Encod Press Release, 19 November 2012
Drug policy in the Republic of Slovenia and the case of Božidar Radišić
ENCOD Statement to the authorities of Slovenia
Minister of the Interior VINKO GORENAK
Minister of Health TOMAŽ GANTAR
Minister of Justice and Public Administration SENKO PLIČANIČ
The Judicial Council of the RS
At the European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies (Encod) we closely monitor developments in the field of drug policy, enforcement of drug users and the violation of their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Republic of Slovenia.
The case of Božidar Radišić, an activist in the field of drug policy, as well as an advocate of the use of medical cannabis, who was taken into custody on the 21st of September 2012 for possession of five (5) cannabis plants (that were seized at the same time) and unproven suspicion of intention of re-sale, is an example of the daily practice of unfounded and unjust prosecution of cannabis users in the Republic of Slovenia.
Božidar has been on hunger strike from the 21st of September 2012 up to this date.
The statistics of the treatment of drug users (especially cannabis users) in the area of Prekmurje, where Bozidar Radišić resides, show 30% misdemeanors and 70% offenses, as opposed to the rest of the country with the average of 70% misdemeanors and 30% offenses. It is therefore perfectly clear that the authorities of law enforcement in Prekmurje tend to harshly criminalize especially the cannabis users.
We, the European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies (Encod), strongly believe that, regardless of the final court decision, a detention of several months for possession of five (5) cannabis plants and the excessive enforcement of legal provisions is a highly disproportionate measure which shows the intolerance to drug users and especially activists for the changes in the current drug policy of Slovenia.
Božidar Radišić is not a drug dealer. He is a man who is committed to the open dialogue on the topic of cannabis and on the basic and inalienable right of every individual to freely decide what he does with his own body. Prolonged detention of a political activist means suppression of democratic dialogue, it means intimidation of all of those who are committed to social change, and at the same time it means the stigmatization and criminalisation of users of cannabis, as well as of other drugs.
The European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies (Encod) calls on the competent authorities in the Republic of Slovenia to act in accordance with the practice of other member states of the European Union and therefore abolish the detention of all users of illegal drugs which have been – as Božidar Radišič – put into detention for possession and suspicion of re-sale without evidence.
We also remind you of your responsibility to protect the physical integrity and health of Bozidar Radišić, as well as of other detained users of illicit drugs, with a special emphasis to the cannabis users in the area of Prekmurje and of the Police Authority and Court in Murska Sobota. They are citizens of Slovenia, and as such deserve a fair and human treatment.
We have informed and will continue to inform all relevant EU institutions on the developments in the field of drug policy and enforcement of drug users in Slovenia and especially in the case of Božidar Radišić.
We look forward to your reaction.
ENCOD Steering Committee
Jan Vindheim Boyer