The Observatory

[fusion_text][/fusion_text][one_half last=”no” class=”” id=””][imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”border” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/imageframe][/one_half][one_half last=”yes” class=”” id=””][title size=”2″ content_align=”left” style_type=”single” sep_color=”” class=”” id=””]Welcome to the Civil Observatory![/title][fusion_text]
The Civil Drugs Observatory is a research centre dedicated to promoting a drug policy based on objective evidence and respect for civil rights and individual liberty. It is registered as a non profit association of members and is therefore a legal entity in its own right with limited financial liability for its members.[/fusion_text][/one_half][fullwidth backgroundcolor=”no” backgroundimage=”” backgroundrepeat=”no-repeat” backgroundposition=”left top” backgroundattachment=”scroll” bordersize=”0px” bordercolor=”” borderstyle=”” paddingtop=”0px” paddingbottom=”0px” paddingleft=”0px” paddingright=”0px” menu_anchor=”” class=”” id=””][title size=”2″ content_align=”left” style_type=”single” sep_color=”” class=”” id=””]Who is the Civil Observatory?[/title][accordian class=”” id=””][toggle title=”Why was the Civil Drugs Observatory founded?” open=”yes”]The Observatory is based in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, Spain. Catalonia, with Euskadi and Navarra is presently at the forefront of new regulatory approaches to cannabis regulation. The Observatory will seek to document this process for the benefit of the international community and to contribute to the drafting process with the provision of empirical findings.

There has been a great deal written in international drug policy literature about Spanish experience. This has been done largely in absence of empirical research or access to English translations of official documents. One of the first tasks of the Observatory will be to address the absence of empirical research and to translate key documents on this topic into Castilian Spanish and English.

Whereas several countries benefit from the existence of charities and legal organizations to inform citizens of their rights (eg Release in the UK, and Flex Your Rights in the U.S.A) there is an absence of such bodies in Spain. An important task of the Spanish Drugs Observatory will be to better inform Spanish citizens of their legal rights during a police encounter and on the legal prohibitions on drug use and supply.[/toggle][toggle title=”Aims of the Observatory” open=”yes”]Establish links with between the academic community, legal practitioners and stakeholders,

Commission and undertake Independent Evaluation and Explanation of Significant Scientific Research: Policy makers and legal decision-makers are increasingly drawing on scientific expertise. Such research is drawn on in support of both the making and enforcement of regulations. Government sponsored scientific research, although frequently cited in support of policy initiatives, is often unpublished and therefore not subject to the scrutiny of the scientific community. The principal risks associated with this development are (i) forensic science is frequently unreliable and rarely peer-reviewed (ii) forensic science is not readily understood by legal practitioners and scientifically illiterate policy makers (iii) the findings of forensic science are frequently misunderstood by legal practitioners and policy-makers (iv) forensic science is too readily accepted as an objective statement of truth.

The Observatory will identify, access, translate into English, and publicise the scientific articles and reports that are playing a significant role in the regulation and enforcement of drug related issues. This will ensure that this research is available for peer review. will seek to (i) explain the forensic role played by the scientific research (ii) The Observatory will seek to ensure that the data on which such articles and reports are based are accessible, where necessary, by making freedom of information requests. (iii)The Observatory will commission independent scientific evaluation of such reports where deemed necessary and (iv) seek to ensure that the scientific research is understood by the legal community and those working in the cannabis field.

Document and Evaluate the operation of Cannabis Associations in Spain.

Despite the global significance of Spain’s experiment with Cannabis Associations, there is an absence of independent research on their operation. Cannabis associations are increasingly referred to in academic and policy literature as a viable alternative model of cannabis regulation. Despite their increased profile in the literature, there has been no empirical research into the actual working practices of Cannabis Associations.

Clarifying the state of the law and dissemination of this knowledge

One of the characteristics of Spanish law is this area is legal uncertainty. One of the key aims of the observatory is to collate and evaluate legal opinions and jurisprudence in this area in order to clarify the state of play for legal professionals, but to also ensure that the cannabis community is better informed of their rights and obligations.

Create an on-line archive of documentary records on cannabis regulation in Spain and translate the most significant court decisions and governmental publications into English and, where the documents are only available in Catalan, into Castilian Spanish.

Create an online resource containing lists and links to the most significant legal references on cannabis regulation in Spain.[/toggle][/accordian][/fullwidth]