Media coverage on cannabis regulation in Serbia

Statement of the Minister of Health Dr Zlatibor Lončar that Serbia will regulate cannabis in line with the decision of the UN Committee on Narcotic Drugs triggered a lot of attention in the country.

Our Executive Director Milutin Milošević was invited to comment speculations that legalisation of cannabis may benefit those accused in the famous case of production of marijuana in the organic food farm Jovanjica” at the Nova S TV station. The segment from their news is available (in Serbian) following this link>>>.

Milutin was then invited for a talk with Prof Dr Vladimir Kovčin at the cable channel K1 where most of the attention was given to medical benefit of marijuana and possibilities to regulate it in Serbia.

 

The departure day

This page will be updated during the day, as the events happen

Side events

Human rights tools: Incorporating international justice and targeted sanctions into drug policy

Organized by DRCNet Foundation and Forum Droghe Associazione Movimento per il Contenimento dei Danni

The event was about the situation in The Philippines where rights of drug users are violated. There were more than 30.000 acknowledged and 20.000 unofficial killings recently and extended attack on political opposition and media.

Also, situation in Bangladesh, where people are killed for both sex and drug crimes.

Good practices in cross-sectoral cooperation: Civil society involvement in policymaking in Europe

Organized by Finland and Spain, and Civil Society Forum on Drugs in Europe, Correlation – European Harm Reduction Network, European Union, Foreningen for Human Narkotikapolitikk, International Drug Policy Consortium, Rights Reporter Foundation and Youth Organisations for Drug Action

Civil Society Forum on Drugs members are selected by the European Commission. CSFD representative presented a variety of activities they had.

Elina Kotovirta, Finish representative talked about cooperation with CSFD in 2019, when they held the EU presidency – in preparations for the Ministerial segment last year. Both sides evaluated cooperation as a very good one.

The representative of Norway Carl-Erik Grimstad, member of the Parliament, started his presentation raising the shirt with message “Nothing about us without us”. The civil society representatives gave a significant contribution in defining a new drug policy. He underlined that the key change needed is de-stigmatisation. Decriminalisation that is about to be adopted is a step in that direction. He encourages community organisations to take the lead in this process.

Arild Knutsen, leader of the Norwegian Association for Humane Drug Policy, drug user almost all his life. He was recently seen as a garbage of the society, but now he finds himself a source of the society. He spoke about the process of changes and spoke so positive about cooperation they have with politicians, parliamentarians and ministries. “Our drug policy is just humane!”

Milutin asked two questions:

  • Is it OK that EU institution decides about who will be civil society representatives in the CSFD?
  • Do you work with candidate countries? Acquis have only a narrow view on the issue of drugs – almost exclusively drug supply.

The Finish representative explained process of electing CSFD members and promised to propose finding a model of involving the civil society itself in that process. She also mentioned some ways of cooperation with accession countries (cooperation with EMCDDA, twinning projects) and agreed that most of the relation is on supply demand.

 

Meetings

Civil society organisations had informal dialogues with CND Chair, Director of UNODC and INCB Chairman.

Informal meeting of the European Citizens’ Initiative to change regulation on cannabis was held at the CND. The text of the initiative is in the final stage. The main challenge is how to collect million signatures in EU.

IDPC invited organisations active in the “Support. Don’t Punish” campaign for a meeting to discuss developments and the upcoming 2020 Global Day of Action. The International day of action will be celebrated for the eight time. The call for expression of interest will be issued on 16 March and opened for a month. The process will be the same as recent year(s). There was a call for projects in October 2019 where 84 projects were submitted but IDPC had resources to support only 6 of them.