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Sep 7, 2007


published Thursday 6 September 2007 10:48, by Joep.

update Thursday 6 September 2007 16:16

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In June 1998, in a Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly held in New York, the governments of the world announced a 10-year strategy to achieve significant and measurable results in the fight against drugs by the year 2008.

Among others, the strategy included the purpose of eliminating or significantly reducing the illicit cultivation of the coca bush, the cannabis plant and the opium poppy by the year 2008.

In March 2008, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs will meet in Vienna to review the results of the strategy.

In the past ten years, it has become obvious for everybody that this strategy has failed completely, even in the countries that enforced it most strictly. Drug supply and demand are rising systematically throughout the world, sometimes even spectacularly as in the case of Afghanistan. Meanwhile the policy of prohibiting drugs has led to violent conflicts, violation of human and civil rights, criminalisation and stigmatisation of entire populations, social and health disasters such as the spread of HIV, as well as to the increase of organised crime.

To eliminate plants would threaten the biological and cultural diversity of the planet. Hemp, coca leaves and opium have many medicinal, nutritional and other useful applications. The legal cultivation of these plants can support small-scale agriculture that operates without state support and promotes sustainable development.

Vienna 2008 is the perfect opportunity for all those citizens who want new solutions to the global drugs problem.

In Vienna in March 2008, we can show the world there is much more to fear from drug prohibition than from a tolerant alternative.

Our plan is to organise a 3 day "Global Village for a Different Drug Policy" in Vienna during the period in which the UN meeting will be held.(final dates will be confirmed in October).

We would like to invite you to participate in one of the planned events of this village:

1. An exposition on the culture and beneficial use of plants that are prohibited by the UN Drug Conventions.

We hope to count with the presence and/or collaboration of companies involved in the organisation of hemp fairs around Europe, as well as companies and organisations who promote the beneficial and responsible use of hemp/cannabis, mushrooms, coca leaves etc.

2. A scientific conference with the purpose of making a psychoanalysis of current drug policy. Is prohibition based on a primitive instinct that has lost its legitimacy long ago?

We hope to count with the presence of experts (researchers, representatives of affected communities etc.) who can shed some light on the reasons why drug prohibition is continued in spite of the many evidences that prove it to be a total failure.

3. A demonstration to the UN building in Vienna: Cures Not Wars.

We hope to count with the presence of thousands of activists, as well as musicians and artists.

In 2003, ENCOD organised a similar event, during the mid-term evaluation meeting of the 1998 strategy.

If you are interested to collaborate with us in the organisation of this event, please contact us before 8 October 2007. More news will follow soon.

Looking forward to hear from you!

ENCOD - Lange Lozanastraat 14 - 2018 Antwerpen - Belgium

Tel: +32 (0)3 293 0886 - Mob: +32 (0)495 122 644



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