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Profiles In Prohibition: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Article by Richard Cowan is a former NORML National Director and co-founder of Blue Ribbon Hemp Oil for Seniors.


The United Nations is a sewer of hypocrisy that may serve a number of useful purposes that would justify its existence. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is not one of them. 


Very few Americans are even aware of its existence, which is unfortunate, because it is both a tool of the US prohibitionists, and a malign influence on global “drugs” policy.




Ironically, its new Director-General/ Executive Director is Ghada Fathi Waly, is a graduate of Colorado State University, but she is from Egypt, which is an incredibly corrupt police state. Awkward. But most of the UN members are rather less than perfect.


To be fair, much of the UNODC’s mission is undoubtedly worthwhile, particularly the “Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.


However, it has a long history of lying to the world about cannabis and supporting the arrests of millions of Americans and other peaceful cannabis users around the world.




On June 3, 1998, The Washington Post reported, “The United Nations plans to seek new international backing next week for the most ambitious counternarcotics effort in its history… to eradicate the world’s entire production of heroin, cocaine and marijuana over 10 years—is likely to win the endorsement of more than 30 heads of state and the representatives of 130 other nations, including President Clinton, now slated to attend a special June 8-10 meeting at U.N. headquarters in New York, the officials said.”


That didn’t happen, but ten years later, the so-called United Nations Committee on Narcotic Drugs  met in Vienna, supposedly to hear different views from Non-Governmental Organizations involved in the “drugs issues.” Of course, like all enemies of freedom, they did not want to hear any dissent, but there were a number of anti-prohibitionists in attendance.  


My good friend Dr. Frederick Polak, of the Amsterdam Health Department, raised an unwelcome question, and demanded an answer, from Antonio Maria Costa, the then head of the ONDCP. 


Costa refused to answer a question about why the Netherlands has a lower marijuana usage rate than surrounding countries.  Not only does Costa refuse to answer, but he is visibly agitated at the question and the questioner. And he lied while he avoided the question.


This is just marvelous: Documenting the facts and Costa’s record of lying on YOUTUBE  UN Drug Czar Refuses To Answer Question on Dutch Marijuana Policy 


It should not be surprising that Costa has argued that "the harmful characteristics of cannabis are no longer that different from those of other plant-based drugs such as cocaine and heroin."


That’s right. The UN wants to tell American children that marijuana is comparable to heroin and cocaine. 


See: We Know Too Much About Marijuana for It To Be Illegal


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