Before visiting the country, what did we know about the Czech Republic and its drug laws? We knew that back in 2010, prompted by the deteriorating HIV/AIDS situation in the country, the government tightened the laws on drug use. Predictably, it only made the situation worse. However, the Czech authorities then made a bold decision, and drug use is no longer a criminal offence in the country. At the same time, we understood very clearly that adopting laws is one thing, and making them efficient and practically applicable is something else altogether. We tried to find someone who could explain to us all about drug policy in the Czech Republic. Our friends advised us to ask David Pešek, the head of SANANIM, one of the biggest and oldest Czech NGOs, exactly what has been happening in Czech drug policy and how it affects the lives of the PWUD community. It was a very long conversation, and as a result we obtained a lot of new and very interesting information about the Czech Republic - most of it quite unexpected.
Igor Kouzmenko and Alex Kurmanevsky