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UN’s Drug Czar To Reformers: “You’re All On Drugs!”

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 12, 2008

    UN Drug Czar Antonio Maria Costa made a rare appearance before the drug law reform community last November when he gave the keynote address at the Drug Policy Alliance’s bi-annual conference in New Orleans. It appears that we made quite an impression.

    Speaking in Vienna this week, Costa commented on his brief appearance with this ad hominem attack:

    “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.” 

    Of course, the idea of Mr. Costa — who just yesterday told the New York Times that pot use poses a greater danger to society than the use of cocaine or heroin — calling us crazy would be ironic if it wasn’t so insulting.

    That said, unlike Mr. Costa, I’ve chosen not to articulate my thoughts with epithets. Rather, I’ve decided to simply post some of Mr. Costa’s previous statements and let the readers decide who is “obviously on drugs.”

    “Today the harmful characteristics of cannabis are no longer that different from those of other plant-based drugs such as cocaine and heroin.”
    Quoted in the London Telegraph, June 27, 2006

    “Governments and societies must keep their nerve and avoid being swayed by misguided notions of tolerance. … Amid all the libertarian talk about the right of individuals to engage in dangerous practices provided no one else gets hurt, certain key facts are easily forgotten. First, cannabis is a dangerous drug — not just to the individuals who use it. … Evidence of the damage to mental health caused by cannabis use — from loss of concentration to paranoia, aggressiveness and outright psychosis — is mounting and cannot be ignored.”
    Commentary in the Independent on Sunday, March 27, 2007

    “The links between organised crime, drug trafficking, drug consumption, drug money, arms trafficking and terrorism become clearer every day. We know that even the occasional marijuana smoker is a link in a much longer and more dangerous chain.”
    Quoted by Australian Broadcasting, June 27, 2005

    “Think also of the fact that more and more people are voluntarily seeking treatment for cannabis abuse problems and that evidence is fast mounting that even casual abuse of ecstasy can lead to long term brain damage. So ‘recreational’ drug abuse can’t be safe, can it?”
    Speech given June 26, 2003

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