Encod press release March 6, 2015
VIENNA – Between March 9 and 17, Encod, the European coalition for just and effective drug policies, will attend the 58th session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna. At this UN summit on the course of drug policies worldwide, Encod will present first hand testimonies on the impact of drug prohibition on the lives of citizens.
On Monday, March 9th, a side event will present the results of studies carried out in Slovenia and France into the impact on human rights and public health of the criminalization of cannabis users in these countries. The event will focus on crucial arguments that will help to avoid harmful effects of drug policy and contribute to a more evidence-based and humane approach.
On Thursday, March 12th, the second side event will highlight the review made by patients themselves on the medicinal values of the cannabis plant and the importance of installing a legal framework to facilitate the use of cannabis for these purposes.
Encod is grateful to the United Nations for the opportunity to present the delegates at the UN summit with a rare chance to listen directly to people whose lives have been seriously affected by drug prohibition. We believe it’s crucial that governments take into account the voices of those citizens whose lives have been ruined due to 60 years of global mismanagement of the drug issue.
As Encod we believe that the freedom to farm i.e. the protection of the right of any adult to possess and grow any plant they choose is a crucial element of an effective alternative system to the war on drugs, which has, as we know today, been an utter failure. In this alternative system the priority should be on the protection of people, not profits. The concept of harm reduction is in principle incompatible with drug prohibition, as prohibition itself causes the majority of drug related harms.
Janko Belin, one of the Encod delegates for the UN CND, explains: “Since the introduction of the Harm Reduction concept in the late eighties, we can see how the paradigm has changed from outright repression towards a medical treatment orientated approach. But we want to live in a world where traditional plants and extracts can be used by any adult without fear of being considered or treated as a criminal.”
Encod welcomes all delegates and journalists to attend these side events. The following Encod members will speak: from Slovenia Maja Kohek, Andrej Kurnik and Janko Belin, from Italy Enrico Fletzer and Alberto Sciolari, from Austria Toni Straka and from the Netherlands Derrick Bergman.
Monday March 9, 13.10-14.00, Conference Room MOE100:
Report on the criminalization of cannabis users in Europe
(in partnership with ONEJ! – Association of Prekmurje Initiative Slovenia and Cannabis Sans Frontières France)
Thursday March 12, 13.10-14.00, Conference Room MOE79:
Medical perspectives of cannabis: a patients review
(in partnership with Pazienti Impazienti Cannabis Italy and Hanf-Institut Austria)
For further information please contact:
Janko Belin (Encod, Drustvo Areal) phone +386 70 133 804
Toni Straka (Encod, Hanf-Institut) phone +43 676 69 66664
Joep Oomen (Encod) phone +32 495 122 644 email@example.com