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TalkingDrugs News from the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region [April 2021]

  1. Ukraine: Instead of drug policy reform, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted a decree on the circulation of some cannabis-based medicines for medical use. Patients’ organisations protested. Read the details on TalkingDrugs (Rus).
  2. Estonia: country report on the use of new psychoactive substances, read details on TalkingDrugs (Rus). The study is conducted by EACV, reports on other countries in the CEECA region are available here (Rus).
  3. We continue to publish the documentary video series “Good People” from the DUNews studio. The fourth instalment: an interview with Georgian activist Nino Darsavelidze is available here.
  4. COVID-19 in places of detention in Ukraine, Moldova and Russia – results of a survey conducted by RUNPUD activists among people serving prison sentences and people under investigation. The full text of the report is available at the link (Rus).
  5. Lithuania: The Seimas is considering a bill to decriminalise the possession of small amounts of psychoactive substances for personal use. Local activists are urging people to sign a letter in support of drug policy reform. Details can be found at the link (English).
  6. Russia: 100 million roubles a year the state spends on prosecuting drug users – read the author’s column by human rights defender Arseny Levinson on VTimes (Rus).
  7. The ECHR ruled in the case of Kuzmina and Others v. Russia, recognising the problem of the use of the method of control purchases by police officers in drug cases and demanding amendments to the law on operational-search activities. Read details on BBC (Rus).
  8. The online issue of the newspaper “Mothy” is available at this link (Rus).
  9. 4:20 – The history of the origin of the date 20 April – Marijuana Day – can be read here (Rus).
  10. Educational materials for street lawyers were prepared by the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association. A series of podcasts in Russian on advocacy for key groups is available online (registration required) here. A text manual for street lawyers working with vulnerable groups is also available here.

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