ANTWERP – The European coalition for just and effective drug policies (Encod) will play an active role in the annual UN CND meeting in Vienna (13-21 March). Five Encod representatives will join the discussion and Encod will set up an alternative media center to report on the proceedings and the spectacular developments in drug policy reform worldwide. During the High Level Segment of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Encod members will plant cannabis clones in front of UNO city.
The Encod press center will be staffed by Encod members from different European countries and an experienced media team including editors, cameramen, tv producers and social media experts. They will produce items and interviews that will be broadcast on the internet, along with press releases and live Twitter coverage. Encod coordinator Joep Oomen explains: ‘We want to show what goes on at the UN CND at this crucial moment in history, when countries like Uruguay, Spain and the US are turning away from the repressive war on drugs strategy, replacing it with pragmatic regulatory models.’
The Encod delegation will include US author Doug Fine (‘Hemp Bound‘, ‘Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution’), Dionisio Nuñez, Bolivian ex-minister of coca affairs, Urki Goñi, chairman of Ehkeef, Federation of Cannabis Social Clubs in the Basque Country, Spain, Slovenian drug policy activist Janko Belin, and Encod coordinator Joep Oomen from Belgium.
During the High Level Segment of the 57th Session, on March 13 and 14, Encod members will plant cannabis clones (sold legally in Vienna at a number of growshops) on the lawn in front of the entrance to UNO city, celebrating the legal breakthroughs on the cannabis front in a number of countries and territories worldwide. Joep Oomen: ‘Drug prohibition has been a total failure and the war on drugs is increasingly viewed as an ineffective and detrimental policy, causing and aggravating problems instead of solving them. The UN CND cannot carry on like it’s business as usual. The message is clear: we need real change and we need it now.’
Austrian and international media are welcome at the Encod press center to do interviews with experts and activists from four continents and learn more about Encod and recent developments in international drug policy. Please contact us in advance via firstname.lastname@example.org
Encod, based in Antwerp, Belgium, has been promoting just and effective drug policies since 1993. On December 6 last year, Encod presented a manifesto at the European Parliament in Brussels, containing ten recommendations to the European Council. These recommendations were made by the European Parliament in 2004, but have never been implemented.
Joep Oomen, co-ordinator
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