The European Parliament prohibits an exhibition on Cannabis, a product that receives subsidies from the EU
On 5 April last, the European Parliament, through its Quaestors denied the authorization to hold an exhibition on industrial cannabis products in the EP building in Strasbourg that MEP Marco Cappato (Radicals, Italy) was organizing in collaboration with the group "Chanvre Info". In accordance with the rules of the EP, the authorization request had been submitted on 4 July 2003. Over the last few months, thanks to the involvement of the competent parliamentary services, the final phases of the preparation and organization of the first European exhibition of cannabis derivatives had started.
Upon receipt of the denial, Marco Cappato promptly wrote a letter to the Quaestors hoping that the decision was the fruit of a "misunderstanding". In his communication, Cappato emphasized how "cannabis derivatives are not only a legal product throughout the European Union, but they are also subsidized by the European money destined to agriculture". Moreover, Cappato wrote that "it would be paradoxical, as well as unacceptable, to use the rules governing exhibitions at the EP - where it is said that the "exhibition cannot, in any way, trigger major political objections" - to impede the exhibition of goods that are the products of cultivations financed by the EU budget".
Despite the request to reconsider the decision taken, and the assurances given by the parliamentary services that it would have been sufficient to formally state that no illegal products would have been displayed to obtain the authorization to hold the exhibition, the EP Quaestors have confirmed their decision, negating the possibility to organize the event.
Statement by Marco Cappato, Member of the European Parliament (Radicals, Italy):
"The decision taken by the Quaestors is inadmissible and underscores, once again, the fact that bureaucratic decisions are de facto, and increasingly also de jure, substituting the legitimate political powers within European institutions. I urge all those European citizens that will read this message, and in particular producers and vendors of cannabis derivatives that are legally used as widely useful, to express their indignation to the President of the EP Pat COX and the other Quaestors:
Mary BANOTTI, Godelieve QUISTHOUDT-ROWOHL, Jacques POOS, Miet SMET, Richard BALFE - for their decision to prohibit the exhibition of products financed by the EU money".
Mary BANOTTI (MBanotti at europarl.eu.int);
Godelieve QUISTHOUDT-ROWOHL (GQuisthoudt at europarl.eu.int);
Jacques POOS (Jpoos at europarl.eu.int);
Miet SMET (MSmet at europarl.eu.int);
Richard BALFE (RBalfe at europarl.eu.int).
for further information:
fax: +32-2- 2849496
e-mail: mcappato at europarl.eu.int