European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies
In 1993, following the request of the European Commission, 14 organizations working in the field of drugs founded the European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies. During two decades, Encod grew into a platform of 150 members, organizations, companies and citizens who want an end to the war on drugs. With lobby, actions and information we have strengthened their voice at the United Nations, the European Union and on the national and local level.
Our struggle has entered a crucial phase. Recently various regions and countries all over the world have started to implement alternatives for drug prohibition. Change is in the air. But what will future drug policies look like? Will they take into account the interests of ordinary citizens?
After many years of lobbying inside the Brussels bureaucracy, Encod achieved a first major victory in the European Parliament in December 2004, when the ‘Catania report’ was approved by a majority of MEP’s (Members of the European Parliament). This report proposes a radical change in EU drug policy and advocates harm reduction and a scientific and balanced approach instead of maintaining drug prohibition. It also recommends involving civil society organizations in the design and implementation of drug policy.
For more information see: https://encod.org/en/actions-events/campaigns/eu-lobby-campaign/catania-report-european-parliament-2004/
Since 2006 Encod promotes the concept of Cannabis Social Clubs (CSC). These are associations of citizens who organize the cultivation of a limited amount of cannabis to satisfy their personal needs, through a closed circuit of production and distribution on a non-profit basis. CSC’s now operate legally in Spain, whereas initiatives to obtain a legal status are carried out in several other countries. More and more Europeans discover the CSC as the perfect tool to show how legalization could look like. For more information see: https://cannabis-social-clubs.eu
From 2007 onwards, the European Commission started a dialogue with civil society on drug policy. ENCOD has always played a crucial role in the establishment of this dialogue. We will do everything to ensure that it will be a sincere dialogue, accessible to all citizens.
ENCOD fights for fairer drug policies respecting the rights of users, providing information and education. Our approach is threefold: societal, informational, and regulatory. As for societal, we offer support to the various European initiatives that protect the rights of people who use drugs and who organise actions and campaigns to highlight violations of these rights. Next to that we offer educational information and ideas related to drugs to the general public and to institutions through our various broadcast channels. Finally, ENCOD positions itself within the European dialogue, joining roundtables, to promote just and effective drug regulation in and around the EU.
Drug prohibition should be replaced by a rational and balanced approach as the only sensible way of reducing drug related problems. Ending the war on drugs will improve the living standards of hundreds of millions of people, while significantly diminishing one of the major income sources of organized crime.