Reacting to the Canadian
Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs' September 4 report calling for
legalization and regulation of marijuana (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/253.html#canadiansenate),
the head of the United Nations' global anti-drug bureaucracy warned this
week that Canada would make a "significant error" if it followed the committee's
advice. Antonio Mario Costa, executive director of the UN Office
for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, used a Tuesday interview with the
Toronto Globe & Mail to defend marijuana prohibition worldwide.
Although Costa conceded that
marijuana has few links with violent crime and lacks the same association
with dependency as harder drugs, he called it a health hazard that could
only be dealt with by global prohibition, trotting out the familiar canards
about marijuana as a "gateway drug" and the higher potency of contemporary
"Some of our countries are
on the verge of making an error which is as significant as when tobacco
spread," said Costa, referring to the Canadian controversy over marijuana.
He said that legalization would violate the UN conventions on narcotic
drugs. "Just because something can be legalized, it does not become
good per se," he added, demonstrating a flair for the non sequitur.
Costa also warned that the
West is sending a bad message to other countries with its increasing tolerance
of drug use. "The drug scene cannot be parceled out to individual
countries," he said. "The drug scene has to be seen in its totality.
I've heard very negative comments from developing countries, saying 'We
are maintaining a very strong policy of prohibition and what's happening?
It's considered with leniency by some northern countries.'"
-- END --
Issue #256, 9/27/02
Editorial: The Tulia Lynchings | Medical Marijuana Supporters Rally in Sacramento | WAMM Files Federal Motion for Return of Marijuana Seized in Dispensary Raid | Calling on Students to Raise Your Voices for Repeal of the HEA Drug Provision | Former British Drug Czar Mo Mowlam Calls for Total Global Legalization, Cites Need to Quit Funding Political Violence | UC San Diego Orders Student Group to Drop Hyperlink to FARC Web Site, Cites Patriot Act | Colombian Leader Meets with Bush, Paramilitary Leader to Surrender Following US Indictment | Newsbrief: Putin to Create Russian DEA | Newsbrief: RAVE Act Sheds Another Cosponsor | Newsbrief: Buzzkill -- Venerable DC Weekly Rave Party Dies from Overdose of Ecstasy Enforcement | Newsbrief: UN Drug Control Chief Warns Canada Not to Legalize Marijuana | Newsbrief: French Cannabis Growers Create Facts on Ground | Newsbrief: German Health Ministry Says Safe Drug Centers Save Lives | Do You Read The Week Online? | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | The Reformer's Calendar
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
PERMISSION to reprint or
redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby
granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and,
where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your
publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks
payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for
materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we
request notification for our records, including physical copies where
material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network,
P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202)
293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank
Articles of a purely
educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet
Foundation, unless otherwise noted.