Letter of Diogenis to the members of the Standing Committee on Public Administration, Public Order and Justice

On the occasion of the discussion of the draft Law “Drug Code and other provisions” in the Greek Parliament, the Association Diogenis, initiative for drug policy dialogue in South East Europe, wrote to the Standing Committee on Public Administration, Public Order and Justice, a letter noting that with minor modifications of certain points, which are in accordance with the basic principles of the Code on Drugs, would improve the bill and make it more effective in everyday practice, will solve chronic problems that unnecessarily burden the police, the judiciary and the penitentiary system and will create opportunities for the Law enforcement authorities to focus more on the fight against organized crime.
The Association argues that the government needlessly stepped back, without convincing arguments, from the proposal to decriminalize the use and possession of drugs for personal use. The decriminalization of possession and use, argues the Association Diogenis, was one of the major points that the Special Legislative Committee that advised the government had suggested with strong arguments that were legally and practically correct. The current bill returns to the state of regulations enacted in the Drug Code of 2006. The argument that “the acts of commission and drug possession for own exclusive use of the person should continue to be a crime, because it consolidates the perception that these are acts that the state does not approve”, is not convincing and is substantially unfair to the Special Legislative Committee and all those supporting the decriminalization of use, because indirectly suggests that whoever is in favour of decriminalisation of use, is promoting use. The parliament is in the position to abolish this position by amending article 29 and stating that “the use of drugs and the supply and possession for exclusively personal use is not a criminal offense and is not punishable”.
Read the letter to the Parliamentary Committee (in Greek) here.