Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Basil Omar to hang for 1kg of Cannabis herb

Letter to Malaysian authorities (NZer's incensed by this and other recent cannabis injustice hangings may wish to join ENCOD and write similarily to the NZ Malaysian Embassy and/or copy your concerns to NZ chapters, especially university campus branches of Amnesty International)

Dear friends, Here is the ENCOD letter to the Malaysian authorities (see address below ) concerning the fate of Mr. Basil Omar, sentenced to death after being caught with approximately 1 kilo of cannabis.

We will send the letter as soon as we know which authorities are best placed to direct the letter to. We hope to get this information soon from Malaysian human rights groups and/or Amnesty International. If you have any suggestions to the content of the letter, please let me know.

Best wishes, Joep

TO: MALAYSIAN AUTHORITIES

As a European coalition of NGO's and individuals concerned with the global drug issue, we would like to inform you herewith of our deepest concerns about the upcoming execution of Mr. Basil Omar (36), whose death sentence was confirmed recently.

Mr. Basil Omar was caught in possession of 1 kilo of cannabis on January 31, 1990. He was sentenced to death in September 1994. On 20 March 2007, Mr. Omar's appeal to the Malaysian Federal Court to have the death sentences by hanging reversed, failed.

The use of the death penalty as such runs counter to the universal protection of human rights and is at odds with the international trend away from the use of this measure. Very few countries currently carry out executions: provisional figures compiled by Amnesty International indicate that only 20 of the United Nation's 193 member states carried out state killings in 2006. In countries such as South Korea and Taiwan, authorities are considering to abolish this measure. We hope that this will soon be the case in Malaysia as well.

However, in this particular case, we believe there is no valid argument whatsoever to carry out this punishment, and urge you to do whatever is possible to reverse the sentence.

Cannabis is a natural product, a non-lethal substance. Its consumption is widespread around the world, as it has been for thousands of years among many different cultures and people. In most European countries, cannabis possession for personal consumption is not even penalised anymore. In the coming years, we expect major law changes that will allow for the cultivation and distribution of cannabis to adults in several European countries.

In spite of executions of drug traffickers in Malaysia, the country is not and will never be drug-free. Many people in Malaysia want to consume cannabis and other drugs, so it is obvious that other people will supply them. Taking the life of Mr. Omar will not change that situation.

Drugs trafficking is the core business of globally organised criminal organisations. Mr. Omar or others who are occasionally caught by authorities with relatively small amounts do not have major responsibilities in this business. Killing them will not scare the drugs gangs away. On the contrary, it is possible that thanks to these punishments, the drugs barons can continue to justify extraordinary high prices for their goods.

ENCOD strongly believes that the drugs problem can only be reduced by effective social and health policies, not by legal sanctions. Innovative strategies for addressing the issue both globally and locally are needed, and the harsh implementation of drug prohibition is a major impediment to thee introduction of these strategies. The reinforcement of policies that have failed until now will increase the lack of credibility of authorities in the opinion of the general public.

We call upon your wisdom to apply principles of sound governance and reverse the death sentence for Mr. Basil Omar. We also offer you our co-operation in order to convince European governments to support Malaysia in the creation of structures which would allow for the reduction of harm that the production, trade and consumption of illicit drugs can cause.

Sincerely yours,

On behalf of ENCOD,

Christine Kluge, Germany
Marina Impallomeni, Italy
Virginia MontaƱes, Spain
Farid Ghehioueche, France
Jan van der Tas, Netherlands
Joep Oomen, Belgium

HIGH COMMISSION OF MALAYSIA
WELLINGTON Address : No. 10 Washington Avenue Brooklyn,P.O. Box 9422, Wellington,New Zealand
Telephone : (64-4) 385 2439/ 801 5659 (Am) Fax :(64-4) 385 6973
E-Mail: mwwelton@xtra.co.nz

Other International addresses

also see Transform Drug Policy Foundation(UK) http://transform-drugs.blogspot.com/2007/04/plea-to-prevent-execution-of-basil-omar.html

Blair Anderson, New Zealand
mildgreens.com
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

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