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[ cerca in archivio ] ARCHIVIO STORICO RADICALE
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Sengers Wijnand J. - 1 aprile 1989
by Wijnand J.Sengers

(First preliminary English edition - April 1989 - 76 pages - Special number of the EMNDP-Newsletter, ISSN 1011-1336

(This document is subdivided in 10 texts within Agora'. To retreive the texts please digit the key-word "drug policy").

2.01 According to the U.N. and her Agencies.

2.02 According to the European Community (Council, Commission and Parliament.

2.03 According to the Council of Europe.

2.04 According to the individual governments of the European states.

2.05 According to local authorities.

2.06 According to police and customs.

2.07 According to the public prosecutors and the Courts.

2.08 According to (inter)national drughelp organisations. 2.09 According to (inter)national professional bodies.

2.10 According to drugusers and their associations.

2.11 According to reports or publications not given in 2.01 u/i 2.10.

2.12 According to opponents of current drug policy (Concerned Citizins Drug Study and Educational Society, CO.R.A., EMNDP, DPF, I.P.D.C., NORML, League against Prohibition)).

2.01 According to the United Nations and the World Health Organisation

2.01.1 United Nations

Trafficking in narcotics and drug abuse constitute an obstacle to the physical and moral wellbeing of peoples and of youth in particular

2.01.2 World Health Organisation

The ICD 9 (of the WHO) and DSMIIIR (of the APA) are undecided on a definition of "addiction", so too on the characteristics of "addiction" as an ailment. With respect to psychoactive substances, there is now cooperation in the preparation stages of the revision of these classification systems (resp. ICD 10 and DSM IV).

Guidelines for the Control of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances in the Context of the International Treaties/ by Bror Rexed, Samson [et al.]. Geneve: World Health Organisation, 1984 141 p.: 24 cm. ISBN 9241541725.

from: Summary of WHO policy (...) nr WHO/NAPD86/WP6 pp 3 and 4. See

. Problem assessment and policy formulation

. Research and technology development

. Assessement, adaptation and promotion of appropriate technology.

2.08 According to international drug caregiving organisations:

The ICAA (International Council on Alcohol and Addictions) discusses the drug problematic at annual conferences; the conference report is published by the ICAA.

2.12 According to the EMNDP, the DPF, CO.R.A. and other nonpolitical opposition movements:

a/ European Movement for the Normalization of Drug Policy (EMNDP)

b/ Drug Policy Foundation (DPF), Washington

c/ CO.R.A. (Italy)

d/ Concerned Citizins' Drug Study and Educational Society (Canada)

e/ NORML (USA en Canada)

f/ I.P.D.C. (Portugal)

g/ League against Prohibition

h/ Authors

a. Drug problematic according to the European Movement for the Normalization of Drug Policy:

I. Consequences of the penal prohibition of drugs

(a). The prohibiting of all forms of drug use, possession and dealing of drugs, means that individuals who are involved with drugs are acting illegally, they therefore risk being caught, persecuted and sentenced. Any such person is criminalized, no matter whether the individual is a user, a small dealer or a member of one of the international drug syndicates. If the individual's involvement with drugs comes to light, the community's reaction is often one of severe stigmatization toward the individual.

(b). Supply and demand of illicit drugs create a black market. Thus quality and prices are uncontrollable. The government can therefore never guarantee the quality of these drugs.

(c). Because of (b) the consequences of drug use are determined on one hand, by the 'primary consequences', the drug's toxicity (sometimes caused by impurities!) and/or the risk of dependence; and on the other hand, by the 'secondary consequences', their illegality. The more certain practices are stigmatized within a social environment, the greater the weight given by the factor of illegality to the total of the effects of drug use and the circumstances in which the individual finds him/herself.

(d). By far the most harmful consequences of the use of illicit drugs, are those of the secondary kind. These are the unintended consequences of drug policies.

(e). From this follows that national ratifications of the U.N. Conventions concerning drugs, should entail that government control of the quality of drugs be as extensive as possible and that the risks for users be as limited as possible. In reality we see the opposite: no government has any influence on the quality, availibity and prices of these drugs.


The internationally prevailing repressiveprohibitionist policy does not solve problems but creates new ones.

The policy is drugoriented (it is always the drugs that are talked about; the essential delinquency is personal drugconnectedness).

Current international drug policy presuppose harmful effects of drugs which do not correspond with scientific findings.

International drug policies are determined by a rather small group of individuals (United Nations Drug Abuse Control Machinery). "Harm reduction" is an explicit aim only in Dutch policy.

Health care for the addicted is always seen as secondary; there is a remarcable lack of interest in the very difficult life circumstances of addicted users.

Users are criminalized and stigmatized. They become a marginal group in society (a socially dangerous situation not only for the users themselves but for the society as a whole. Aids is only one exemple!)

b/ According to the Drug Policy Foundation (Washingon D.C.)

c/ CO.R.A. (Italy). CO.R.A. is part of Italian's Radical Party and strongly concerned with all unacceptable consequences of current international drug policy. CO.R.A. is till now the only political movement that organised international antiprohibitionistic conferences and was one of the organising initiators of the International Laegue against Prohibition (April 1989).

d/ Concerned Citizins' Drug Study and Educational Society (Canada)

e/ NORML (USA and Canada)

f/ I.P.D.C. (Portugal)

g/ International League against Prohibition. Founded the 1st April 1989 in Roma. It is a worldwide league of alle people and movements argueing for a more adaequate drug policy. President: prof dr Marie Andrée Bertrand (University of Montreal, Canada). Coordinating Secretary: Peter Cohen. Address of the secretariat (JeanLuc Robert): 93, Rue Belliard (Bat. Rom 508), 1040 Brussels. Tel 32.2.2304121. Fax 32.2.2303670

Charter of this League:

1. Prohibited drugs are ever more widely available, in an ever widening circle of crime.

2. Prohibition has failed. The failure is acknowledged by the national legislatures and international bodies especially the United Nations that give the lead on drug policies.

3. Prohibition has created the illegal drug trade and the groups that profit from it.

4. The criminal drugs trade is multinational, extending from North America to Europe, to the Middle East, to Asia, North Africa and especially to Latin America.

5. The dominant organisations called cartels, triads, mafias, families threaten private peace and political stability throughout the world.. Repressive actions by state agencies make the dangerous worse.

6. The failure of prohibition had transformed a question of personal choice and personal health into a worldwide drama. The crime that results also endangers ordinary citizins, their safety and their civil liberties.

7. Never have bad laws, even if made with good intend, had such

ill effects since the United States introduced their prohibitionist policy on alcohol in 1919.

8. The modern version of prohibition has turned great cities into battlefields, without safegarding those whom it was intended to protect. Those tempted by hard drugs are thrust into criminality and disease, the wordt being AIDS. Casual users are at risk of imprisonment, regular users are driven to crime to finance their habit, ordinary citizins are put in danger.

9. The cost of the failed attempt to prohibit some drugs, while allowing the advertisement and sale of others such as alcohol and tobacco, is universal and vast.

10. Freedom itself is rapidly being undermined by the enforcement of the laws against drugs, to win no advantage for individuals or for society.

11. We, the undersigned, at the Founding Congress of the International League against Prohibition, commit ourselves to the following objectives:

a. to coordinate people and organisations in the social, scientific and poloitical fields, who support the objectives of the League;

b. to disseminate information and understading on policies concerning drugs and on the harm caused by the present system of prohibition and its consequences for criminality;

c. to challenge the arguments and policies that maintain the prohibitionism at present practised by the United Nations and its agencies under the existing Conventions;

d. to initiate and support actions at international and national level to dimantle the system of prohibition.

g/ Authors: see chapter 5

Russell Newcombe (personal letter 3 Febr 1989):

"I believe that the main problem is society's criminalization of drug users, which not only causes many drug users to 'hide' their drug use from others, but also means that many drug users who are identified end up with a criminal record or in prison, which does nothing to help them or society. Of course, the major problem at 'the other end' of the drug scene is the growth of organized crime and corruption of public officials that stems from the illicit drug trade."

Argomenti correlati:
Drug Policy Foundation
drug policy
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