ENCOD’s Statement to the Civil Society Forum on Drugs and the European Commission about the
current situation in international drug policy and the need for regulation, based on Human Rights
and protection of Public Health
The European Union is in the process of drawing up a new strategy on drugs. For the first time a joint
declaration issued by the Civil Society Forum will be taken into account. In this short statement,
ENCOD assumes the responsibility to counter a false consensus that will prolong the current situation.
In order to break the persisting abdication of responsibility by national governments and supranational
organizations, ENCOD wishes to express its view :
1 – Based on scientific evidence, EU policies on drugs should adopt the global framework on drugs as
suggested in June 2011 by the Global Commission on Drug Policy.
Of the changes, proposed by the GCDP, these are the most concrete and important:
* National authorities and the UN need to review the scheduling of different substances.
The current schedules, designed to represent the relative risks and harms of various drugs, were set in
place 50 years ago when there was little scientific evidence on which to base these decisions. This has
resulted in some obvious anomalies – cannabis and coca leaf, in particular, now seem to be
incorrectly scheduled and this needs to be addressed.
* Replace the criminalization and punishment of people who use drugs with the offer of health and
treatment services to those who need them.
* Encourage experimentation by governments with models of legal regulation of drugs (with
cannabis, for example) that are designed to undermine the power of organized crime and safeguard
the health and security of their citizens.
2 – The EU should honestly confront the failure of 100 years of drug prohibition; study and analyse
the results of this failed policy; and propose new alternatives such as (including but not limited to):
* Legal regulation of drugs (to match the legal status of currently illegal drugs with that of alcohol and
* Increased access to opium-derived pain medications and medicinal cannabis
* Adoption of the Cannabis Social Club model to facilitate and regulate availability of cannabis to
medical and recreational users, and to reduce criminality associated with unregulated, illicit cannabis
growing and consumption
* Approve the “Friends of the Coca Leaf” model as a harm reduction measure.
3 – The European Union should join the leadership of Latin American countries to put legal regulation
of drugs on the table for a rational, science-based debate.
4 – By listening to the voices of the voiceless, by giving interest to millions of drug users and
producers, patients and recreational homegrowers in these five recommendations, the European Union
should improve its democratic functionning.
ENCOD, established in 1993, is a broad network of NGOs and individual members from 27 countries,
experts on the real, daily life situation, and engaged for just and effective drug policies.