The Civil Society Forum on Drugs (CSFD) just published a policy paper on the civil society involvement in drug policymaking in EU.
The fundamental problem of drug policy as a policy area is that it has no political potential. Politicians are not interested in drug policy; it is not an item that enjoys a high position on the political agenda. As a result, it is underfunded, understaffed, and often ineffective.
Concerning non-state actors, civil society involvement in drug policymaking is often a ‘ticking the boxes’ exercise, formal and only symbolic. Civil society organisations (CSOs) should provide input into the policy process, but it is rarely happening in a meaningful way in practice. There are mechanisms in place, but they are not used to maximise the participation of non-state actors and resulting potential benefits. CSOs are sometimes invited to participate in decision-making processes, but they are not being listened to. […]