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<TD>Occasional pot dangerous - UN
June 27, 2005
The United Nations drug agency has warned on world anti-drugs day that even occasional use of marijuana is a link in a long and dangerous cycle of crime, degradation and terrorism.
"The links between organised crime, drug trafficking, drug consumption, drug money, arms trafficking and terrorism become clearer every day," said Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
"We know that even the occasional marijuana smoker is a link in a much longer and more dangerous chain."
In a message to mark an international anti-drug day, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan warned that drugs were "little more than tickets to a dead end".
Governments marked the day with drug bonfires, and, in the case of China, by executing convicted drug traffickers.
In Afghanistan, where the UN has warned that narcotics trafficking is undermining the country's fragile security, officials put almost 60 tons of opium, heroin and hashish to the torch, according to General Mohammad Daud, the deputy minister for counter-narcotics said.
Afghanistan is the world's largest drug producer and supplies almost 90 per cent of the opium used to make heroin.
In Burma, the world's second largest drug producer, the military regime used the occasion of the anti-drugs day, as it does every year, to burn a huge stash of opium, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamines at a ceremony attended by diplomats and foreign journalists.
In China, still conditioned by the awareness that opium ravaged previous generations and opened the door to foreign imperialists, the Government marked anti-drug day by executing dozens of traffickers.
In the southern city of Guizhou, 24 people were convicted of trafficking over the weekend, and five were immediately executed with a bullet in the neck, according to official media.