Proceedings of the antiprohibitionist Conference organized by the International Antiprohibitionist League and the Transnational Radical Party at the European Parliament on 15 – 17 October 2002.

On 15 and 16 October 2002, the International Antiprohibitionist League (IAL) and the Transnational Radical Party (TRP), together with the network of legislators called Parliamentarians for Antiprohibitionist Action (PAA) organized an international gathering at the European Parliament to launch an international mobilization for the antiprohibitionist reform of the UN Conventions on drugs and against prohibitionist laws on alcohol.

The Conference saw the participation of politicians and antiprohibitionist activists from all over Europe and the Americas and focused on the failures of the “war on drugs” and analyzed and debated official and independent drug-related data. At the end of the meeting, participants endorsed a written proposal drafted by the IAL and the TRP to urge the reform of the prohibitionist UN Conventions on drugs adopted by the international community in 1961, 1971 and 1988. The ultimate objective of the campaign is the legalization of all drugs in order to regulate and govern the phenomenon. The document was then distributed to legislators and turned into a popular petition to the Secretary-General of the UN and its Member States. On December 13, under the leadership of Marco Cappato, MEP, Parliamentary Coordinator for the IAL, the document was introduced at the EP in the form of a recommendation to the Council

The IAL-TRP Conference was strongly opposed by 9 Non-Governmental Organizations, mainly from Sweden that called on the EP to cancel the Conference and distributed leaflets during the conference alleging pro-drug activities of Conference participants accusing them of instigation of drug consumption by minors (allegations similar to the ones made by the Russian Federation in 2000 when it lodged a formal complaint to expel the TRP from the United Nations where it enjoys a Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council).

In view of the Vienna UN review conference, members of the PAA will introduce resolutions in their respective assemblies calling on Governments to “initiate a process of revision of the UN Conventions on the occasion of the April 2003 Vienna mid-term review conference on UN drugs policies, in order to repeal or amend the 1961 and 1971 Conventions, with the aim of re-classifying substances and providing for other uses of drugs than only for medical and scientific purposes to be legal, and to repeal the 1988 Convention.”

The next meeting of the campaign will be a Conference in Mérida, Mexico organized in collaboration with DRCnet, the local newspaper Por esto, and other groups, entitled “Out from the Shadows, Ending prohibition in 21th Century”. Mexico will chair the ministerial segment of the Commission on Narcotics review-conference next April in Vienna.