Join the ENCOD challenge to European governments participating in the UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem in New York, 19-21 april 2016.
Dear (name of MP),
We write to you as citizens* concerned with a huge problem that affects our country’s future. We ask you to take the lead in an effort to solve it.
This problem is drugs, or better said: drug policy.
On April 19, 20 and 21, 2016, the United Nations will hold a Special Session of the General Assembly on the World Drug Problem, in New York. This is a unique opportunity to take a close look at the impact of drug policy worldwide.
After half a century of prohibition, the production and distribution of drugs are mostly controlled by criminal organisations. Prohibition has created a counterproductive, costly and often corrupt apparatus of repression, with many negative consequences in terms of public health, human rights, safety, democracy, environment and economy.
Since approx. 100 years, it has always been the strategy of the United States government to establish a worldwide ban on drugs; for a long time, European governments resisted that strategy. Now the tides have turned. In the past few years, the regional authorities of several US states, as well as the government of Uruguay, have decided to legalise the production and distribution of cannabis. Their experience is that legal regulation provides benefits, not just to those directly involved, but to society as a whole.
We request you to organise prior to UNGASS a public hearing about the social, health and economic impact of drug policies on our society. Invite the first hand witnesses to this impact: consumers, small producers and their families; people whose lives have been affected seriously by the illegal environment around the drug trade. Include the testimony of judges, doctors, law enforcers, health care and prison workers, researchers, economists, people who can explain you the true impact of public expenditure on drugs and how this money could be better spent.
After this hearing, we ask you to formulate recommendations concerning the position that our country should defend at UNGASS in New York. Basically, it is important to answer the following question: Do the UN Conventions on Drugs of 1961, 1972 and 1988 provide a useful and legitimate framework to protect the global population from drug related harms?
Without a public screening of the impact of current drug policy on our society, and the potential benefits of a change of course, both government and parliament will fail to their responsibility to identify the best approach to a significant problem that deeply affects our society in many different ways. In that case, our country’s presence at UNGASS cannot be taken seriously.
Do you take our request seriously?
Please let us know by replying to this message.
Many thanks, best wishes
On behalf of ……….,