Janaki Mitrovski, lawyer and co-founder of the Cannabis and Green Policies Association “BILKA” from Skopje, author of articles in the legal magazines “Pravnik” and “Pravomatika”, wrote about different harm reduction policies in Republic of Macedonia for the Drugs – Politics and Practices magazine published by HOPS – Healthy options project Skopje.
Mitrovski spoke about differences in European countries, and he underline the most important thing – urgent implementing program for safe drug use facilities in Republic of Macedonia.
“In order to apply some of the existing models practiced or to establish a hybrid and an entirely different model of addressing this issue in the Republic of Macedonia, there are legal obstacles to be considered. Making possible drug use facilities, safe or not, is prohibited and is penalized with Article 216 from the Criminal Code of the Republic of Macedonia, according to which a person who shall provide spaces for the enjoyment of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances shall be punished with imprisonment from 1 to 5 years. A qualified (more severe) form of this act is considered extant if the same is done with respect to a minor person or with respect to a larger group of people or if the deed has caused serious consequences, in which case the doer will be punished with 1 to 10 years of imprisonment. If, however, the act is perpetrated by a legal person, the same will be punished with a fine, and the narcotic drugs, as well as all moveable properties or any real estate used for their transport or distribution, or if they are especially intended for or meant for use, will be confiscated.”
He drew attention for legal circumstances in criminal legal system and the result of international legal obligations Republic of Macedonia agreed to with the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as well as the 1988 Convention against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, decreed by the United Nations, which go as far as providing legal framework for the signatory countries to even confiscate such spaces.
“Unfortunately, the Republic of Macedonia does not allocate even approximately enough funding and has no political will to introduce such programs towards helping drug addicts with harm reduction, as well as protect the very users, but also society, from spread of unwanted diseases”, said Mitrovski.
He concluded that the Republic of Macedonia has to implement one program providing safe drug use spaces in the future, which will provide health benefit for users and also for the citizens.
The entire article “Implementing Different Harm Reduction Policies in the Republic of Macedonia – Safe Drug Use Facilities” is available following this link>>>