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UN: cannabis law changes pose 'very grave danger to public health'

By Hey :-), Mar 4, 2014 | | |
  1. Hey :-)
    International Narcotics Control Board calls US and Uruguay moves on cannabis 'misguided initiatives'

    The UN has launched a counter-offensive
    against moves to liberalise drug laws around the world, warning that cannabis legalisation poses a grave danger to public health.

    The UN body for enforcing international drug treaties, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), voiced concern over "misguided initiatives" on cannabis legalisation in Uruguay and the US states of Colorado and Washington that fail to comply with international drug conventions.

    The INCB annual report published on Tuesday claims that the introduction of a widely commercialised "medical" cannabis programme in Colorado has led to increases in car accidents involving "drug drivers", cannabis-related treatment admissions, and positive drug tests for cannabis.

    "Drug-traffickers will choose the path of least resistance, so it is essential that global efforts to tackle the drug problem are unified," said Raymond Yans, INCB president.

    "When governments consider their future policies on this, the primary consideration should be the long-term health and welfare of the population."

    He said the UN was concerned about some initiatives aimed at the legalisation of the non-medical and non-scientific use of cannabis that posed "a very grave danger to public health and wellbeing" – the very things international drug conventions had been designed to protect.

    The UN's warning follows the vote by Uruguay's parliament in December to approve a bill to legalise and regulate the sale and production of marijuana.

    The sale of cannabis by licensed suppliers to adults aged over 21 became legal in Colorado in January, and is due to follow this summer in Washington state. This is despite it remaining illegal under US federal law to cultivate, sell or possess cannabis.

    Uruguay's president, José Mujica, has said his country's initiative was an attempt to undermine the black market, and find an alternative to the "war on drugs", which he says has created more problems than it solves.

    But the INCB report argues against such "alternative drug regimes", claiming legalisation would not collapse "underground markets", but instead would lead to much greater use of such drugs and higher levels of addiction.

    Pointing to the history of alcohol and tobacco markets, the report says that despite legalisation there is still a thriving black market for cigarettes in many countries. It says up to 20% of Britain's domestic cigarette market consists of smuggled cigarettes, while they represent 33% of all domestic cigarette consumption in Canada.

    Alcohol, despite being legal, is also responsible for far more arrests than illegal drugs. In the US there were 2m alcohol-related arrests in 2012 compared with 1.6m related to illegal drugs.

    "One reason for those higher alcohol-related costs is that in many countries alcohol abuse is far more prevalent than the abuse of substances under international control," the report says.

    The UN remains most concerned about the scale of illicit opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, which set records in 2013 reaching 209,000 hectares, a 36% increase compared with 154,000 hectares in 2012.

    "The country remains the centre of the illicit manufacture of heroin and its importance as a source of cannabis resin for the world markets is growing. The situation seriously endangers the aims of the international drug control treaties," the INCB report says.

    It repeats its warnings on legal highs or new psychoactive substances as they are officially known, and says unprecedented numbers and varieties of these synthetic chemical substances are being sold in the developing world as well as Europe.

    The UN drugs report also highlights the significance of widespread prescription drug abuse in the US and says that "takeback" days promoting their safe disposal are not enough to tackle this growing trend.

    By Alan Travis
    Photograph Nicolas Celaya, Xinhua Press, Corbis; a cannabis smoker in Uruguay
    Tuesday 4 March 2014
    The Guardian

    Related Report of The International Narcotics Control Board; https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/local_links.php?action=ratelink&catid=15&linkid=13253


  1. MikePatton
    What a stupid statement to make. Countries where Cannabis is sold legally are exactly the opposite of what he calls "the path of least resistance" for drug-traffickers. If anything, it's the other way around... If the demand for Cannabis is not met legally, it will be met by drug traffickers.
  2. Joe-(5-HTP)
    Ok, let's unify on legalisation then.

    Oh, they don't want that? Ah, I see they meant we should unify in the direction they want.

    This is just the decaying voice of obsolete tradition.

    "Drug trafficers will take the path of least resistance" - Yeah, they are so clearly against drug traffickers. It's their ideology of prohibition that creates the black markets in the first place.

    Embarrassing and disgraceful arguments.
  3. Xplicit
    hahaha fuck these shitwads. The reason the world is so shitty is because people with their fucking ego have the urge to be Mr. Right or Mr. Save the Day all the damn time. We live in a world where people are trying to restrict nature i.e Cannabis and Psilocybin Mushrooms and where people have the nerve to tell other people what they can or can't put in their own bodies. Its only moral to let people themselves decide what is good for themselves or not as long as it doesn't hurt anyone.
  4. dr ACE
    The global tide is finally turning on the cannabis decriminalization issue and it doesn't really matter what the U.N and other authorities keep banging on about with these worn-out old arguments for why the world should continue criminalizing this medicinal plant. Peoples attitudes are changing and the shifting legislation movements in different country's and states reflects this
  5. scartissue_68
    Despite the lunacy driven by the faux self-righteous Morons back in the 1920's, prohibition of alcohol certainly showed what happens when people will pay for illegal "kicks".

    Fast forward 90+ years and there are still dry counties in the US....what's the result of this? You got it, there are still guys making and selling unpurified, "white lightning" on the black market. All cash. No tax.

    Whether using macro or micro examples, the truth is self evident: PROHIBITION DOESN'T WORK.

    The result is people on both sides of the trade (made illegal by hypocrites) will die, go to prison and make huge profits for people who want to Kill Us. There is no black market without the bigoted US laws in the War on Drugs.

    If the UN wants Justice, start in The Ukraine.
  6. cz-one
    A very grave danger to their jobs and their self-serving system more like !! They'd do well to start looking at ways of incorporating drug use in a regulated way where its not in the hands of criminals rather than denying the realities on the ground whereby everyone is starting to realise their war has failed, and either they change or become obsolete !!
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