Vienna, August 30th, 2014 – Austria’s Green party youth has joined the growing efforts to legalize cannabis in Austria on Saturday. In the coming three weeks the young politicians will travel all over Austria with a symbolic human-sized joint to push the issue of a „reasonable drug policy reform“, chairwoman Diane Witzani told the Austrian Hemp Institute (Hanf-Institut).
„It is time to convince parents, grandparents and everybody else that legalization is the way to go,“ she said further.
„Either illegalize alcohol or legalize cannabis, everything else is hypocrisy“
„Either illegalize alcohol or legalize cannabis, everything else is hypocrisy,“ added spokesman Cengiz Kulac.
The young Greens support a change in drug policy, ackknowleding that prohibition has not worked in the past. More than 60,000 killings in the Mexican drug war are only one example of the futility of current policies.
The party youngsters aim for a system of controlled cannabis distribution with a focus on purity, similar to the German „Reinheitsgebot“, a centuries old rule for beer making.
In their view all advertising for drugs, including alcohol, should be outlawed.
„Preaching abstinence makes no sense. The solution is to inform and educate people,“ Witzani said in a statement released at the beginning of the travelling joint tour.
The Greens are the second party youth after the social democrats actively pushing for the legalization of cannabis in Austria.
A currently running parliamentary citizens initiative for the exclusion of cannabis from Austria’s drug laws has so far yielded more than 19,000 supporting signatures. „This makes it already the 4th most important political issue in Austria and people are no longer afraid to come out of the closet in order to be decriminalized“, Toni Straka, chairman of the Hemp Institute said.
According to official estimates up to one million Austrians consume cannabis. Calculations based on the number of medical cannabis patients in Colorado indicate that some 200,000 Austrians would be eligible for medical cannabis.