Cannabisreform in Finnland
Der folgende Brief aus Finland erklärt etwas die politische Situation im Land:
We will be having Parliamentary elections in Finland in March next year  I think that there may be better chances than before to get a few reform-minded candidates to bring the issue before the public, and possibly even get someone elected. I am a member of the Finnish Green Party myself, and I might try to run, as I have in the municipal elections on a few occasions. However, in Finland, the issue is a touchy one even for the Greens, as being identified as "pro-drug" can be a severe political liability. On the other hand, there is something of a growing awareness that the traditional narcophobic approach to drug use isn't working, that the idea of a "drug-free society" is unrealistic, and that putting cannabis in the same category as hard drugs is counter-productive.
Osmo Soininvaara, the Minister for Social Services, and the chairman of the Green party, has admitted to having tried cannabis in his youth, and while not coming right out for legalisation, has is on record as saying that drug education that suggests that cannabis is as dangerous as heroin sends the message that heroin is as harmless as cannabis. Furthermore, Finland's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Erkki Tuomioja - a Social Democrat - has also cautiously suggested that cannabis might be treated differently from harder drugs. Tuomioja is another Finnish politician to admit to previous drug use.
The Finnish election system is one of proportional representation, but the voters themselves choose the individual candidate they want to give their vote to. The ideal scenario would be to find a few individual candidates to run in the main constituencies - preferably on the lists of certain key parties, to prevent any single party from being singled out as "pro-drug". There is still a long way to go.
The Finnish Cannabis Association celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, and the organisation will be holding a pro-legalisation demonstration in in Helsinki early May along with a number of cities around the world. It will be the second such demonstration to be held in Helsinki. A similar march is to be held in the southwestern city of Turku, for a third time.
Last year a new harm-reduction oriented drug-policy reform organisation, HPP, was formed, taking a somewhat broader view on the whole drug policy debate than the Finnish Cannabis Association. I am active in both groups.
I was interested to see that someone in Sweden was interested enough in your booklet to have translated it into Swedish. The Swedes seem to be perhaps even more narcophobic in their attitude to illegal drugs than the Finns, and unfortunately there is a tendency in Finland to use Sweden as something of a model for all types of social policy. My friends in the European Parliament tell me that even the Swedish Greens have swallowed the official national line of trying to impose their restrictive attitudes on the rest of Europe. I really like Sweden in many ways, but I am very sceptical about their apparent belief that Utopia can be achieved by passing enough laws. Last autumn I was a bit surprised to see the lead editorial of the Swedish newspaper Expressen call for the decriminalisation of drug use, pointing to statistics that suggest that Sweden has a relatively high rate of drug-related deaths compared with the Netherlands, for instance.
(Brief aus Finnland, Januar 2002)
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