EUROPEAN CITIZENS' INITIATIVE
While cannabis has become a worldwide debate over the last decades, the European Union somehow managed to avoid it. It cannot do so anymore.
As underlined by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, the lack of harmonisation of European Member States’ cannabis policies has led to “a heterogeneous 'legal map' regarding cannabis offences: some countries or regions tolerate certain forms of possession and consumption; other countries apply administrative sanctions or fines; while still others apply penal sanctions”(1).
Liberticidal policies pursued in certain Member States turn quiet citizens into offenders or criminals, while other European citizens are free to use cannabis in their Member States. The question of coherence and discrimination is worth asking.
The ECI Weed like to talk aims at making the EU solve this problem by adopting a common policy on the control and regulation of cannabis production, use and sale.
Cannabis use is a matter of every citizen’s freedom of opinion and right of control over his or her own body, as in the case of alcohol and tobacco. It has been shown many times that the health risks of cannabis are much lower than that of legal drugs used for recreational purposes (alcohol, tobacco) and medical purposes (pain killers, psychoactive medication). Yet cannabis is still considered as a narcotic drug and therefore a “punishable offence” by the United Nations (2), although this classification is more and more disputed (3).
Drug trafficking is in no way the cause, but rather the result, of repressive State policies: the troubles it brings are the logical consequences of drug prohibition, not of an intrinsic “evil” character of cannabis.
The reasons alleged to protect public health are contradicted in theory and in practice.
Prohibition has increased cannabis use and resulted in serious damages to public health and security.
Cannabis in and of itself is not the problem, but the renouncing of a debate and a European policy is. Its regulation in the EU is incoherent and unworthy of the Union’s values, whatever governments argue and whatever mask they use to hide behind.
(1). European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, “Legal topic overviews: possession of cannabis for personal use”.
(2). 1971 United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances
(3). For a thorough analysis of cannabis policies and the failure of the war on drugs, see the report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, “The War on Drugs and HIV/AIDS, How the Criminalization of Drug Use Fuels the Global Pandemic”, June 2012.
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