products, scientific experts, activists and government officials of Bolivia and Peru. We believe that participating in this trip will cost between 1500 and 2000 euros each, so we advert each of you who would like to participate in this action visit to start saving money.
In France, the establishment of the French Federation of Cannabis Social Clubs is provoking debate. On 8 April, Encod is co-supporting a protest action against the criminalisation of the coordinator of the French Cannabis Social Clubs, Dominique Broc, in Tours.
We received notice from the European Commission that Encod is no longer a member of their so-called ‘Civil Society Forum on EU Drug Policies’, as we failed to accomplish our bureaucratical obligations.
As a response we will organise the First Authentic European Civil Society Forum on Drug Policies during the next Encod General Assembly to be held from 21 to 23 June 2013 in Basque Country, Spain.
“People and only the people are the driving force in creating the world’s history”
More news to follow soon.