The World's Top Anti-Drug Official Called Me a Lunatic

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Antonio Maria Costa, director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, lost his temper today at an NGO summit in Vienna. The event is intended to evaluate UN drug strategy from diverse perspectives, yet Costa began by insulting a huge number of professionals working to solve the drug problem:
"I attended the meeting of the drug alliance [DPA] in New Orleans last December, 1200 participants, 1000 lunatics, 200 good people to talk to. The other ones obviously on drugs." [Transform Drug Policy Foundation]
So I am a lunatic who was obviously on drugs when Costa maybe sort of saw part of my head from the stage as he spoke. Simply amazing. This is such a perfect depiction of the insulting and infantile tactics routinely employed by drug war supporters when their opposition gains momentum.

Believe me, the claim that attendees at the International Drug Policy Reform Conference 2007 were "obviously on drugs" is just a colossal lie. With this wildly disparaging characterization, Costa is attempting to attribute our values and beliefs to some drug-induced mania, thereby circumventing the need to take our arguments seriously. Yet anyone present at the conference knows precisely how dignified and impressive an event this truly was.

Witnessing this level of childishness from the world's top anti-drug official goes a long way towards explaining how the massive disaster of international drug prohibition is able to continue.
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Famous Last Words

In the immortal words of General George Armstrong Custer, “Holy Shit! Where did all these fucking Indians come from?!!”

Either child Costa really doesn't understand alcohol is a drug

or he's just pretending not to know that alcohol is far more dangerous than cannabis. Either way, he's as creepy a punk as King George.


The man is obviously an IDIOT, and that makes sense considering his job.


Of course! How could I be so blind! All of us people who daily give willingly of themselves to help others afflicted with a problem and who may not agree with the "establishment" solution which quite clearly has proven to be a giant, unworkable farce, are clearly on drugs.

I wonder if I should ask the other professionals who work in my field (recovery) at the Beth Israel Hospital Bernstein Center if they're lunatics and/or on drugs as well.

What a jerk.

Geraldine P.

Public Relations Expertise Needed

Public Relations Institute of South Africa definition: PR is the "deliberate, planned and sustained effort, to establish and maintain a mutual understanding between an organization and its public"

If the legalization movement had an excellent public relations firm working for it, there would be a very prominent and prompt mainstream denouncement of Mr. Costa's statement, also pointing to the drug war failure and the real insanity in those who continue to support it.

That public relations firm would immediately send press releases and make calls to all of their well-established connections in the mainstream media to communicate that denouncement.

What I want to read is how the legalization movement reacts in the name of damage control with respect to public image. Instead, I read statements countering Mr. Costa in the realms where people already know that the drug war has failed miserably. Who wins as a result? Mr. Costa.

This is true.

Unfortunately, we just can't afford it. If anyone out there would like to fund such an undertaking, I believe the results would be worthwhile.

Why is it --

if I'm addicted to nicotine, I'm a smoker;
addicted to Starbucks, I'm a Yuppie;
enjoy an occasional after work cocktail I'm a social drinker;
if those after work cocktails result in a DUI, I'm an alcoholic --
But if I indulge in an occasional toke or snort, I'm "on drugs"?

Re: "public relations expertise needed"

This post makes a lot of sense to me. PR firms don't get that huge money for doing nothing and they probably could get a lot more publicity when ridiculous comments like Costa's are made. Somebody write Soros and other wealthy supporters with the suggestion!

Don't take the bait

sicntired This is just typical of the drug war fanatics.These people are true believers and are therefore unable and unwilling to participate in reasoned and sensible dialogue .I'm sure this fellow is very committed to his stance and thinks the world is perched on the brink of disaster and only he and his ilk can save the rest of us from ourselves.If he's still unaware of the rascist roots of drug laws,it's sad.I think he probably knows there is no scientific reason for these laws.He just thinks that 100 years of doing the same thing is comfortable.Not to mention that it justifies his job.

Manson Flashback

Charlie Manson also thought that the world was coming to an end....only he could save us. We know how that worked out!

Lost it

From the pictures I have seen, Costas is losing more than just his cool. Lost sleep is sometimes the explanation for irratibility. The UN/US drugwar scheme is a lost cause. Look for some resignations in the near future.

I guess the honeymoon with reformers/legalizers is over.

I saw Costa too in NOLA...thought him brave and charming in making the attempt to talk over the chasm, but naively expecting that the sophisticated audience there would not at least groan and quietly boo/hiss some of Costa's biggest vapid stereotypical prohibitionist zingers (e.g., drugs = bad, use = abuse, the WoD is working, etc.).

I'm sorry that he's now resorted to the oldest ad hominem argument about the drugs issues, that anyone who disagrees with you must be "on drugs", that is, mentally addled, irrational, hallucinitory, not in touch with "reality", addicted.

Really, whether we (or Soros/DPA) hire Hill & Knowlton or not, we need to highlight Costa's words and denounce his insulting, childish and uncivilized disrespect for a substantial body of expert and lay world opinion.

Costa needs to be mindful that he is a diplomat and representative of the UN. You don't hear effective diplomats insulting the intelligence of those whose policies differ with them and referring to other points of vew as crazy. (Well, you do sometimes, but having thugs be your diplomats, e.g., John Bolton or Von Ribbentrop types is only good if you're trying to come off as some kind of imperial Darth Vader whose commands must be obeyed...not sure Costa can afford this in the more genteel world of diplomacy in the "international community", even with the silent backing of the biggest bullies on the planet in Washington.

good people to talk to

Scott, how do you know you were one of the "lunatics"? He said that there were 200 that were good people to talk to.

On what basis do you conclude you were in the "lunatic" group?

Just asking.

Good question.

I didn't talk to him. So I doubt he considers me one of the "good people to talk to."

I can only assume he considers me a lunatic. Darn.


I don't care. He ought to be ashamed of himself; in fact, an apology is deserved. Whether you approve or disapprove of drugs use, a commissioned leader of an international government who comes to talk "reasonably" about social policy issues cannot demonize his audience. It's unacceptable, period. Even if he's a "believer" in drugs-induced apocalypse, that gives him no right to call the majority of attendees as "lunatics." Such a comment is irrational, distorted, false--the UN, through its promulgation of human rights and human dignity, ostensibly stands for "truth" and "the good."

We did not start a genocide that killed millions. We don't have the nuclear bomb. What the [email protected]#k is this guy's problem?


Oh, the WoD is "working", eh? Shame on him, shame on him, shame on him. Any statement that implies that some human beings are more deserving of respect than others is shameful.

So we don't matter, eh? Because we tried drugs? We're somehow "less human," or "less" capable of doing the right things? Nothing saves these people from utter bombastic slandering of the public that they serve.

I don't care if most people are drug-free. That doesn't give them the right to deny our human worth, nor does it give them the right to qualify that worth by making it conditional on accepting their terms of what "good" is.

Morality wasn't invented in the past forty, fifty years: its a timeless thread that unites humanity, not one that gives out special favors to some and none to others. Shame, shame shame...

It's not my fault,honest

sicntired I wasn't actually defending the guy.I mean you have to feel sorry for someone that's obviously losing it.At least these people don't take us for granted any more .I've been doing this for a long time and for years we got no respect.Sometimes being yelled at isn't all that hard to take.

First they ...

...ignore you...then they ridicule you...then they get pissed ...then everybody wins! Winning is coming up soon...and they know it....meanwhile...enjoy the as they ,(UN/US DRUGWARRIORS), jump.


well, i'm not sure. I mean, the UN was founded in 1945; truth be told, they have had few successes as arbiters of peace. Very, very few. There are numerous examples of them making big mistakes and mismanaging "peacekeeping"; there have been very few accords that really stabilized anything. Bush walked over them in 2003; in 2005, they were found to be looting and pillaging the Congo.

so what happens is that these overpaid international lawmakers get stiff, and defensive, about their unchallenged rule over social policy. A few years ago: "we already have tobacco and alcohol legal, and cannot allow any other intoxicating drugs to be legal". Meaning: well, we screwed up pretty bad, do you think we're going to let people have any MORE freedom? Discussions with the UN are pretty much a non-discussion: they make the policy and we are "lunatics" for defying them.

the moral character of UN leaders is very questionable. their successes? i'd say very few. The only real solution for MJ is to get leaders of governments to agree to a withdrawal from the UN Conventions of 1961, 1988, and 1992. It is still within our power, for example, to recognize the sovereignty of a nation against "international treaties." But the UN definitely deserves to be hit, and hit hard: they have failed miserably and repeatedly to "govern" since their inception in 1945.


Remember, this is the year, according to the UN, when ALL drugs were supposed to be eradicated. That's what the nations of the world "agreed" to in 1998. I'm not actually making this up! That's how far the UN is from reality; that's how plastic-thin their approach to social policy is. I dictate terms from up high; you see the world as it really is, but it doesn't matter. I have my unchallenged rule of principle, even when those principles are usually counterproductive.

Bring Back the Task Force's our Civil Liberties be Dammed

Shoot First, ask questions later, this seems to be the norm for people like Costa. If we as a people dwell in the past, we will never move forward in the future. And people like Costa are crying about losing the Burn Grant.

Testalying, planting evidence, skewing the data, and the worst contributuion of all. Our government officials" have now made themselves "Masters" of the people, which goes against the grain of our Constitution.

We must not allow this. Costa can not tell me what is best for myself or the millions of U.S. citizens that voted for legalization. I suggest the creatures of government be reigned-in.The people have spoken for legalization in 28 states. The Federal Government has decided that we are feeble and do not know what is best for us.

Yet when law-makers are caught in restrooms cruising, or chasing young male paiges, or caught stealing money, or planting evidence. We as a people are expected to make excuses for their activities and let them slide. What is best I suggest is flooding the House of Congress with so much mail and voices that we can not be ignored. The Power is in the people by the people. God Bless America.

Do a "Jig"

When John McCain announced that he had gained the support of George Bush Jr. They both came out onto the rose garden at the white house to make the grand announcement and while doing so GW was doing a obvious jig. This should tell us that if we get this guy in the white house we can expect more of the same Constitutional violations. Yes! they have become the "Masters" of the people. I am not sure that any person at this time would do what the people desire, if elected.

Lets hope we do not get screwed again. Or we could just start saying to all public officials; "Yes".... "Master".

Good Drugs

So all the people who saw through the lies did drugs?!?!?
Correlation proves causality!!!
Drugs allow you to see through lies!!!

New Idea?

I just had an idea. Since we all know that the drug war is about money and not about protecting the citizens from themselves, as they would have us believe, is there any way we could make the drug war unprofitable? Maybe this is a stupid question,
but somebody have any suggestions? Reasons why it's impossible? It's just a thought.

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