Press release #2 | After Trump’s anti-drug call at the UN: let’s rethink international Cannabis law

Vienna, September 24th, 2018.

Trump_ Today, the United Nations celebrated 73rd years, with the opening of the General Assembly session. Early in the morning, President Donald Trump convened an informal meeting with heads of State, to present his so-called “Global Call to Action on drugs“, signed by 128 countries. Although this initiative is expected to become a flop, it was the opportunity for Trump to re-introduce wording that was part of the past, when asking countries to “Commit to fighting the drug epidemic” or calling for a “drug-free future”, applauded by peers such as the newly elected Colombian President Iván Duque (see tweets below).

US Trump meeting on Narcotics today with 128 member states signing up | Source: UN photos.

Regulations_ This happens in New-York while in parallel, Mexico City hosts the launch of a diametrically opposed document: the report “Regulation: The Responsible Control of Drugs” of the Global Commission on Drug Policy. As the Commission examined in detail how governments can take control of currently illegal drug markets through responsible regulation, Trump’s call appears to them as “represent[ing] an attempt to demonstrate a consensus that no longer exists, including among a number of the signatories.”

The Global Commission is a charity composed of former heads of States and governments, that beg their successors not to pursue the same path that led them to enforce “inefficient, costly and harmful policies”; namely prohibition.

Shifting away from counter-narcotics_ These outdated policies have been fueled by a context of unadapted and rigid international law, which (although being challenged by the legalization of Cannabis in Uruguay and Canada) still remains firm and united in stifling and limiting Countries’ policy reforms.

Global Goals week_ Starting today, the Global Goals Week is a collective effort held during the opening of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly and focused on driving progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals. Cannabis – both the very plant (hemp) and the social and economic implications of Cannabis policy reforms – is an essential element to consider for the achievement of the SDGs.

The International Cannabis Policy Conference, organized on December 7th-9th meters away from the UN drugs office in Vienna, will take stock of the state of reforms, and propose solution to shift away from the counter-narcotics approach, to a more humane and sustainable vision of Cannabis in our societies, building on the new frame offered by the Sustainable Development Goals.


“While Trump or others look with envy at the past, it is time for the planet to understand that Cannabis is, has been and will be embedded in our societies and ecosystems: let us make the most of it for shaping a sustainable future.” Kenzi Riboulet Zemouli, head of research at FAAAT (For Alternative Approaches to Addiction, Think & do tank).

“We need a calm and balanced debate to figure out how we can take the best out of this plant (fibers, food, medicines) while containing the personal harms and disarming the black market” Farid Ghehiouèche, co-organizer of the Conference, co-founder of FAAAT.

“The global cannabis prohibition is crumbling and will soon find its place in the history books beside the ‘Al Capone times’ of the alcohol prohibition” David Rosse, co-organizer of the International Cannabis Policy Conference.


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