Drug and Addiction Policy

The “War on Drugs” has failed. Prohibition ties up resources and causes immense costs. Unnecessary prosecution and conviction of users of psychoactive substances not only harm society through ever-increasing expenses for the police and judiciary but also pushes marginalised people into illegality and to the margins of society instead of regulating substance use outside a black market. This strengthens the black market and organised crime. Many EU member states are planning to reassess, legalise, or decriminalise cannabis, which can only be a first step towards a “New Drug and Addiction Policy”. Drug policy should first and foremost be health policy, taking into account the social and economic factors that promote drug use and addiction. A world without drugs in complete abstinence is unattainable. However, access to relevant information regarding the use of drugs is vital to ensure both the freedom and safety of the individual. The state should only intervene in a regulatory way based on scientific findings about the danger of the substance/addiction.

The European Pirate Party believes that drug and addiction policies should be grounded in scientific evidence, prioritise individual autonomy and public health. The party supports a revision of the UN Conventions on Drugs and their implementation into EU law to create evidence-based drug policies that prioritise public health and harm reduction. The party believes that policies aimed at reducing the negative consequences of drug use should be prioritised over punitive approaches. These policies could include measures such as decriminalising drug use and possession, expanding access to evidence-based treatment, and regulating drugs to ensure safety and quality.

The Pirates, therefore, advocate that the EU work towards a recast and, if necessary, termination of the UN conventions on psychoactive substances to adopt a science-based view. Cannabis and other substances should be removed from the list of illicit drugs. The EU should create a framework facilitating a science-based approach allowing, among other things, for information exchange and contribution to research on psychoactive substances. This will allow treatments using these substances to be researched and implemented (such as the treatment of cancer, ADHD, or Long Covid).

The EU must create a framework that encourages member states to decriminalise, legalise, and regulate cannabis and other substances to limit the black market, better ensure consumer and youth protection, and respect the philosophy of the free EU Single Market. It shall take measures to regulate legal substances that are particularly harmful to health, such as alcohol and tobacco, and to ensure health, youth, and consumer protection, for example, by banning advertising and restricting lobbying. One of the Pirates‘ key priorities is harm reduction policies for drug users. The European Union should encourage introducing harm reduction services such as drug-checking services, drug consumption rooms, and substitution therapy programs. The European Pirate Party argues that these services are essential for reducing the harms associated with drug use, such as overdose deaths and the spread of blood-borne diseases. We are convinced that these services can help reduce the stigma associated with drug use and support individuals seeking help for their drug use.

The European Pirate Party supports the regulation of cannabis for personal use in the EU. We believe that criminalising the personal use of cannabis is ineffective, harms marginalised communities disproportionately and diverts resources from more urgent public health needs. The party advocates for evidence-based cannabis policies that prioritise harm reduction, including regulating the production, distribution, and sale of cannabis to ensure safety and quality.

The European Pirate Party supports the legalisation of psychedelic-assisted therapy. We believe that patients should have the right to access these treatments under medical supervision and that they should be regulated to ensure safety and efficacy. They support the development of evidence-based policies aimed at expanding access to psychedelic-assisted therapy and promoting research into the therapeutic potential of these substances.

The European Pirate Party supports a joint European alcohol and tobacco policy focused on harm reduction. We are convinced that public health should be a priority, and policies should be evidence-based and aimed at reducing harm to individuals and communities. We advocate for measures such as education campaigns to promote the responsible use of alcohol and tobacco, discourage excessive consumption, and prohibit advertising and marketing.

We advocate for rational regulation of gambling in the EU. This includes the principle of informed choice, where players should be provided with information on how each game works, the house advantage, the risk of loss and the cost of the game.