Russia’s chief drug official, Viktor Ivanov, knows that drug abuse is a scourge that must be eliminated from the earth. He is disappointed that the international forces in Afghanistan have shifted tactics from eradication of the opium crop to ignoring the crop while fighting the Taliban.
His commitment to ridding the world of the dangers of all illegal drugs brought him to visit one of the centers of world drug use where he urged that their must not be any backsliding in this worldwide war.
Where did Ivanov visit? Mexico? Columbia? Pakistan? Peru?
None of those places. Ivanov visited California to “conduct a campaign against legalizing marijuana in California.”
In Los Angeles he was shocked to see posters advertising medical marijuana.
“I hadn’t known about it before and I was absolutely shocked when I was in the city and saw these posters saying that you can get marijuana for medical purposes,” Ivanov said.
In an appeal that sounds as if it could come straight out of “Reefer Madness,” the classic propaganda film put out by moralists in the 1930’s that demonized marijuana as some sort of super drug that will rot the user’s mind, Ivanov followed up with an explanation.
“I’m afraid that the consequences of [legalization] will be catastrophic. Even the Netherlands, where they sell marijuana legally in coffee shops, they are now reversing on this. Because there, and everywhere, drug addiction is becoming stronger and the people who are addicted develop psychiatric deviations. They say, ‘What does God do when he wants to punish a person? He deprives him of his mind.’”
I thought the world had gone beyond these crazy depictions, but apparently not. Since Ivanov advocates that marijuana use will destroy the mind, there is no need to have the facts get in the way of the rest of his argument either.
Ivanov claims that the Dutch are reversing their lenient drug tolerance by closing the cannabis shops. True, some cannabis shops have been closed but not for the reasons Ivanov asserts.
Some cannabis shops have been forced to close because officials want the shops moved beyond a 200 meter perimeter from schools. That forced the closure of half the cannabis shops in Rotterdam.
Some Dutch are concerned about the higher concentrations of THC in marijuana and the effect that is having on users. However, the main reason for the Dutch reviewing their drug policy is the thousands of foreigners, mainly from the less lenient France and Belgium, who come to the Netherlands to enjoy the less severe laws.
The Dutch are taking steps to restrict the foreign demand and try to make more sense out of their conflicting drug laws that allow for the personal consumption and retail sale of marijuana but not its cultivation.
The “psychiatric deviation” going on is all in Ivanov’s own mind where the fear of the plant has once again shown that it is more of a danger than the use of it.
Posted on October 24, 2010
by Glenn Church
Russian Drug Czar Warns that Legal Marijuana will Cause “Psychiatric Deviations"