We, the signatories of the Frankfurt Resolution, have agreed to a continuous
exchange of experience and cooperation with respect to drug policy.
I. We have ascertained that:
1. The attempt to eliminate both the supply and the consumption of drugs in
our society has failed. The demand for drugs persists to this day, despite
all educational efforts, and all the signs indicate that we shall have to
continue to live with the existence of drugs and drug users in the future.
2. Drug addiction is a social phenomenon which cannot be eradicated by drug
policy, but rather regulated and at best be limited. For many drug users
dependence is a transitional phase of crisis in their personal history that
can be overcome by a process of maturing out of drug dependence. Drug policy
should not impede this process but must rather offer assistance and support.
3. A drug policy which attempts to combat drug addiction solely by criminal
law and compulsion to abstinence and which makes motivation for abstinence
the prequisite for state aid has failed. The demand for drugs has not
decreased, the physical suffering and social misery of addicts is
increasing, more and more addicts die, illegal drug trafficking is expanding
and making larger and larger profits, the fear of city dwellers, in the face
of drug trafficking and acquisitive criminality is rising.
4. Drug problems are not derived solely from the pharmacological properties
of drugs, but are primarily due to the illegality of drug consumption.
Illegality makes drugs impure and expensive, and the dosage is hardly
calculable. Illegality is the primary factor causing misery of addicts, the
deaths and the acquisitive criminality. Criminalization not only is a
barrier to assistance and therapy, but also forces the police and the
judiciary system to perform a task which they cannot fulfill.
5. Drug users live, for the most part, in large cities or gravitate to the
cities because that is where they find the market, the drug scene and the
facilities for help. Consequently, it is the larger cities which are
primarily affected, but their influence on drug policy is modest and stands
in stark contrast to the burden they must bear.
II. We therefore draw the following conclusions:
1. A dramatic shift in priorities in drug policy is essential. Help for drug
addicts must constitute together with preventitive and educational measures
an equally important objective of drug policy. The maximum amount of social
and health assistance must be made available when dealing with drug
addiction and drug users, and repressive interventions must be kept to a
minimum. Criminal prosecution should focus its priorities on combatting
illegal drug traffic. The protection of the population is, in particular, a
task for the police.
Anyone who wants to reduce the suffering, misery and death must firstly free
the drug addicts from the threat of prosecution simply because they use
drugs. Secondly, offers of help must not be linked to the target of total
abstinence. Help should not only be aimed at breaking away from dependence,
but must also permit a life in dignity with drugs.
2. It is essential that drug policy distinguish between cannabis and other
illegal drugs whose addictive potential, danger and cultural resonance
3. The distribution of sterile syringes to drug users and maintenance with
methadone are important means contributing to harm reduction.
4. A legal basis must be created in order to permit the establishment of
“shooting galleries” in which drugs can be consumed under supervision.
5. The medically controlled prescription of drugs to long-term drug users
should be analysed without prejudice and in view of harm reduction. A trial
within a scientific framework should be made possible.
6. We require better cooperation and coordination of drug policy between the
large cities and their regions, amongst the cities themselves and also
between European countries. If only a few major cities implement a drug
policy accepting the reality of drug addiction and offer low-threshold help,
these cities will attract drug users like magnets and soon be overwhelmed by
the problems with which they are confronted.
III. We consider it necessary:
1. That our drug policy concept receives the necessary legal, organizational
and financial support from the national and regional governments.
2. That purchase, posession and consumption of cannabis no longer constitute
a penal offence (Amsterdam model). Trade should be legally regulated.
3. That users of other illegal drugs are not punished for the puschase,
possession and consumption of small quantities of drugs for their own
4. That legal, organizational and financial guidelines be created to expand
the necessary prescription of methadone in our cities.
5. That the legislators and the national governments create the
prerequisites for low-threshold prescription of methadone (Amsterdam model)
and for medically indicated and scientifically accompanied trial with drug
prescription. In this connection, psycho-social assistance must be
With the unification process in Europe and the opening of the frontiers, a
situation is arising which can only be dealt with at an international level
and in coordination between the cities concerned.
We, the signatories of the Frankfurt Resolution, consequently resolve, in
close cooperation with the existing initiatives of the Commission of the
European Communities. The Council of Europe, and the World Health
Organization- Section Europe- upon the setting up of a cooperation network
to ensure regular intercity exchange of experience. New roads in drug policy
must be jointly prepared and results and experience exchanged.
To serve this purpose, we will strive for:
- The strengthening of European coordination concerning drug-related issues.
- Regular meetings of the drug coordinators.
- The exchange of specialists from sectors of drug assistance, prevention, police and public health.
- An annual city conference.
The circle of cities cooperating must continually expand.
It is a matter of urgent necessity to found an institution that, in cooperation with the Council of Europe, the Comission of the European Communities and the World Health Organisation – Section Europe – both coordinates and conducts scientific research on the drug issue within Europe and initiates scientifically-accompanied drug assistance projects which attempt, in particular, to try out new approaches.
We urge that, in the course of the process of unification of Europe, the necessary coordination of the national legal systems be effected on the basis of a policy of de-criminalization and de-penalization of drug users as well as harm reduction.
The European Cities on Drug Policy
(ECDP) has more information.