INCB warns against weakening the international drug control legal framework

VIENNA, 2 February (UN Information Service)

At the opening of its 112th Session on Monday, the  International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) once again cautioned the members of the international community of the public health risks associated with the adoption of legislative and policy measures  which are inconsistent with the provisions of the three United Nations drug control conventions.  According to INCB President, Dr Lochan Naidoo, “Thedrug control conventions aim to promote and protect public health. These conventions, drafted by, and almost universally ratified by States, are the bedrock of the drug control framework in that they represent the minimum standards agreed upon by the members of the international community.”

“Flexibility” in the interpretation of the international drug control treaties has been a reoccurring theme  in the media in the recent months, especially in the United States, due to legal measures in some jurisdictions on the control of cannabis. The Board, however, invited States to consider the  consequences that these measures may have in imperiling the broad consensus these treaties represent, in particular with respect to the limitation of use of narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes, an obligation to which no derogation is permitted.

While the Board has always recognised that State parties to the UN drug control treaties have a wide degree of discretion in the choice of means to implement their legal obligations, they are held not to take any action which would threaten the object and purpose of the UN drug control treaties the health and welfare of mankind.

Thus, the Board encourages States to persist in their efforts to identify measures to fully implement the drug control conventions and respond to evolving realities surrounding drug abuse, trafficking and drug-related violence; it also reminds them that this undertaking must be conducted with caution and due consideration.

Vienna International Centre  PO Box 500, 1400 Vienna, Austria

Tel: (+43-1) 26060-4666  Fax: (+43-1) 26060-5899

Email: unis@unvienna.org http://www.unis.unvienna.org

UNIS/NAR/1228 2 February 2015

 

INCB Report 2014 : (Excerpts)

142. The Board notes the various measures undertaken and planned by the
Government to monitor the implementation of cannabis-related regulations in
certain states of the United States as they pertain to federal enforcement priorities,
as well as to examine the public health impact of those developments. The Board
reiterates its concern that action by the Government to date with regard to the
legalization of the production, sale and distribution of cannabis for non-medical
and non-scientific purposes in the states of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and
Washington does not meet the requirements of the international drug control
treaties. In particular, the 1961 Convention as amended, establishes that the
parties to the Convention should take such legislative and administrative measures
as may be necessary “to limit exclusively to medical and scientific purposes the
production, manufacture, export, import, distribution of, trade in, use and
possession of drugs”. This provision is strictly binding and not subject to flexible
interpretation. In addition, the Convention establishes that States parties have “to
give effect to and carry out the provisions of this Convention within their own
territories”. This provision also applies to States with federal structures (INCB
2014, p. 25).

And the foreword which reads :

Foreword to the INCB Annual Report for 2014
Like all international conventions, the United Nations drug control treaties lay out
a set of binding legal norms and entrust States with the adoption of legal,
administrative and policy measures to implement their treaty obligations.

While the choice of these measures is the prerogative of States, such measures must
respect the limits that the international community has set for itself in the international
legal order. One of the most fundamental principles underpinning the
international drug control framework, enshrined in both the 1961 Convention and
in the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971, is the limitation of use of
narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances to medical and scientific purposes.
This legal obligation is absolute and leaves no room for interpretation (INCB
2014, p. iii).

 

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Colorado’s New Attorney General: Pot Legalization ‘Not Worth It’

The lawyer charged with defending Colorado’s marijuana legalization laws denounced them Monday.

“It’s not worth it,” Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman told dozens of fellow state attorneys general at a conference in the nation’s capital, ​referring to $76 million in taxes and fees collected from pot sales last year.

The recently inaugurated Republican rebuked legalization advocates’ long-standing argument that regulating sales will eliminate the black market for marijuana and associated criminal activity.

“Don’t buy that argument,” she told her peers. “The criminals are still selling on the black market. … We have plenty of cartel activity in Colorado [and] plenty of illegal activity that has not decreased at all.”

For Full Story go to…  http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/02/23/colorados-new-attorney-general-pot-legalization-not-worth-it

 

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Dutch winding back ‘liberal’ Marijuana Policies

“Cannabis with more than 15 percent of the THC that makes it intoxicating is now under consideration to be reclassified as one of the “hard drugs” that come with stiff penalties. The government has also forced coffee shops where marijuana is sold to choose between alcohol and pot, prompting many to choose the former. Amsterdam once played host to nearly 300 coffee shops, of more than 1,000 scattered across the country. There are now fewer than 200 in the city and only 617 nationwide. While it’s always been illegal to grow marijuana in the Netherlands, authorities passively allow coffee shops to sell weed, often pretending not to know where the shops’ cannabis comes from.”

Read full article here http://www.newsweek.com/marijuana-and-old-amsterdam-308218

 

 

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S.A.M Report on Colarado & Washington Legalization Experiment

This synoptic evidence based overview of the impact of the incredibly irresponsible social experiment that is ‘legalized recreational cannabis, is beginning to take its expected toll. A clear warning for other ‘would be’ experimenters

SAMFINAL-REPORT-1MarijuanaColoradoWashingtonJan15

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Parents May Overestimate Marijuana’s Effects on Kids’ Seizures

Live Science.com by Laura Geggel, Staff Writer   |   December 08, 2014 03:42pm ET

In a recent trend, parents of children with some forms of epilepsy are giving marijuana to their children in hopes of alleviating the seizures, but researchers say cannabis is not a proven treatment for childhood epilepsy, and people should wait for rigorous studies to decide whether the drug is safe or effective.

In fact, parents with high expectations may overestimate the effects of marijuana on children with epilepsy, said the researchers, who presented their data today (December 8th 2014) at the meeting of the American Epilepsy Society in Seattle.

Read More… http://www.livescience.com/49048-cannabis-marijuana-epilepsy.html

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Cops’ war on drugs handcuffed by rules

THE death of 19-year-old Georgina Bartter after ingesting ecstasy at a Sydney dance festival two weeks ago has launched a thousand family conversations.

Out of such tragedy parents hope will come a ‘teaching ­moment’ about the perils of drug use.

But if they didn’t know ­already, this city is awash with drugs, and the best parental advice is not enough.

“In 20 years I’ve never seen it this bad,” one veteran police officer says.

Buying illicit drugs has never been so cheap and easy. Drugs effectively have been decriminalised, under the noses and against the wishes of most Australians.

This is not what police want. They are demoralised by their impotence.

Read More here… http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/miranda-devine-cops-war-on-drugs-handcuffed-by-rules/story-fni0cwl5-1227131702209

 

 

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Year 11 Student 6 Minute Speech to keep Cannabis Illegal

The following is one of the winning speeches at recent Secondary School ‘speech contest’

“If I could recommend legalising something that would kill thousands of people, make 160,000 Australian suffer through schizophrenia and potentially cost our economy $30 billion every single year…with no benefit to anyone… do you think it would be a good idea?

I am sure all of you would agree that on the facts alone – it is a ridiculous idea.

But some politicians must have been smoking their own egos or something, and perhaps some parasitic drug dealers want to make their own occupation cannibalistic legal, in order to make more profit at the expense of people’s lives.

I’m talking about the question, should we legalise marijuana in Australia?  All the facts scream NO WAY.

Consider this.   According to the NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal 80% of all schizophrenia cases are caused by smoking Marijuana.

Did you get that – 80% of all schizophrenia cases are caused by smoking Marijuana.

Does anyone know what Schizophrenia is like?

Lori Schiller has Schizophrenia – let me share how she describes her battle with it.

“Life seems dark, scary and fragmented. I battled strange, ominous Voices and Sights in a forever tormented day-to-day nightmare. I couldn’t get relief from my psychotic world. I wanted to die desperately in an effort to free myself from this world. The first time I heard those derogatory Voices was as a teenager. I didn’t know what was happening to me. I felt like I was possessed, and my mind was infected by demonic spirits. I was afraid to tell anyone about the Voices for fear of being carried off by the “white coats.” I kept hearing the words over and over again: “You must die. You will die.””

Why would we inflict this walking nightmare on anyone?… 80% of schizophrenia cases are linked to Marijuana.

But even for people who don’t develop schizophrenia – It’s really dangerous

The impact on public health is enormous.

According to the Australian Bureau of statistics, approximately 25,000 people are hospitalized every year due to Marijuana.

By smoking this drug, not only are you 5 times more likely to have a heart attack, but according to Jenny Williams, from the University of Melbourne, “Daily users of cannabis during adolescence are seven times more likely to attempt suicide!” This, of course, has a huge impact on families and communities.

While some people argue that marijuana is harmless but many do not realize that the cannabis used today is on average up to 40 times stronger than that used by Flower Power hippies of the 1960s.

Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, says that 1 in 6 high school students who have smoked marijuana will become addicted.  It is also known as a “gateway drug” to cocaine and meth… drugs that kill and destroy almost everyone they touch.

Rebuttal

People argue that by legalising marijuana, they will be able to regulate who gets the drug…to make sure that minors can’t get hold of it.

I disagree.  And so do the facts.

“Law does not establish a society. A society establishes and adheres to its laws.”

Simply making a new law doesn’t mean that there won’t be a black market or people breaking the law – but it does tell society what is best – and it sets a standard by which many people live.  If dangerous drugs remain illegal, people are more likely to realise it’s dangers.

Colorado example

However – when it comes down to the debate on legalising marijuana we can learn from the mistakes of those who have already legalised it.

In the US, there are two states that have fully legalised marijuana: Colorado and Washington.

Colorado fully legalised marijuana in 2012. The results have undoubtedly proved that legalising marijuana doesn’t work, while at the same time they have gotten themselves into a lot of trouble. Apparently in Colorado you have to be at least 21 years old to grow or purchase marijuana. But this hasn’t stopped or even slowed teenage use.  According to last month’s report by the Rocky Mountain HIDTA ” the number of teenagers using marijuana in Colorado is now nearly 50% above the national average. This is the same for college students. In fact 1 in 4 college students currently smokes marijuana in Colorado.”

 

Making it legal means more underage people are using it.

What is even more frightening is that hospitalisations related to marijuana have increased by 81% since it was legalised.

Total road fatalities by marijuana positive drivers have increased by over 100% since it’s legalisation in Colorado.

This hard science and reliable data clearly shows that the legalization of marijuana in Colorado has been a terrible public policy from every perspective.

Conclusion

As marijuana use increases here in Australia, we can expect intensified needs for health care and social services such as substance abuse treatment and child protective services.

Australia just can’t afford another drug to be legalised 0 tobacco costs Australia’s health system $31 billion dollars – Alcohol costs our health system $36 Billion. Marijuana already costs Australia 4.5 billion dollars as an illegal drug. Just imagine how much it would cost if it were legal? Some estimates put it over $40 Billion dollars….

When I see the pain endured by people with schizophrenia and think that 80% of its cases can be linked to marijuana – when I think of the road toll from users increasing by 100% when it was legalised… when I think of the cost to the economy, to families and to people’s lives… there is just no way anyone can reasonably believe that this could be good for society.

I feel however, that the issue is deeper than that. This is really a question of how we can live life fully. You decide.”

Z. Dettman – Grade 11 Victoria, Australia

 

 

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Portugal – not the ‘poster girl’ for drug policy after all!

The most recent independent report on what is happening in Portugal shows that in 1995 eight per cent of Portuguese teenagers had tried drugs.

In 1999, when laws began to be relaxed, it was 12 per cent.

But after decriminalisation in 2001, it rose to 18 per cent in 2003 and 19 per cent in 2011. The picture for cannabis use is similar. In 1995, only 7 per cent of Portuguese teens had tried the drug but by 2011 the figure was 16 per cent.

The report, by the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs, looked at 100,000 15 and 16-year-olds across Europe. Its most alarming finding covers children under 13 in Portugal.

In 1999, 2 per cent had tried cannabis. By 2003, that had risen to 4 per cent and remained at that level in 2011.

(c) Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2815084/Portugal-decriminalised-drugs-Results-Use-teens-doubled-decade-nearly-fifth-15-16-year-olds-using-drugs.html#ixzz3IGPQ4Z3H
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D.F.A.F. Media Release on Amendment 2’s Defeat in Florida

November 4, 2014     CONTACT: Ryan Duffy    (202) 431-976

Statement by Drug Free America Foundation Executive Director Calvina Fay Regarding Amendment 2’s Defeat in Florida

St. Petersburg, FL – Following the rejection of Amendment 2 by Florida voters, Drug Free America Foundation Executive Director Calvina Fay today released the following statement:

“Today, the people of Florida strongly and wisely rejected efforts to make Florida the next front in the push to legalize marijuana nationwide.  I am proud that Florida voters saw this amendment for what it really was: a backdoor entrance for the full legalization of marijuana.

Efforts to defeat this amendment united a wide coalition of Florida’s sheriffs, medical professionals, parents, teenagers, faith-based and pro-family groups, and many other concerned citizens.  We are grateful for the time and energy they invested to educate voters and set the record straight on why Amendment 2 would have put Florida’s future in jeopardy.

The people of Florida have spoken.  By rejecting this misguided amendment, they chose to safeguard our communities and ensure a safer and more prosperous future.”

# # #

Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. is a national and international drug policy organization promoting effective and sound drug policies, education and prevention. www.dfaf.org. For more information on Drug Free America Foundation, please visit www.dfaf.org, follow us on Twitter @DrugFreeAmerica and like DFAF on Facebook.

The Don’t Let Florida Go to Pot coalition is a collective effort of more than 100 local and state organizations to educate Floridians on the dangers of marijuana. From law enforcement to substance abuse groups, the coalition is working statewide to ensure public safety and the future of our youth.

 

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Who are the new drug pushers of 21st Century?

I just finished a phone call with a young lady who rang to raise concerns about the ‘inaccuracy’ of one of our Drug Information Sheets on the drug, street-named ‘Ecstasy’. I was willing to take the call, being fully aware it is no more than a ‘fishing’ expedition to try and provoke an argument. Understanding this, I quickly and politely expressed my concern that there may be inaccuracies and asked if she could point them out, so that we could rectify them. Of course, the ‘errors’ were not so much that, but a perceived ‘imbalance’ in our reporting on the drug MDMA. She then started to talk about the therapeutic benefits of MDMA (pure) and the need for us to present that. Of course my response on the potential therapeutic properties of MDMA  was that they are not yet fully understood, let alone approved by the proper authorities, and that MDMA is only a small part (if at all) of the drug Ecstasy and that is what we want young people to stay away from.

Then it came, the statement that we were just ‘scaremongering!’  (If we wanted to scaremonger we would put personal stories into the documents to highlight the fear. I wasn’t quick enough to mention that’s exactly what is done with the anti-tobacco campaign and with great effect in this country). Although I advised her that we certainly do have an agenda: to warn people, particularly young people, away from experimentation with any drug, as ALL the literature is clear, that substance use is detrimental to the developing brain and body.  Then she quickly moved the subject to ‘what about the damage that prohibition has caused?’ This of course was the real agenda for the call; a pro-drug advocate, wanting to challenge the notion of prohibition of drug use.  After futilely trying to broach the subject of the benefits of prohibition, the conversation ended.

Disturbing developments.

What I find as a growing concern is that a clearly educated, supposed healthy and functional young person wants to invest in a campaign/process that not only seeks to make drug use more easily accessible on the market place, but that somehow this is for the culture’s benefit.  Of all the ‘causes’ that one could  be involved with to change the world, drug use promulgation, is the one she and many others have/are invested their lives in.

What I’d like to know is where is this coming from?  What processes, values, ideas, ’education’, narrative, worldview is informing this space – a ‘cause’ to invest my resources into promoting the spread of drug use in a culture?

The anecdotal evidence leads me to the new wave of so called ‘progressive’ ideologies, which are an attempt to experiment with any and all conventions, particularly traditional (and disappearing) moral and values conventions, to find some sense of significance in promoting a ‘new thing’!

Speaking with University students, we hear such ideologies are taught to impressionable young people via ‘curriculum addendums’ – Young people who are told that ‘whatever they feel/think is right, is probably right, as long as you don’t hurt someone else.’

What is is of note is that the historical and often unchallenged mantra emanating from those managing the drug policy framework, is that the reasons for drug use have been  homelessness, poverty, lack of education or opportunities, along with other negative ‘social determinants’. Over recent decades, however, we have seen the emergence of this new demographic and motivation for drug use.

What is driving this?

The First-World West is not only the largest consumers of drugs (of all kinds), we are also the largest demand drivers on the planet.  Survey after survey of young people from the West  who have tried or use illicit drugs, site the major motivators as peer pressure and curiosity; and  what’s more, in the vast majority of cases the drug user disclosed that it was obtained from a friend and/or at a party.  Clearly, factors such as, ‘relationship’ fuels both a sense of ‘trust’, and wanting to fit in.  Add to that the desire to alleviate boredom and/or ‘enhance’ the party experience present as key influencers for drug use in this demographic. It is not a stretch to conclude from this growing data around young people, that hedonism and insecurity are primary drivers for demand in the First World at the moment.

The Dalgarno Institute has identified four key drivers for uptake of and ongoing drug use and they are…

  • Relentless pain
  • Relational poverty (disconnected from value adding, modelling, instructive relationships from older/wiser people)
  • Recalcitrant Hedonism
  • Residing Absurdity (Meaninglessness and subsequent boredom)

The Drug-Pushing Lobby!

From where does the drug law reformers lobby emerge? In this group you’ll find few that are homeless, uneducated or the abject poor. Instead we have an entourage of entitled, educated, influential and for the most part well-heeled individuals and celebrities who use everything from ‘war on drugs has failed’ mantras to the prefacing of all claims to drug use with the phrase ‘human right’. This of course in the new meme emerging from the postmodern egocentric activists, who subjectively re-define both the terms ‘human’ and ‘rights’, if they define them at all!

Why are these people pushing drug use as a human right? The latest world drug report on the numbers of people having reported using an illicit drug in the previous 12 months had dropped from around 6.1% on previous survey to around 5% for the 16-64 demographic. A small minority demanding the majority of the population agree with their agenda to unleash current illicit substances into the market place with taxpayer approval.

When all the dust settles, the witty, cynical celebrity repartee and spin subside, what do we distill as the key drivers for foisting a social experiment on the other 95% of the population?  It would appear from the presenting evidence that the following emerges:

1)     That laws (drug law specifically) are stupid/redundant/pointless and (thus subsequently assumed) that they don’t apply to me, so I ignore them or seek to change them.

2)     I want my own way and I’m going to trivialise human rights as a specious vehicle to enable me to legitimise my taking of a psychotropic toxin into my body and unleash the same onto the community.

3)     I want to get ‘high’ and I don’t care about anyone else.

If this is what constitutes (or at the very least) is derived from the so called ‘progressive’ agenda, then our nation/s is/are in real trouble. There is one reality that will precipitate a greater and faster decline of our culture and the following equation encapsulates that very real potential outcome.

Meaninglessness + Selfishness + ‘Human Rights’ claims + Drug use + Legalisation = Generation GONE!

Dalgarno Institute

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