This report contains gathered data from the questionnaire designed for all members (or former members) of both European network and international network of ENCOD. The purpose of the questionnaire was to get an overview of our members, their wishes and capabilities/capacities in order to strengthen our network and collaborate more effectively and efficiently.
The response in the audit was scarce. Only 27 responses were recorded of total 149 members from 9 European countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Slovenia, UK, Italy, Spain).
Main activities of Encod’s members
Members who responded in the audit are mainly working on cannabis issues such as cultivating and providing cannabis to users; informing and publishing about cannabis research and medical use; supporting cannabis organizations and activists; taking care of community websites for CSC’s; lobbying and negotiating with governments; organizing events to support cannabis legalization; advocating for policy reform, users defense and harm reduction.
Additionally, Encod’s members are also working in improvement of drug policy issues concerning other illegal drugs, not just cannabis. They are offering support to users, providing or promoting antidotes and working on harm reduction programs.
What do members expect from Encod?
Encod should work on improvement of drug policies across Europe and internationally by addressing political structures. It should offer support and facilitate the cooperation of activists, take care for information-exchange and networking among members, as well as inform members about drug policy in individual member states. Members expect Encod to act as a representative at the EU and UN level and influencing the policies, by coordinating campaigns and presence at UNGASS and CND sessions.
Encod’s future preoccupation
According to the gathered information Encod should work on its presence at the European and international level:
- bridging politics and members
- enforce European debate on CSC’s
- take part at UNGASS
- review UN 2019
- obtain ECOSOC status
- merge with the Informal European NGO Network for progressive drug policies
- be a voice for those that are not represented in the EU parliament
Encod should focus on:
- getting all plants off the drug schedules
- decriminalization and depenalization of drug use
- eliminating the biases towards drug users
- getting sane information to the people
- pushing the argument “no victim no crime” and exposing the costs of prohibition
- protection of the cannabis biodiversity and obstruction of all attempts to monopolize plants
- regulation of cannabis
- other traditional ethnobotanical substances
- pointing out the medical potentials of cannabis (especially in relation to synthetic cannabinoids)
Concerning the internal structure Encod should:
- re-launch the ENCOD micro-funding possibilities
- rename as DECOD: “Drug policy European Committee of Organizations for Development – For just and effective drug policies”
- improve the structure and prepare for long time activities
- pay more attention to fund raising, perhaps even employ a skilled fund raiser that is paid from a percent of the funds raised
- create an informative website that has useful information per country (HR organisations, phone numbers of lawyers, short info on legal status of drugs, contact info of CSC’s)
Suggestions for improvements
Encod’s member suggest to broaden the movement, which will bring in also more money (memberships) and talk to the “big players in society”, as well as be present at an European level. To strengthen the collaboration with other organization and be more present in the media (twitter, instagram, or online journalists) by hiring a communication manager (Bas Tielens). Encod should also work more with other traditional psychoactive substances, harm reduction and policy reform NGO’s.
Members wish for more interactivity between members such as working group meetings on CSC’s and a database of speakers with descriptions of their area of knowledge. Online marketing is seen as very uncoordinated and without real protocol, so we should engage a knowledgeable person the role of coordinating manager. We should try to set up a place for Encod’s where public events could be organized (conferences and meetings on different topics, with more regularity than GA) and a TV and video set where we could broadcast presentations, debates, drug news, etc.
- contact lawyers in each country who would support members free of charge due to a noble cause.
- contact Banksy (grafitti artist) to do a piece on UNGASS 2016
- print more flyers and spread them more effective (more visible places and more frequent drop-offs)
- send newsletters per post
- leave space in monthly bulletins for presentation of member organizations and their work
- inform about differences between CSC’s and coffee-shops
- make Encod more participative and interesting for more investments (maybe internet tools, more thematic working groups, regional groups)
- reinvest the official places of discussion, exchange and debate regarding drug policies (HDG, CSF, VNGOC, NYNGOC, etc)
- not permit those that have taken on a role in the Steering Committee to miss more than 3 Skype meetings or to not provide requested information in a timely manner. Failure to do so, means they should be expelled from the Steering Committee and a nomination for a replacement being invited by the remaining Steering Committee members
- make presentations at UN and EU drug policy meetings and conferences
- more fund raising and applications from suitable donors
- more presence of the CSC concept
- give the members an opportunity to present their activities
Encod’s members have access to several human resources: drug users, experts on production, medical professionals, researchers (social sciences), lawyers, politicians, local officials, translators, audio-video experts and web-masters.
Members are able to offer support in the following fields:
- publishing statements, press releases, videos etc. from Encod and its members
- sharing information
- lobbying for more members
- contacts with experts groups that could work with Encod
- take part in the annual assembly and pay annual membership fees
- support activities in Germany
- online assistance for petitions
- spreading flyers and posters
- making translations Eng, Fr, Deu, Dutch
Encod’s members fund themselves mostly from donations, membership fees, income from cultivation of cannabis or shops, advertising and public funds. Our members are prepared to pay yearly membership to Encod ranging from 50€ – 1500€. Members can offer support to raise funds for specific projects.
Encod’s members can offer the following resources:
- contacts of experts and people in universities.
- huge discount on organic fertilizers
- offering meeting rooms and cheap accommodation close to Brussels
- an office in Berlin (not suitable for private meetings or sleepover)
- discount on products for CSC
- a large house that can hold meetings for up to 20 people, with camping possible in Eitorf Germany
- support in social networks
- working staff, spacious meeting venue, transport vehicle and accommodation in Altea Spain
- free seeds
- writing and drawing skills (Rose Labrouste)
The information on funding opportunities was scarce. The suggestions of members are:
- seed companies
- Richard Branson
- big companies present at Cultiva or Spannabis
- plenty of advertisers and funders, but for determined or specific projects