- Published: 07 March 2014
The City of Varna, an active ECAD member in Bulgaria, holds an international conference on 4-6 June, 2014.
The topic is "Cannabis and new drugs. Challenges and responses".
This conference is an ECAD activity.
Conference language is English and the timing is perfect to hold ECAD network meetings just before the summer season in Bulgarian Golden Sands.
Please follow our updates under "Conferences" in the meny to the left, the preliminary programme is already published.
- Published: 25 February 2014
Welcome to our major event in support of the UN Conventions on Drugs!
(Picture: Stockholms stad)
In three months, ECAD and World Federation Against Drugs, WFAD, will host two important conferences in the same premises of the Munich Brewery in the southern part of Stockholm. Conference venue is specifically chosen to accomodate a vast number of delegates and it is important to book your hotel a good time ahead.
Start with booking your conference participance:
ECAD will be also updating a small selection of hotels for your convenience:
- Quality Hotel Globe is a modern conference and event hotel situated next to Globen in Stockholm. Ideally located besides the events complex Globen, the hotel ensures an exciting and memorable stay in Stockholm.
Book your room here (link)
Price single room 1195 SEK per room per night including breakfast buffé and VAT, double room 1395 SEK per room per night including breakfast buffé and VAT
- Published: 19 February 2014
After one death last Thursday and one almost lethal experiment with Spice among 17-year-old students this weekend in Riga, Latvia, hundreds of people protested in the streets against "legal highs".
Latvia is one of the most affected EU countries, as many as 10% of young people in Latvia, Poland and the UK have used new psychoactive substances, with topping 16% in Ireland, according to 2011 Eurobarometer survey.
Young people who miss their friends and classmates, their parents and simply concerned civilians blocked all Spice-trading points in Riga in a protest action on Monday night. Civilians organised themselves as an NGO "Stop Drugs" a while ago and now cooperate with many athletic clubs in the city.
Protests in Riga are caused by abundant small shops in the city and its outskirts, trading with Asian tees or advertising shoe repair and sewing clothes, but in fact selling mixed psychoactive substances, often called "Spice". Whoever passes these small sheds can observe their trading licences for demonstration in the windows. Still, young people would tell that the shops are trading with some "extra stuff", the majority of those who live or study in the nearabouts are well aware of what is being sold. Yet, the police lacks instruments to close the shops as the owners have a legal trade certificate.
Latvian police works hard to find arguments for shutting down the shops with still valid trade certificates and Latvian Minister for Internal Affairs, Mr. Rihard Kozlovsky is apprehensive about the state of a new black market establishing right on the spot. "It could be even more difficult for the police to cope with the situation when the "salesmen" loose their licence and "go underground"", he said.
EU Commission as late as in September 2013 proposed to strengthen EU`s ability to respond to "legal highs", by taking the poisonous substances away from the market as soon as possible.
ECAD takes Riga`s concerns seriously and encourages other member cities to respond to this situation together by initiating a project under the EU auspices in 2014.
- Published: 07 February 2014
A new Italian city joined ECAD at the end of January, the City of Aprilia (Read more in Italian here)
The City of Aprilia adheres to developing prevention initiatives and fostering contacts between local governments and the EU, the UN and other international organizations in order to intensify efforts reducing the spread of drugs, which is the basis of ECAD work.
Aprilia City supports the aims of Stockholm Resolution to protect the health and welfare of individual citizens and families, preventing dependencies arising from drug use.
Welcome to ECAD, Aprilia!
- Published: 06 February 2014
Stockholm is hosting two parallel conferences on May 19-20, 2014. ECAD joins forces with World Federation Against Drugs and their 4th World Forum to add weight to the anti-legalization message of political wills and to spread the competence of grass-roots NGOs.
" Do we want a drug-free world or a world of free drugs?" - asked former UNODC Director Antonio Maria Costa once.
The answer is written in ECAD Constitution and we stand for a drug-free world.
This is a unique opportunity for you to network, meet your counterparts from other countries and to support the UN Conventions on drugs.
European Cities Against Drugs and World Federation Against Drugs organize the conferences at the Munich Brewery, on the South bank of Riddarfjärden, with a joint opening on May 19, 2014.
These two conferences will have 2 separate registration desks and the participants will be given two different sorts of badges. However, the guests will have an opportunity to share the most interesting presentations and will get a balanced picture of the best speakers from both conferences.
On May 19, after the presentations of the keynote speakers and a common lunch, conference delegates will be separated for two different conferences and sessions of ECAD and WFAD. In the interim, the conference delegates will be asked to stick to their respective venues, according to the registration made.
On May 20, the conferences will be held separately for ECAD and WFAD participants until lunch, after that the conference delegates will join together again.
The City of Stockholm invites all conference delegates to a reception at 18.00 on Monday, May 19, hosted in the City Hall. H. Sten Nordin, the Mayor of Stockholm, will open the evening with a short welcome speech. The reception will be held in a buffet-style with sit-down opportunities.
Download First Announcement here (PDF)
We will publish Conference Booking Form in a few days here, please return to this page later.
- Published: 15 January 2014
So this year accordingly, Kristiansand invites you to join policy makers, doctors and youth coordinators for a one-day seminar on February 19, 2014. Discussions on how to work with the youth, new cannabis alternatives on the market and on outsiders of the society will follow.
Download the programme here (PDF)
Webpage in Norwegian: http://hasjavvenning.no/
And some more detailed information in Norwegian:
I tilknytning til seminaret ”Ut av tåka 2014” inviterer vi dere som arbeider med hasjavvenning i landet til:
Tirsdag 19. februar kl. 11-16 på Samsen kulturhus
Pris: kr. 350 inkl. lunsj
Kl. 18.00 – sosial sammenkomst med middag på Håndverkeren restaurant & pub. Deltakere må betale mat og drikke selv (inngår ikke i prisen for erfaringsdagen).
Hvis du ønsker å holde innlegg denne dagen, ta kontakt med:
Madelene Skårdal, tlf: 90 60 29 64
- Published: 09 January 2014
The purpose of the visit was to learn about Italian "best practice" work in prevention and recovery with a focus on teenagers and young cannabis users. Kicki Winnerstam of Lidingö city in her short programme visited Anglad Rome and Dianova Italia.
The Anglad Rome (National Association of Parents Fighting against Drugs) was founded in 1997 and configured as a non-profit organization with a reference to the San Patrignano experience as a residence treatment center for drug addicts. Anglad Rome helps addicts and their families during rehabilitation and reintegration.
Paolo de Laura, President of Anglad in Rome, organized a specific program for Lidingö study visit, including a live-session with self-help group of parents and a meeting with various experts and professionals working with Anglad.
Dianova Italia is the local branch of Dianova Network, an international NGO in a consultative status with ECOSOC. It operates in 11 countries developing programs for education, youth, addiction prevention and treatment, also in the area of social- and community development.
Dianova Director Massimo Bagnasco and his staff, opened the doors of the residential therapeutic community for adults with alcohol and/or drug addiction in Palombara Sabina (30 km from Rome) to show the visitors Dianova`s science-based and person-oriented approaches. Dr. Bagnasco was also involved in the subsequent visit to Dianova innovative Residential Services for Adolescents, "la Villa".
ECAD invites other cities to join the example of Swedish Lidingö and make use of their membership in practice.
- Published: 23 December 2013
>>> Click here to view this invitation in PDF format <<<
- Published: 02 December 2013
New important research on Cannabis:
- THC effect for progressive multiple sclerosis (MS),
- latest data from EMCDDA on synthetic cannabis causing problems requiring clinical interventions and even fatalities,
- Marijuana withdrawal listed in US Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5.
This X-mas issue will announce ECAD Anniversary XXI Mayors` Conference, mark May 19-20, 2014 in your calenders. The city of Stockholm will host this conference together with us.
Download Thematic Newsletter (PDF) in English here
For our subscribers: Your hard copy of Newsletter is on its way to you!
- Published: 08 November 2013
We publish a short summary of one of the CND Intercessional meetings that was held among the UN Member States, with a direct impact on international drug policy.
ECAD is a member of Vienna NGO Committee (VNGOC) that is advocating for a recognized role of NGO grass-root work by the UN and in its Member States. Those of our members who are well-aware of their national participation at the CND events and can take part in these meetings in a state delegation - please do so. Also, we need your voice and active participance in the VNGOC, so contact us with your feedback, suggestions and ideas!
NGOs were allowed to be present at the meeting this Tuesday, so many of the well-financed harm-reduction and Open Society offspring-NGOs visited Vienna indeed.
Michel Perron, Chair of the VNGOC, made a proposal for a Joint Ministerial Statement of the 2014 High Level Review by the CND. Any NGO, a member of the VNGOC, can influence this kind of proposal, we need to be vociferous and watchful!
Have a look at the wording of the document to be used at the coming 2014 CND - directly connected to the UN Conventions on drugs, - being formed.
Here is the summary that ECAD can share with you, thanks to our work in the Vienna NGO Committee on drugs (PDF) :
The debate was based on the Chair’s draft of 30 October, and was directed to finding political consensus. As requested by states, the 30 October draft’s structure was changed to the format as suggested by res 56/12, i.e. Achievements, Challenges, Priorities for the three thematic pillars: Demand Reduction, Supply Reduction and Money Laundering and Judicial Cooperation
The first part of the meeting allowed MS to share wording suggestions on the whole document, the second part tried to clean up the proposals in the draft para by para to establish acceptable language. At the end of the meeting, only the first 6 paragraphs had been discussed with regard to cleaning up, but were not finalized yet.
Paragraph 6 Decriminalization and Legalization
“[Member states] take note of the worldwide active debate on the consideration of new approaches towards tackling the World Drug Problem, including a greater focus on public health, the well-being of users and the demand aspect of the drug problem, the legalization and decriminalization of the use of certain drugs, and emphasize the need for an open, transparent and forward looking discussion on these issues within the multilateral system.”
The wording of the paragrph was opposed by many delegations (USA, CAN, ITA, VEN, ARG, ESP, RUS, CHN, GER, SWE, PAK and others). Deletion or alternative wording was suggested during the first part of the session. During the clean-up part, suddenly POR showed its support for the wording “decriminalization” and refused deletion of the whole para. It was decided to settle the issue during informal and the meeting closed after that.
Para 9 Civil Society
While ARG questioned the civil society contribution to the review process, most other comments were in support of civil society. IRL mentioned positively VNGOC and the survey. AUT, ESP and NOR made some useful suggestions.MEX suggested to follow the wording from the GA omnibus resolution of last year.
As the clean-up negotiations ended before, no final wording was decided on.
Para 14 Harm reduction
USA, CAN, COL, CHN suggested alternative wordings to harm reduction
Para 41: Linking drug trafficking, corruption and other forms of organized crime
Hardly any other para was mentioned more often; While seven countries suggested deletion of this para, twelve other supported it.
The Chair has published the draft text with track changes as established during the meeting. (ECAD has it in the Head Office) The next informal meeting is Tuesday 12 November. The next intersessional meeting will be on 18 and 19 November. The Chair is pushing for a final text at the end of November, but it seems that delegations were not too excited about the speed of the proceedings.
- Published: 22 October 2013
A number of internationally profiled experts in drug policy, scientists and researchers presented arguments against using cannabis, ever.
The most interesting presentations were made by Giovanni Serpelloni, the Head of the Drug Control Policy Department of the Presidency at the Council of Ministers, who also directed the Center for Preventive Medicine; Daniela Parolaro, Professor of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Insubria; and Dr. Gilberto Gerra, addiction specialist and director at the Prevention Department at the Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC in Vienna.
"The unbearable lightness of cannabis"
Panel of prominent speakers included Raymond Yans, the President of the INCB, General Arthur Dean, President of CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America), John Geluardi, author of "Cannabiz: The explosive rise of medical marijuana industry", 2012 and more.
Panel discussion was focused i.a. on social disapproval of marijuana use, something that is effective and scientifically proven. A research supported by NIDA (US National Institue on drug abuse) showed that the greater the social dispproval about the drug use was, the lower was the use of marijuana amongst adolescents (Source: Keyes, K.M. et al., "The social norms of birth cohorts and adolescent marijuana use in the US. 1976-2007, Addiction, 2011). When the level of disapproval was 90%, the use in the last year was 17%. At the level of disapproval of 47%, the use in the last year grew to 49%.
Also Mr Serpelloni pointed out that cannabis users get a degeneration of white matter in the brain, based on the research of Neuroscience Verona Group, G. Serpelloni, 2011.
Another research paper that is important to take notice of is "Effects of long-term cannabis use on anoxal fibre connectivity", by Andrew Zalesky, Nadia Solowij, Murat Yucel et al.
In addiction to that, another scientific paper was mentioned in the discussion, concerning the neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife that persistent cannabis users show (by Madeline H. Meier, Avshalom Caspi et al., 2012).
The visit to SanPatrignano Community was truly inspiring. ECAD group had an opportunity to visit textile craftmanship and wallpaper production, printing works, winery and have a private session of questions and answers with the senior staff of SanPatrignano.
ECAD Seminar focused on two drug addiction communities, a Norwegian rehabilitation centre for drug addicts, Jegersberg and an Italian addiction treatment community in the region of Lazio, Mondo Nuovo. Seminar materials will be published here in a couple of days.
And now a few glimpses from ECAD and SanPatrignano WeFree Days-2013:
ECAD thanks warmly SanPatrignano Community for the generous opportunity to visit and share the WeFree Days with the community members.
It was a wonderful experience for all in our group!