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Invitation to nominate
                                                                                                2018, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Very Honorable and Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Concerning: campaign for the nomination of drugs pacifists for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.

because of your prominent social position, you belong to an exclusive group of people which Alfred Nobel considered worthy to nominate candidates for the Peace Prize that bears his name. We therefore have the honor to address you at the start of our 2019 campaign for the nomination of drugs pacifists for the Nobel Peace Prize. It comes at the occasion of the 25th anniversary of our first campaign in 1994 and intends to raise renewed awareness of the legitimate claims of users of mind altering substances about their use. This time around, our campaign is focused on the long-awaited paradigm shift from a zero-tolerance to a human rights-based policy. From a fundamentalist ideology, prepared to outsource the fight against an ill-defined evil to very real criminal forces in society, to an evidence-based management policy operating democratically within the rule of law. And above all a shift from a regime that exposes our youth and others, often less protected minorities, to the destructive drug use it claims it wishes to end, towards a regime of compassion, aimed at reduction of abuse and the related harm, and prepared to understand the use of mind-altering substances as an integral part of the human quest for ultimate happiness.

Until very recently such a shift seemed a product of daydreams as talk about a more humane drug control policy within the UN cenacles, as reported by the Outcome Document of the recent 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs, was widely viewed as mere lip service to the ideals of the more progressive minded member states and civil society. The one positive result so far of the 2016 UNGASS was the realization that a monolithic drug control block dictating world policy had come to an end. That the appearance of a prohibitionist consensus belonged to the past. This stalemate changed dramatically last March 12, 2018. In a video message to the 61st session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio de Oliveira Guterres, admitted the failure of the present prohibition policy and declared the Outcome Document the new consensus, ‘our blueprint [to] promote efforts to stop organized crime while protecting human rights, enabling development and ensuring rights-based treatment and support’. By proudly referring to the reforms he introduced as prime-minster in Portugal in 2001, he implicitly called for a decriminalization of all drugs.

Simultaneously, the High Commissioner of Human Rights, who until very recently shied away from drug policy formulation, seems to become a key player in the evaluation of the old and the redaction of the new 10-year UN drugs control plan in 2019. Evidence-based results of the efforts to eliminate drug abuse and to account for human rights abuses in the pursuit of this goal may finally be brought to bear in the appreciation of the Vienna-directed policies.

The Drugs Peace Institute is convinced that the anti-prohibitionist world can contribute in a meaningful way to the paradigm shift by advancing positive results produced by the drugs user communities themselves. To this end it proposes for nomination for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize the candidacy of the Huichol people (Wixárika in their own language) of Mexico and of the Cannabis Social Clubs (CSCs), spread over the Americas and Europe: candidates who exemplify the prevention of abuse through socially controlled use in ceremonial centers and cannabis clubs respectively.

The Huichols are a first Nation that through its use of peyote has succeeded exemplarily in preserving the spirituality of its pre-historic hunter past in an agricultural society conditioned by very difficult present day social conditions. The CSCs succeeded in carving out, despite all social pressure, a model for the communal cultivation and consumption of marihuana. Both groups organize the use of their substance of preference, respectively peyote and cannabis, in a responsible way. The CSCs adhere to the 5 principles of supply follows demand, non-profitability, transparency, healthy use and openness to dialogue with the authorities, set forth by ENCOD and to its Code of Conduct. These same principles are held since time immemorial by the various Huichol ceremonial centers where compliance is assured by the mara’kame (shaman) leadership.

The Huichol people is represented by the Huichol Center for Cultural Survival, directed by Ms. Susana Eger Valadez. The CSCs are represented by the former leadership of Arsec, the Barcelona cannabis social club avant-la-lettre, Felipe Borrallo, Jaime Prats and Josep Baltierrez i Alier.

The lifelong efforts of the candidates to contribute to a permanent demonstration of peaceful integration of the use of mind-altering substances in daily life are confirmed by the Recommendation by the Committee of experts from a cross-section of society.

The nomination process tells you how you best can forward your nomination to the Oslo Nobel Committee, care of the Drugs Peace Institute.

In the past campaigns we organized we always went for at least the required 100 individual nominations. This time around we hope to get a multiple thereof, so that the nomination campaign may strengthen Mr. Guterres hands and provide a telling signal of the strength of the wish for a paradigm shift in international drug control policy. Equally, as we have chosen to propose for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize drugs user groups regularly prosecuted in courts, you can help present them to their judges not as criminals, but as Nobel nominees, endorsed by legal scholars, philosophers, historians and lawmakers, the judges’ peers.

We hope that feelings of peace, justice and hope will guide you when responding to our invitation. As Secretary-general Guterres said, ‘Together we have an opportunity to chart a better and balanced path for decades to come.’

Sincerely yours,
cv
Adriaan Bronkhorst