HEIDELBERG DECLARATION




We of the FIRST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON DRUG WAR PRISONERS and others concerned with the Drug War Prisoner Question declare in accordance with the principle of

NO PRISON FOR DRUGS

- That natural psychedelic substances, for example, cannabis and visionary mushroom, have been in use for religious, recreational, medicinal, and other purposes since time immemorial. The use of these and their synthetic couterparts, e.g. LSD and MDMA, may not be rightfully prohibited except on rational, explicitly stated grounds. - That prison has no place on society's response to the use of these or other psychoactive substances (drugs). - That the legal prohibition of drug use and the artificial market conditions this creates inflict more harm to individuals and communities than drug use itself.

WE CONDEMN

The brutal treatment meted out to individuals who use or trade in drugs in such as Malaysia, Saudi-Arabia, the USA, and other countries where drug use is criminalized and punished by imprisonment and even death. Such treatment is irrational, is based on a fruitless wish to control behaviour, does nothing to decrease drug use, and violates common sense standards of human rights. Problems arising from drug use -- attributable to the effects of potentially addictive and harmful substances such as heroin, cocaine, and amphetamine -- respond only to a preventive or therapeutic approach. Adoption of the proper approach to drug related problems is the responsibility of society as a whole.

WE DO NOT ADVOCATE

The careless use of any drug, psychedelic or not, legal or not, addictive or not. We seek a policy that is rational, compatible with good health, and linked to a sense of self-responibility. The policy of criminalization has just the opposite effect.

WE PLEDGE OURSELVES

To provide realistic, credible information to the public and especially to young people on the effects and risks of drug use. This information will be based on actual experience and not outdated theory or government propaganda. No government has a moral right to prohibit a mature, adequately informed individual from using a psychoactive substance of his or her choice.

WE ADVOCATE

Free choice for the individual who is mature and competent to make decisions regarding the use of psychoactive substances to explore non-ordinary states of consciousness. This presupposes an enlightened attitude on the part of health professionals, not kneejerk condemnation.

WE CALL FOR

- Immediate amnesty for all victims of the War on Drugs. - National and international agreements with a view to decriminalization. - An end to the War on Drugs.

GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

For further information, please contact The Committee on Unjust Sentencing, P.O. Box 76665, Los Angeles, CA 90076, USA.

[You may cross out parts you don't agree with, add thoughts that are missing, sign it and send it to the address mentioned above.]

"ARM YOURSELF"