To: M. Antonio MARIA COSTA
United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Vienna International Centre
PO Box 500
A-1400 Vienna – Austria
France, 1st march 2009
Subject : World Patients Need for Cannabis Re-classification in ONU Convention
The coming UNODC meeting (Vienna 11-13 March 2009) is an occasion to express to you my deep patients’ hope concerning the evolution of Cannabis classification. Indeed, in 1961, ONU Convention classified Cannabis in Table I and IV which states it have no therapeutic potential. Nevertheless, in 2009, this is no longer true because a large scientific literature is now available regarding the therapeutic potential applications of cannabinoïds in human care.
Unfortunately, the actual Cannabis classification in the ONU Convention is used by national governments to systematically refuse the patients’ therapeutic use demands. I represent a singular case in France, where prohibition is probably one of the most vigorous in Europe. Attached to this letter, you will find a copy of French Health Ministry (French Agency for Medication and Safety – AFSSAPS) negative reply to my request, a derogation demand for using Dutch Medicinal Cannabis to treat my psychiatric disorder. As you will note, the first argument used by the AFSSAPS is the cannabis classification in ONU convention. Unfortunately it is often the first argument used in similar cases, not only in France but also in many democratic countries all over the world.
As I contest the AFSSAPS decision (see first page copy of my juridical report), which is contrary to the RIGHT TO HEAL, I have deposit a request to the Strasbourg Administrative Court. In addition to the 3000€ I have to pay annually for my Medicinal Cannabis treatment, delivered in pharmacy, I now have to defend my right to heal on court and pay for an additional 7000€. This trial will begin this year 2009, and will unfortunately last many years before I could get a trial at the European Human Rights Court. You will understand that my individual case is a very uncomfortable situation for an engineer, father of two young kids, citizen paying taxes and having to manage a complex disorder. I hope you will also understand that the ONU could help people like me, part of thousands of patients, to be protected against national political abuses. We are patients wishing to heal, not criminals.
I feel confident in the ONU capacity to protect people’s freedom. For that reason, the coming UNODC meeting in Vienna may mark the beginning of a new era for international drug policy. I hope the UNODC will look closely at the possible reclassification of Cannabis.
Please receive my deepest and sincere regards from France.
IACM, ENCOD and ADHD Deutschland Member
Copy : Dr F. Grotenhermen – Executive Director – IACM (International Association for Cannabis as Medicine)- Germany
Joep Oomen – President – ENCOD (European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies)- Belgium
Wolfgang Götz – Director – EMCDDA (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction)- Portugal