25 July 2018
Czech Drug Tsar calls for legalisation and regulation of drugs
The Czech national drug coordinator, Jindřich Vobořil, recently made a series of striking proposals for the new Czech 2019-2027 drug strategy - including the legalisation and regulation of drugs as part of a wider pragmatic strategy for reducing drug related harms
Vobořil’s proposals for the new strategy, still to be agreed by Government, seek to include responsible market regulation of drugs within a broader ‘harm reduction’ approach that emphasises public health, prevention and treatment.
The proposals, include both addressing the harms of legal - but over commercialised - alcohol and tobacco markets, as well as addressing the harms of criminal drug markets under prohibition through an exploration of responsible legalisation and regulation. Quoting from the English translation of the press release:
Vobořil makes a case for legalisation and regulation of cannabis, and other drugs:
“It has proved that blind prohibition brings on a balloon effect. This means that after a successful wave of repression, the problem rises as a balloon, mutates, making for better organised criminal groups, only more dangerous drugs appear on the market, resulting in many dead, many more seriously ill and more money in concentrated criminal organisations. Therefore, it is now necessary to look for a much more balanced, less extreme and more evidence-based approach,”
“...cannabis needs to be given special attention and to prepare legislation so that the notional pendulum does not swing towards wide scale commercialisation. I propose finding a legislative solution that would avoid the risk associated with some extra strong products, prevent availability of cannabis to those under the age of 18, regulate cannabis advertisements and try to prevent the risks associated with everyday smoking of many joints of cannabis,” .
“The National Strategy also proposes to find in current illegal drugs ways of strictly regulated availability of less hazardous substances such as cannabis, MDMA, cocaine, some opioid substances, etc. ”
Steve Rolles, Senior policy analyst for Transform, said
“That long serving National Drug Coordinators are now proposing responsible legalisation and regulation of cannabis and other drugs shows just how far the drug reform debate has come. Legalisation and regulation is increasingly part of the high-level international political debate.
“It is not just theoretical either; legal regulation of drugs is being implemented all over the world. We hope Vobořil’s pragmatism becomes a reality for The Czech republic and that their leadership can inspire other countries, including the UK”.
Notes to editors
Transform Drug Policy Foundation is a UK and Mexico based think tank campaigning for the legal regulation of drugs www.tdpf.org.uk
Jindřich Vobořil (Czech Republic)
Contact - Renata Povolná
Media and PR, Department of Drug Prevention Policy
M +420 728 302 397
Steve Rolles (UK)
Senior Policy analyst, Transform Drug Policy Foundation
M +44 7980213943