DRUG POLICY REFORM FRIENDLY REPORT APPROVED IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

The report includes some key recommendations that indicate the need to change the fundamental course of drug policies in Europe. Among others, it states that none of the objectives set by the former EU Anti-Drug Strategy (2000-2004) has achieved favourable results, and that the European Union
should draw political and legislative lessons from this when devising the new strategy.

The European Council, consisting of government delegates of the EU Member States, will adopt this strategy on 17 December. The draft of this strategy does not contain any indications that the Council is willing to change course. However, if the Parliament’s report is approved, this will become an important reference for civil society organisations and parliamentarians to put pressure on EU authorities in the coming years.

What if the European Council would take into account the report of the European Parliament Committee?

The report recommends, among others, to “increase research into the use of plants that are currently illegal or in a grey zone, like hemp, opium or coca leaves, for medicinal applications, food security, sustainable agriculture, generation of alternative energy sources, substitution for tree- or oil based products and other beneficial purposes.” Besides, it recommends to “increase the availability of harm reduction programmes among drug users” and “create a specific budget line in order to facilitate an
ongoing process of consultation with affected civil society organisations and independent professional experts about the impact of drug policies at the level of citizens.”

According to ENCOD, “the report of the LIBE Committee sends a very clear message to the European authorities and citizens. Europe is ready for a turning point in its approach to the global drugs issue. A political dilemma can be solved. For the first time in history, a parliament of such high reputation as the EP has expressed the need to end conventional thinking about drugs. We are close to the first major decision to stop the war on drugs.”