Accra - New York, 31 July 2003
Statement by Marco Cappato, Member of the European Parliament and coordinator for the Parliamentarians of Antiprohibitionist Action, and Marco Perduca, Executive Director of the International Antiprohibitionist League and UN Representative for the Transnational Radical Party on the arrest of Mr. Shane Collins, national spokesperson on drugs for the British Green party jailed for cultivation of cannabis:
“We wish to express our personal sympathy to Shane Collins and political support for his actions, and the ones of the British Green Party, to reform drug laws in the UK. We believe that in a liberal-democratic society that is rooted in, and governed by, the rule of law there cannot be a crime without a victim. What happened to Mr. Collins last week, is the ultimate example of the negation of a fundamental individual right, the one to grow a plant and to use its produce without causing any harm to others.
“Mr. Collins is the nth victim of unjust measures derived from one of the longest wars of modern history, the war on drugs. A war that has in freedom and liberty its enemies and that criminalizes nature as well as human choices. Such a war needs to be ended without delay. The progress that so far had characterized the UK on drugs, and cannabis derivatives in particular, must be sped up. We are ready to join Mr. Collins in the Royal prisons of England, if necessary, to help Parliament expedite Cannabis reclassification.
“We invite Shane Collins, his Green colleagues and all British citizens who care about liberty and civil rights, to sign at www.antiprohibitionist.org our appeal to the UN Member States that calls for the revision of the three UN Conventions on Drugs. The document has been endorsed by some 9000 people from 101 countries and 250 members of Parliaments from all political groups coming from 30 legislative assemblies.”
In 2001, MEP Marco Cappato (Radicals, Italy) and Chris Davis (Lib-Dems, UK) consigned themselves to the police in Stockport to protest the arrest of Colin Davis (no relation) for having opened an Amsterdam-like coffee shop in that town. As a consequence of that civil disobedience, Marco Cappato was jailed for four days in Manchester last March.
For further information:
Office of Marco Cappato
tel: +32 2 2845496
fax +32 2 2849496
EU radical party press release