24 April 2011

MESSAGE FROM PARIS

On 12 April the Franco German public TV channel Arte presented a documentary and talk show on drug routes and the war on drugs. Participants in the talk show included Wolfgang Goetz, from the EU Drugs agency, Michel Henry, a journalist from the "Libération" newspaper, Stéphane Gatignon, mayor of  the town of Sevran, and Karin Maag, a CDU Deputy and member of the Bundestag's public health committee.

If Wolfgang Goetz took a moderating position, as befits the boss of Europe's data hub on drugs issues, the two Frenchmen on the panel clearly and openly called for Regulation/legalisation. This may be expected from a journalist of Libération but less so from the mayor of a French town. He was however entirely explicite: we have lost the fight against drugs and our society is in real danger of being taken over by organised crime. In his view, people who want to smoke cannabis have to learn how to do so safely. For this purpose the state has to guarantee the safety and quality of a product that is smoked by millions but currently produced and distributed by criminals. His conclusion was stark: the state has to get its hands dirty and start controlling the supply and distribution chain. Remember, he speaks not as a drug policy specialist or academic, but as a public servant with real responsibilities in this area.

You'll find his blog by googling Stéphane Gatignon.

 

Carel Edwards, Brussels, 24 April 2011 

13:40 Posted by Carel Edwards in Drugs and politics | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook

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