ENCOD invites the representatives of the media to a Press Conference with some organisers and speakers of the conference in Cafe Landmann, Dr. Karl Lueger Ring 4, 1010 Vienna
Time: Friday 7 March – 11.00 hs
It is time to end the “war on drugs” and start new approaches in drug policy. Current prohibition of drugs creates more problems than it solves. This is a reality that most governments are not willing to face.
At the occasion of the meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, with the purpose of evaluating the results of a ten year strategy that was decided upon in New York in 1998, ENCOD (European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies) has organised a counterevent from 7 to 9 March 2008.
According to ENCOD, the time is ripe for non-repressive strategies in drug policy. Strategies that do not damage the health of consumers and do respect the rights of citizens. One of the demands is to respect the right of all adult citizens in the world to use natural plants for own consumption. That would include the creation of legal outlets for the production and use of hemp, opium and cocaplants.
Goal of the UN strategy has been to eliminate the international drugs trade before 2008, through erradication of drug production and dramatic reduction of the demand of drugs. The results of this 10 year strategy will now be evaluated in the meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna from 10 to 14 March.
Nobody denies the fact that since 1998, both the supply and the demand for illegal drugs have increased. According to UN estimations, the worldwide market for illegal drugs 400 to 500 billions are earned each year with the sale of illegal drugs. As production costs represent less than 1 % of the street price, the profit margins of the drugs industry are enormous. The income of criminal organisations that are active in the drug trade exceed the BNP of many nations.
Also the costs of drug prohibition are enormous. Independent experts estimate the yearly expenses that are made only by police and justice to maintain drug prohibition to be more than 40 billion euro. Nevertheless there is no evidence that these operations have any measurable effect on drug related criminality.
On the other hand the regulation of drugs production and trade within a legal framework will take the control on the drugs market out of the hands of the criminal organisations.
In order to raise awareness on these issues, ENCOD has taken the initiative of the counterevent, which is expected to attract a great number of international participants.
Friday 7 March, at 17.00, a Drug Peace March will take off from Praterstern to the Vienna International Centre. From there, the participants will bring their demands to the embassies of among others USA, China and Afghanistan.
At 21:00 am afterparty will take place in the ARENA, with several international bands and DJ’s.
On Saturday and Sunday, a conference with (inter)national drug policy experts will take place in the “altes AKH” (Audience Room C1). There will be sessions on following themes, among others:
Drug prohibition a convenient lie – the origin of drug prohibition as a tool of political power – the effects of drugs on the human brain – new developments in the medicinal applications of cannabis, the use of ibogaine in the treatment of drug addiction etc.
You can find a detailed programme here.
ENCOD is an independent NGO, that was founded in order to bring more transparency and democratic control in the design and implementation of drug control policies.
For more information please contact the following people:
Telephone in Austria: +43 (0) 699 816 12676
Telephone in Belgium: +32 (0) 495 122 644
Telephone in Austria: +43 (0) 681 1036 0480
Telephone in Austria: +43 (0) 699 1622 8661