Greece needs an approved Strategy and Action Plan on Drugs.

The Special Subcommittee of the Greek Parliament on studying and addressing the Drug Problem met on Tuesday, 15 May with representatives of organisations specialized on drug issues to exchange and formulate views on a policy on drugs. Among the organisations invited to participate was also the non-profit organization Diogenis, drug policy dialogue. Diogenis was represented by the Director Mr Thanasis Apostolou and the advocacy officer Mrs Sophia Galinaki.

In Diogenis’ presentation, Thanasis Apostolou thanked the Commission for the invitation, referred to the organization’s history, goals and actions, and in to some views of the organization regarding the policy on drugs. He emphasized that the objective of the current drug control system to eliminate drugs is not realistic. Drugs have always existed and will exist. The law enforcement authorities should give priority to the security of citizens and the fight against organized crime, not to prosecution and punishment of the users. Drug use and treatment of its harmful effects is primarily a medical issue and should be addressed as a public health problem. The law 4139 of 2013 contains positive points in that direction, but it has not been implemented so far. NGOs have repeatedly complained about the lack of strategy and planning, and they propose that civil society should also be involved in the National Drug Coordination and Planning Committee. We hope that the initiative of the Parliamentary Committee will contribute to make the National Strategy and the Action Plan a reality.

See the intervention of Diogenis here (in Greek)