#331 UN Agency Prevaricates

Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006
Subject: #331 UN Agency Prevaricates

UN AGENCY PREVARICATES

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DrugSense FOCUS Alert #331 – Wednesday, 28 June 2006

Speaking at the launch of the World Drug Report in Washington Tuesday,
Antonio Maria Costa, the executive director of the UN Office on Drugs
and Crime, warned: “Policy reversals leave young people confused as to
just how dangerous cannabis is. With cannabis-related health damage
increasing, it is fundamentally wrong for countries to make cannabis
control dependent on which party is in government.

“The cannabis pandemic, like other challenges to public health,
requires consensus, a consistent commitment across the political
spectrum and by society at large. Today, the harmful characteristics
of cannabis are no longer that different from those of other
plant-based drugs such as cocaine and heroin.”

The initial stories in the world’s press accepted the statements of
prevaricator Costa at face value, as well as the report, which
devotes it’s Second Chapter to marijuana “Cannabis: Why we should
care.” The full report is at
http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/WDR-2006.html

But leading drug policy experts were quick to respond, not that their
views have received press, yet.

The Leading UK drugs charity DrugScope http://www.drugscope.org.uk
responded “”DrugScope is surprised and concerned by the UNODC Chief’s
comments regarding cannabis” said Martin Barnes, Chief Executive of
DrugScope.

“The UK government, education system and charities have worked hard in
recent years to ensure our young people are given factual information
about the relative harms of drugs. International evidence is clear
that cocaine and heroin cause much greater health and social harms
than cannabis and it is misleading and irresponsible to suggest
otherwise. Cannabis is a harmful substance but the greater harms
caused by cocaine and heroin should not be downplayed.

“European evidence shows that although stronger strains of cannabis
are available than 20 years ago, there has not been a significant
increase overall in the use of more potent forms of the drug.””

Canadian Senator Larry Campbell wrote “UNODC Executive Director,
Antonio Maria Costa claims that the world is experiencing a
devastating “cannabis pandemic.” This gentleman is the same person who
said we were putting “cannabis oil” on pasta. It was pointed out that
is was hemp oil which is not a sativa product. He didn’t know the
difference and appeared not to care. Simply another high paid UN
stooge. Isn’t it amazing that the US only supports the UN when they
toe the US “drug war” line.”

Some critical views of the UN report are starting to be printed. For
example, the Vancouver Sun editorial “UN Drug Report Unintentionally
Argues Against Prohibition” http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v06.n840.a07.html

Your letters to the editor in response to the articles in the world’s
press can make a difference, encouraging more balanced views. Please
go to the following link and respond to news clippings dated 27 June
or later.

http://www.mapinc.org/topics/World+Drug+Report

Thanks for your effort and support.

It’s not what others do it’s what YOU do

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There are many sources of facts you may use to counter the United
Nations prevarication. You may find some of these of value.

From http://www.drugwardistortions.org Cannabis and Mental Illness
http://www.drugwardistortions.org/distortion18.htm Marijuana Potency
http://www.drugwardistortions.org/distortion11.htm

From http://www.drugwarfacts.org Drug Control Policies Around The
World http://www.drugwarfacts.org/internat.htm Marijuana
http://www.drugwarfacts.org/marijuan.htm The Netherlands Compared With
The United States http://www.drugwarfacts.org/thenethe.htm

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Suggestions for writing LTEs are at our Media Activism
Center

http://www.mapinc.org/resource/#guides

Or contact MAP Media Activism Facilitator Steve Heath for personal
tips on how to write LTEs that get printed, and how to write OPEDs for
publication as the members of our Drug Policy Writers Group
http://mapinc.org/resource/dpwg/ do.

heath@mapinc.org

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Prepared by: Richard Lake, Sr. Editor http://www.drugnews.org.