Dear friends and colleagues,
Tonite I was invited to present a short introduction to our IMCPC
during a reception at the embassy of the Czech Republic in
We are here in Vienna attending the United Nations Commission
on Narcotic Drugs preparatory meetings for the upcoming world drug
summit to be held April 19-21, 2016.
The reception followed an event yesterday in which LEAP presented
a side panel together with the Czech government and our first
presentation on the same day of our IMCPC during the most excellent CND side event
focusing on the experience in Slovenia with medicinal cannabis
The Czech reception included interventions from members of the UK and Swiss as well as
Czech national delegations, The Global Commission represented by United Nations Special
Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia Michel Kazatchkine as well
as Former President of Switzerland and Minister of Home Affairs Ruth Dreifus ,
LEAP represented by former Chicago prosecutor Jim Gierach then Global Commission
on Drugs member, former mayor of Prague and president of the most excellent Prague
Cannabis Conference Dr. Pavel Bem spoke before me.
Dr. Bem spoke about the structure of the system in response to a healthy conversation
about a working set of guidelines designed to promote an open debate in 2016 by the
Baroness Molly Meacher from UK. The guidelines apparently are a project of several
member states including Mexico, UK, Czech Republic and others. These guidelines
seem to be an attempt to create a construct for allowing some discussion
of various options of reform in 2016. This effort is aimed to produce a working consensus
on what exactly is within the boundaries of treaty flexibility and it will delineate what the members
feel is outside of the range of tolerance for experimentation.
The Baroness stated her fear that this document may be used as a reason for
countries to not work on even more dramatic reforms but that, in her opinion, this would be a good
way to set up a chance for real reform in 2019 when the Millennium Development
Goals will reach their big evaluation.
I think Dr. Bem used his time completely on this discussion leaving me to announce our
I introduced the IMCPC and said that for the first time we, the medical cannabis
patients organizations of this world, are attempting to gather together to effect
global reform via the treaty process.
I summarized that we use the opportunity of our statements, releases and resolution
to establish some of the basic facts we work with as advocates and that given
the WHO review will likely take place in 2018 this is a great opportunity and
perhaps our responsibility to present some of the basic science we now understand
to be true about cannabis as medicine and at that moment took the opportunity
to thank Dr. Bem and the Medical Cannabis Conference in Prague for enabling us to
establish our IMCPC and also complimented Dr. Bem and the conference on it’s
outstanding level of academic excellence.
I agreed with President Dreifus who had spoken earlier, motioning to Jim Gierach before he even
said anything, from the Global Commission perspecive that although we cannot expect
to amend the treaty in 2016 we should certainly have set long term goals like those espoused
by LEAP . I said that we tried to have a very clear ask of 1 and 4 into 3 in the 1961 convention.
President Dreifus took me aside afterwards and thanked me for my intervention and offered that
she sees rescheduling as a very important aspect the Commission will likely pay more attention
to in the future.
I will leave it at that for now but I would say our work is being very well received
over here and our team including me, Farid Ghehioueche and Kenzi Riboulet will be looking for
every opportunity over the coming week to intercede on behalf of our
most excellent coalition.
All the best,
Michael Krawitz, Exec. Dir. Veterans For Medical Cannabis Access — USA
Great Effort, Michael!! Thanks for the Behind the Scenes Update