Academic Journals Database
Disseminating quality controlled scientific knowledge

Problem Drug Use, Marijuana, and European Projects: How Epidemiology Helped Czech Policy Reformers

ADD TO MY LIST
 
Author(s): Jan Morávek

Journal: Central European Journal of Public Policy
ISSN 1802-4866

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 26;
Date: 2008;
Original page

ABSTRACT
I examine the transfer of the Problem Drug Use (PDU) concept into Czech scientific discourse through European institutions’ projects, and view PDU’s utilization by Czech researchers in relation to marijuana decriminalization efforts.PDU is defined as intravenous and/or long-term and regular use of opiates, cocaine, or amphetamines. Out of a vast array of illicit drug use patterns, this concept isolates a relatively small population with the riskiest use patterns to become the focus of public policies. A series of European Union and Council of Europe projects in 1990’s helped bring PDU into European research mainstream. The new common standard, promoted by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, was utilized by Czech authors in a 2001 policy analysis entitled “Impact Analysis Project of the New Drug Legislation in the Czech Republic” (PAD). PDU played a crucial role in PAD’s drug problem modeling, focusing on a “hard core” of opiate and methamphetamine users, while diverting attention from a large group of cannabis users.By using the new European methodological standard, PAD’s authors constructed marijuana as a non-problem. This helped drug policy reformers in the Czech Government legitimize their focus on “harder” drugs, and subsequently propose more lenient sanctions for the possession and cultivation of marijuana. I argue that continued ignorance of marijuana problems might jeopardize the tolerant expert-driven drug policy in the Czech Republic. Measurement of problem cannabis use should be introduced.

Tango Rapperswil
Tango Rapperswil

     Save time & money - Smart Internet Solutions