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United Nations Side-Events and drug policy advocacy

Addressing United Nations

United Nations Side-Events

Ever since its inception, Science for Democracy has co-organised side-events at the United Nations in Vienna, on the occasion of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). The goal of this activity has been two-fold. On the one hand, scientific research is one of the main victims of drug prohibition, because scientists have little or no access to controlled substances, even though there is an ever increasing body of evidence that illegal drugs can be used in medicine. On the other hand the respect of human rights and fundamental liberties, another pillar of Science for Democracy’s action, is endangered by drug prohibition. The side-events organised in Vienna addressed these two issues.

At the 63rd CND, the two events were titled Social norms and rituals. Individual and collective self-regulation strategies in cannabis use and Human Rights Tools: Incorporating International Justice and Targeted Sanctions into Drug Policy.

At the 62nd CND, the two events were titled Science in context: freedom of research and practice with controlled substances and Alternative values, alternative facts: drug policy and justice as casualties in the struggle between authoritarianism and democracy.

Drug Policy Advocacy

Science for Democracy advocacy’s work aims at familiarising the general public with the damages of drug prohibition and the societal benefits of evidence-based drug policies.

This has for example taken the form of three letters to the Financial Times, which have been published in print and online:

Legalise drugs and the cartels go out of business, 25 February 2019

Let’s hear the candidates’ plans for policy on drugs, 12 June 2019

US is using drugs as a pretext for political gain, 1 April 2020


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