Message from Arnold Trebach, President and Marco Perduca, Executive Director of the International Antiprohibitionist League to the 1st Congress of the Associazione Luca Coscioni


New York-Washington, 20 December 2002



Dear Rita, dear Luca,



We are sorry we cannot be with you in Rome today to participate with you and other fellow radicals in the first congress of the Luca Coscioni organization. We are confident that the organization of the "radical front" of scientific research will make a tremendous contribution to put an end to yet another horrendous expression of prohibition.

The antiprohibitionist struggle for freedom of scientific research is the struggle to legalize life for hundreds of millions of people all over the world. It is the legalization of hope for individuals who are innocent victims of fate but who could find in science hope for a better and decent life lived in pursuit of happiness.

Today in Italy, Europe, and in the United States we are witnessing a turn of the prohibitionist screw, an escalation that represents the worst expression of Statism and of the pervasiveness of government in the life of its citizens.

Prohibition touches many different aspects of human life: drugs, gambling, prostitution, sex, as well as freedom of research, increasing all the negative and criminal aspects linked to those issues, creating criminal environments that makes huge profits at the expenses of human rights and lives.

Prohibition has not only failed everywhere, but it has also become one of the worst enemies of human development and welfare. Related events in Central and Latin America and various regions of Asia are proof of violent and repressive laws implemented at the cost of the rule of law.

The question of freedom of research does not pertain only to the scientific domain or the sphere of personal conscience. It is a political question that needs to be faced politically through the adoption of laws that can affirm individual rights such as the right to be allowed to live a decent life.

In 1919, the United States enacted national alcohol prohibition. That legal framework, far from curbing the problem of alcohol abuse, contributed to the increase of the abuse of the substance and to the creation of massive criminal enterprises dedicated to the production and sale of all sorts of alcoholic beverages. Nothing strengthened the Mafia in America more than the Prohibition Amendment to the Constitution.

Within a relatively short time, common sense prevailed and, due to an extraordinary political movement that emphasized Prohibition's dangers to children, the Prohibition Amendment was repealed in 1933. Legal alcohol changed the life of a nation that was becoming violent and corrupt. Today we are seeing the same kind of phenomenon happening regarding drugs. In fact, governments around the world have decided to outlaw narcotic and psychotropic substances arguing that in that way they would have served the cause of the destruction of a dangerous habit. They launched a holy war based on moral and ethical principles against freedom of choice -- and in the process ignored science and the lessons of recent history.



But we know, the Radicals know, that laws and polices can be changed. Reforms can be achieved through political means, be they legislative proposals or nonviolent actions.

Luca has not only incarnated the fight against prohibition on scientific research, but his daily participation in the activities of the Radical Party has also inspired and given strength to many of us bringing hope to thousands of people that despite the kryptonite effect of the media indifference, thanks to last year's Satyagraha he led with Emma were hit by some small pieces of news about the story and fight of this Italian superman.

We believe that laws that negate a human activity, such as the ingestion of a substance, a nonviolent habit that does not infringe other people's personal sphere or limit the research for effective cures are not in compliance with the international bill of rights. In fact, they go against the norms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of all the covenants and treaties that contain civil liberties.

Prohibition disregards the international rule of law, and the policies that it foster are an attack on harmless women and men whose only crime is to be sick or to live a non-conformist life.

We need to react to this situation with a coordinated effort. If necessary, we will have to resort to a series of nonviolent actions to denounce the negation of freedom, hope and the law.

In the months to come, we will need to work together to complement our struggles. Together with the Transnational Radical Party and the International Antiprohibitionist League we should launch the first world convention of antiprohibitionists to see those liberal reforms come to life.

For the time being you can count on our membership!

We wish you a successful congress. Ciao,

Arnold Trebach, Presidente
Marco Perduca, Segretario