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TalkingDrugs Updates from Eastern Europe & Central Asia [March 2019]

(На русском)

1.  The 62nd Session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was held in Vienna on March 18-22. Many activists from people who use drugs (PUD) communities took part in the CND events. Read the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association’s statement on the Ministerial Declaration adopted at the CND session here (Eng).

Russian publication “Kommersant” quotes the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs – Sergey Lavrov – who spoke during the CND session. Lavrov described recreational cannabis legalisation as a “road to hell”, and stated that he would continue to oppose all kinds of reformist trends in Russian and international drug policy (Rus.).


2. Georgia’s National Harm Reduction Conference was held in the country’s capital, Tbilisi, on March 25-26. Expert comments on the Conference’s outcomes are available here (Eng.). During the conference, activists staged a performance advancing reform. Cut-out figures of key Georgian politicians and decision makers responsible for national drug policy – who did not show up to the conference – were placed in the front row. Read more and see photos at SOVA web-site. (Rus.)


3. Activists from feminist movements and members of the newly-created “Narcofeminism” movement from the EECA region have called for support for the rights of women who use drugs, by signing the Barcelona Declaration. The declaration, signed by more than 120 organisations, was presented during CND plenary session. To read and sign the declaration, follow the link (Eng).


4. The results of a Ukrainian behavioural study – of adolescents who use drugs and reside in small towns and rural areas – have been published. The findings indicated a lack of available social and treatment services for young people, and a significant prevalence of non-injection drug use among adolescents. The study was conducted by AFEW-Ukraine and the Alliance for Public Health. Read details on TalkingDrugs (Rus.).


5. The Andrey Rylkov Foundation is gathering funds for legal aid for Teo, a woman who uses drugs and who was recently featured in the Russian publication “Batenka”. Teo has been imprisoned and needs medical and legal assistance. Read details about Teo at Esquire and submit a donation here.


6. On March 20, a Ukrainian parliamentary committee discussed a petition calling for the legalisation of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes. The petition had gathered 25,000 signatures. Despite MPs at the committee meeting supporting the petition, no official decision was made due to lack of a quorum, “Delo” reports (Rus.). “NewsOne” has reported Ukrainian activists’ claim that medical cannabis legalisation would help reduce the suffering of two million patients in the country (Rus).


7. “Coda”, an online publication, published a story about the rising popularity of mephedrone in Russia. The drug is known in some circles as “salt”, and illegal trials investigating the impact of the drug on human volunteers are reportedly taking place (Rus).


8. Russian publication, The Village, published a story of Anya Sarang, head of the Andrey Rylkov Foundation, who participated in clinical trials on the use psychedelics (Rus.).


9. “Batenka” published an overview of drug trafficking inside Russian prisons (Rus).

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