Advocates of legalization of cannabis have gained momentum from the introduction of medical marijuana in 23 US states and the subsequent legalization and commercialization of cannabis for so called recreational use in 4 states. Spearheaded by the legalization of cannabis in Colorado, a new billon dollar industry has emerged which is contributing to a normalization of use through investment in media, political lobbying, support of grass root activism and investments in dubious science on medical marijuana. Tactics which we recognize from the industries behind legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco.

Are we facing a new Big Marijuana 2.0 which will be just as hard to contain as Big Tobacco have been? 
What does the science have to say on the virtues of medical marijuana and the experiences of medical marijuana in Colorado?  

In cooperation with Uppsala University Forum for research on addiction to medical products and illegal drugs - UFOLD, and RNS, ECAD has invited Dr Christian Thurstone to talk about his experiences as a Child Psychiatrist in Denver and his research studying the effects of cannabis legalization from a grass root perspective.

The presentation can be viewed here: Dr Thurstones presentations starts at 36 minutes. 
ECAD Secretary General comments the presentation at the end. 

ECAD participated at Almedalen annual politican week in Gotland, Sweden between the 29th of June and 3 of July. Together with our partners RNS, ECAD organized 19 events on various aspects of the drug problem. Presentations were given by experts on the following topics:

  • How to improve schools policies to become free from drugs
  • Environmental consequenes of drug production 
  • The International drug policy debate leading up to UNGASS
  • Increasing mortatility related to overdoses from drugs, what is happening? 
  • Measuring consumption of drugs through screening of city waste water
  • Methadone and Buprenorfin treatment
  • Adress youth drinking and get rid of illicit drugs along the way
  • Acquittal of Lexbase what are the consequenes for those who want to leave a criminal career behind them. Lexbase is a site that allows the public to search for previous offenders criminal records.
  • Cannabis and long term psychiatric disorder 
  • Scheduling of new drugs - can the government keep up?
  • Legalization of cannabis in Colorado and import of synthetic drugs from China - implicatation for law enforcement in Sweden. 

Apart from these presentations, a debate on legalization of cannabis took place between UNF (youth non drinking association) and CUF (youth association of the Swedish Centre Party). 

Our secretary general held two presentations on causes and societal consequences of drug trafficking especially focusing on violence, armed conflict, corruption and organized crime in relation to the drug trade. He also participated in a panel on a general discussion on cannabis and spice and on experiences of legalization of cannabis in Colorado, US which was organized in cooperation with Uppsala University.  

Read more: ECAD Participates in annual politician week in Gotland, Sweden

Every Year ECAD organizes an annual study visit to one of the worlds largest drug rehabilitation facilities, San Patrignano in Italy. San Patrignano have inspired the creation of similar centers around the world and have enabled thousands of addicts and their families, both in Italy and abroad, to recover from the devastating effects of addicition through its model of recovery and hope.   

Join us for a breathtaking experience to learn more about recovery from drug addicition but also about prevention. The study visit is open to civil servants and politicians in ECAD-member cities. We will be given a tour around the center by the residents and participate in the 2015 We Free days (a youth workshop gathering over 3000 participants)      

A short preview of what the participants can be expected to meet can be found here down below:

The preliminary program can be found here 

To participate at the visit fill in the booking form down below and return it to the ECAD office

Booking Form  


Preparations for the 22nd ECAD Mayors Conference hosted by Swieqi Local Council, Malta are in the full swing. Save May 10-12, 2015 for professional networking in Malta!
Conference programme is being set up at the moment and ECAD will continuously update you on the latest details.

The Grand Hotel Excelsior, a 5-star hotel in Valetta is the Conference Venue. The hotel is situated in the capital of Malta, the city of Valetta which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It can boast with magnificent accomodation, breathtaking views of Marsamxett harbour and Manoel Island and also allows for easy travel to all parts of the Maltese islands.

 Programme Highlights (PDF)

 Conference Booking Form (Word)

 Hotel Booking Form (Word)

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ECAD has been Europe's leading network organization of cities countering drug abuse for more than 20 years. We offer lectures in drug policy debate, with particular emphasis on cannabis, drug trafficking, and the societal effects of drug crime.  

To hire ECAD for a lecture, please get in touch directly with our Secretary General, Erik Leijonmarck: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


ECAD's activities from year to year culminate in the annual ECAD Mayors Conference, hosted by a distinct ECAD member city every summer. Councillors and other politicians and policymakers convene with academics and civil society organizations to participate in seminars and study visits, discussing the latest developments in drug prevention efforts throughout Europe.


 “Safe Cities Without Drugs. Preventing, Protecting, Policing”:

Kaunas logotype
On June 12-13, the city of Kaunas hosts ECAD Annual Mayors`s Conference 2017.

Please register before May 1, 2017 by filling in the Booking Form and returning it back to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Best Western Santaka Hotel and The Kaunas Hotel are available for ECAD conference guests at a special negotiated price by May 1, 2017.

You book your accomodation yourself, contact your chosen hotel and state that yours is an ECAD booking.

It is very convenient to use both hotels` shuttle service offer to get to Kaunas if you arrive at Vilnius airport. The proximity between these 2 cities is around 100 km. The shuttle service costs 80 € and you will receive this offer when your booking is received and approved by the hotel you choose.

Kaunas in summer is a wonderful place to be, the old city is often called a "Paris in a miniature" and the city has been announced as the European capital of culture.
Use this opportunity to get to know more about Kaunas and the ways of preventing, protecting and policing safe cities this June!

Conference Booking Form

@ Rokas Tenys, the Kaunas Castle

Kaunas Castle
Picture: @Rokas Tenys

Warm welcome to Kaunas, Lithuania!

Archives of ECAD's mailed newsletters from 2003 until 2013. To subscribe to ECAD's new email-based newsletter, click here.
Official ECAD mission statements in six different European languages.
The ECAD Resolution, crafted at a conference to increase cooperation between cities, provides inspiration and hope for areas with particularly difficult drug problems. The signatories to the resolution will affirm their decision to fight against the spread of drugs.