Drug consumption is a world problem of epidemic character with severe health and social consequences that affects all countries, no matter their development level.


To face this problem the organized participation of society is required, through actions based on evidence that put the health of individuals and communities before other interests.   


There are voices that are in favor of the legalization of drugs and a free market, which ignore the positive results of interventions based on evidence.


They propose a free market in marijuana by presenting decision makers with arguments that are simplistic, biased and, at times, openly false.


We, women and men working for health and against addictions, representatives of important networks of civil society from different regions of the world:


  • Recognizing that the propagation of the consumption of psychoactive substances is a world problem, with severe consequences for the public health and security of countries, which requires international cooperation,


  • Seriously worried about the increase in drug consumption and production in the world, particularly in developing countries, and the burden on families, society and national health systems,


  • Recognizing also that science has proved that marijuana consumption is a cause of mortality, morbidity and disability,


  • Recognizing also that there is clear scientific evidence that marijuana produces substance related disorders, such as abuse and dependence,


  • Recognizing also that most marijuana compounds and its smoke are pharmacologically active,


  • Recognizing also that there is scientific evidence which shows that prenatal marijuana exposure generates adverse conditions for the health and development of the child,


  • Seriously worried about the number of marijuana consumers among children and adolescents in the world, and particularly worried about the decreasing age of initial consumption,


  • Seriously worried about the increase in the number of marijuana consumers among women and girls in the world,


  • Recognizing also that the prevention of drug consumption has demonstrated to be an efficient strategy without any doubt,


  • Noting that, in line with the international drug control conventions, the use of education, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation is a better course of action than the criminalization of drug users,


  • Emphasizing that countries in development and with transition economies need enough financial and technical resources for drug prevention, assistance and care,


  • Aware of the valuable work on marihuana control of many States and emphasizing also the leadership of the United Nations (UN), mainly the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (ONUDC), and World Health Organization as well as the efforts made by other international bodies,


  • Emphasizing also the special contribution of the non-governmental organizations and the international networks,


  • And recalling that the countries around the world made a commitment to take actions for drug control through international treaties as the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 as amended by the Protocol of 25 March 1972; the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971; the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988; the Political Declarations and Action Plans adopted at the UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS 1998) and the Fifty-second session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (52 CND, Vienna 2009).



Therefore, in this World Congress on Addictions 2009 “Experiences based on evidence? we are committed to:


  • Advocate for greater resource management and the promotion of demand reduction services,


  • Call for the use of alternatives to incarceration and criminalization of drug users,


  • Get closer to decision makers and ask them to develop well-balanced national policies between supply reduction and demand reduction by means of prevention programs, early detection and opportune interventions, treatment, rehabilitation and diminishing the adverse health and social consequences as the best option to face this social phenomena,


  • Preserve the integral health of people as a value to be strengthened in our society


  • Propose public policies that are in favor of a clear commitment on demand reduction,


  • Advocate for the promotion of prevention,


  • Disseminate this call to action in the mass media,


  • Form a strong alliance in support of health promotion to oppose pressures in favor of and to fight against marijuana legalization.




We hereby call to action all those involved, governments, institutions, the mass media, the scientific community, legislators and civil society in general to mobilize political will in favor of prevention and the application of all the necessary resources to stop marijuana legalization.




Mrs. Carmen Fernández Cáceres

Director- General of Centros de Integración Juvenil (CIJ)


Mr.  Ake Setréus

Deputy General- Director of European Cities against Drugs (ECAD)


Mr. Alejandro Vassilaqui Castrillón

President of Drug Prevention Network of the Americas (DPNA)


Rev. Adélard Joseph André Bigras

Executive Member of the Drug Prevention Network of Canada (DPNOC)

Representative of the World Federation against Drugs (WFAD)


Dr. Elvia Velásquez de Pabón

President of the Latin American Association of Addictions (ALAD)


Mr. Rogers Kasirye

Executive Director of Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL)


Mr. John Redman

Executive Director of Community Alliances for Drug Free Youth (CADFY)


Bishop Ron Allen

Director of the International Faith based Coalition

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