To celebrate our style the 4/20 or 420 (20th of April)*, our European Say No To Drugs Teams decided to inform at large the population of their main cities about the harmful effects that drug use (and not only abuse !) represents for Health, and worst when this is concerning youngster.
It’s a good time to look again at the world decisions adopted -and sometimes forgotten- by the States to effectively address and counter the world drug problem:
President of INCB – Vienna, 7 November 2018
Finally, the drug control conventions, as they were negotiated and agreed by the
international community, “limit exclusively to medical and scientific purposes the production,
manufacture, export, import, distribution of, trade in, use and possession of drugs”. This
limitation is defined as a general obligation within the 1961 and 1971 conventions and leaves
no room for derogation of any nature.
In the past few years, the restriction of use to medical and scientific purposes has been
challenged through the adoption by two States of legal frameworks for the legalization and
regulation of cannabis for non-medical use. As the body responsible for monitoring compliance with the three international drug control conventions, INCB has cautioned that these measures are fundamentally inconsistent with the obligations of State Parties to the drug control conventions and constitute a serious violation of the conventions.
Excerpt** of the Statement by Dr. Viroj Sumyai,
President of the International Narcotics Control Board,
Convention on the Rights of the Child (Resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989)
« States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislative, administrative, social and educational measures, to protect children from the illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as defined in the relevant international treaties, and to prevent the use of children in the illicit production and trafficking of such substances. »
So, here after are the grassroots drug prevention education initiative actions taken by some of the European volunteers of our Say No To Drugs European groups on this Weed Day. Their purpose: to reduce the drug demand through education, providing the youth and people with the right data and facts on what the drugs really are, including cannabis and alcohol, and what they do to the individuals.
Indeed, education is the cornerstone of change and only when truly informed can individuals make lasting decisions to live a drug-free, ethical and respectful lives in harmony with others.
In the frame of this Day the countries participating were:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, England (with London and Brighton), France South, Germany, Greece, Italy (in 13 cities), Russia, Spain, Switzerland (Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich), Ukraine.
-312 volunteers of the different Say No To Drugs associations and groups mobilized across Europe,
-89,500 booklets from the campaign The Truth About Drugs were distributed in streets, parcs and malls,
-357 shops were visited and accepted to help the volunteers to spread the data and inform their clients,
-a drug prevention conference was delivered in a school to 200 students at this occasion.
To conclude, the final word will be taken from a presentation of the UNODC Executive Director on 26 June 2018:
« By listening to the needs of children and young people, prevention can contribute to their safety, health and well-being, and enable them realize their potential. »
(*) This started in 1971 with five high school students friends at San Rafael High School in Marin County, California, who called themselves « the Waldos, » would often meet at 4:20 p.m. and then became a code meaning to consume cannabis. This 4/20 Day is also known as the Weed Day.
(**) United Nations – International Narcotics Control Board – 7 Nov 2018 – President – 5th intersessional meeting of the sixty-second session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Vienna, 7 November 2018 : « Fostering a united approach to the effective implementation of the three international drug control conventions ».