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Why it is so hard to do good drug policy and why it is that some drugs are and some drugs aren't prohibited

Why it is so hard to produce good drug policy

A 1961 UN convention on drugs parallises world wide realistic policy making toward certain plants and drugs

For local governments it is impossible to under take (depending on local circomstances) regulating action to get controle over the illegal drugs market. Local governments are forced to produce incohernd policy (like we know in Holland and Belgium) because the 1961 convention took away nation states possibility's to pursue their own legislative policy.

For instance in Belgium, as a consequence of this, we have this shaky cannabis policy where 3 grammes of cannbis or one harvested plant gets lowest prosecution priority, but of course still is illegal. Belgium government try's to persue a more realistic policy toward cannabis consumers (of witch we have more and more since the 70's, in spite of prohibition), but the 1961 convention prevents governments to persue the policy's that are needed. Governments who, nevertheless, want to undertake measures and who want to conduct policy that dense at reality, must be creative.

As it is for cannabis consumers who, taking into acount these uncertain circomstances, have to be (very) creative (and brave). Draw Up Your Plant is a civilians initiative that try's, as our government try's, to make the best of it in spite of the circumstances.

All this is far from ideal. But let us turn around this story for the better. Away from what was arranged for us in 1961, 7 years befóre May '68. Not that I'm a big fan of May '68-ers, it's just to indicate from which time the international prohibitie dates. International prohibition is a dinosaur from times long flown, a fossil which it is not adapted to the current climate.

Can we please do something about this?


Why it is that some drugs are and some drugs aren't prohibited

Why it is that we have prohibition as we know it

My Cultere First!!!

1961: the United States and Russia rule the world

The 1961 UN convention on drugs prevents that state governments, where ever you go in this world, can persue legislative policy toward the products and plants that are prohibited by the convention.

The 1961 convention tells us something about power proportians back then. It was the age of the cold war with on one side The West under the guidance of the USA, and on the other side The East under the guidance of the USSR.

Alcohol and tobacco where the most popular drugs of choice in the American and Russian population. As well in the United States as in Rusia alcohol and tobacco where embedded in these country's respective cultures. It is not a coincidence that the 1961 convention spares alcohol and tobacco and keeps them off the list of prohibited plants and products.

International prohibition is an expression of dominant culture back then. The 1961 UN convention on drugs is about good culture and bad culture, about dominant culture and opressed culture, about mainstream culture and sub culture... I bet that If Saoudi Arabia had been a world power back then, alcohol would have been on the list too.

We don't have prohibition because of possible harms that can accompany the use of drugs, or because of dangerous or less dangerous drugs, or because of harmful and not so harmful drugs.

The 1961 convention is a product of her time. The drugs of choice of the population of the two world powers back then are not on the controlled substances list. The USA and USSR wheren't only dominant in the economic or military field. They where also dominant in the culturale field.

We got to get rid of what was arranged for us back in 1961, 7 years befóre May '68.

Not that I'm a fan of May '68-ers. It's just to give you a feel about what time in global history it is that international prohibition comes from.

The world looked quit different back then.

For Example

13/01/2007 , Het Laatste Nieuws

Brussels police intercepted 29 kilos of drugs

The police force of the Brussel-Elsene area has confiscated 29 kilogrammes of “qat” last Friday in Etterbeek. Qat are the leaves of the shrub Catha edulis which are chewed like tobacco or used to make tea, it has the effect of a euphoric stimulant

Qat was found in ceveral bags laying in the car. Brussels police was informed about the car heading their way. Two suspects where arrested for illegal import of qat. The suspects where in posession of Egyptian £ and carried bank account notes with them from ceveral different accounts.



International prohibition is a dinosour from times long flown

A fossil

Not adapted to the current climat

Can we please do something about this?



2007 IHRC Executive Program Committee

Trekt Uw Plant / Draw Up Your Plant

International Drug User Activists

Breakline Peer Support



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