Yet again, the United Nation’s Vienna-based International Narcotics Control Board has disgraced itself by forcing harm maximization drug policies upon the world. The latest outrages came when the board again overstepped its bounds and sought to dictate the drug policies of sovereign Latin American states. This bureaucratic meddling doubled, when the same office schemed to curtail in Canada’s medical marijuana program, and trample the rights of Canadians to their cannabis medicine.
The United Nations should be an organization that values human rights and promotes harm reduction. policies. Instead, the UN, especially in the form of a shadowy office in Vienna, should never assume a dictating role, especially when promoting policies that cause great evils. The UN office, by its statements, thinks in the most authoritarian terms and seeks to further institute hard-line, punitive policies across the globe. Any swerving from the harshest of policies by sovereign states is declared a threat to the drug war.
In the latest case the UN office worried aloud about the drug policy reforms underway in Latin America. Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and other Latin countries are beginning to experiment with various drug policies. The current prohibitionist policies have lead to the the formation of criminal enterprises to exploit the supply and demand opportunities caused by drug prohibition and the drug war. Yet the UN office calls for continuation of these tired policies that promote drug crime and violence, police state policies, destroyed individual liberty, the death of thousands and the incarceration of millions.
In Canada, the UN bureaucrats feel free to usurp the government’s sovererignty and Canada citizen’s medical liberty by demanding the country kow-tow to the 1961 Single Convention on Drugs. Supposedly, signatories such as Canada and the US no longer have the sovereign power to change their drug policies.
Long past due is the day when the UN needs to promote humanitarian and harm reduction policies, not foisting off more failed, harm-maximization drug policies on the countries and people of the world.
The Supreme Court of Argentina has freed the huge country’s citizens from possible imprisonment for possession of cannabis and other drugs. Ruling very rationally that the state has no business in the personal behaviors of its people that present no harm or danger to society. AP reports all seven judges agreed in “declaring the unconstitutionality of prison for private consumption.”
- The court continued: “Each individual adult is responsible for making decisions freely about their desired lifestyle without state interference. Private conduct is allowed unless it constitutes a real danger or causes damage to property or the rights of others.”
Imagine that, adults — rather than the DEA — responsible for their own decisions. Private conduct allowed! What quaint concepts, like Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Luckily for liberty in Argentina the country is not saddled with the likes of US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. In terms of personal freedoms, Scalia, who like to call himself an “originalist,” seems to rely less on the Constitution, more on the Witchs Hammer. The Nixon-appointee has ruled, without exception, for the “drug war exemption to the Bill of Rights.” He invariably adjudicates for the power of the state and for reduction of civil liberties of the citizens. With Scalia on the bench, along with other authoritarians Roberts, Alito and Thomas, Americans can give up any hope for reasoned judgements like that coming from the Supreme Court of Argentina. Cry for me, Argentina. Our Supreme Court does not believe in freedom.
It is ironic that Argentina, know for its “dirty war” of abduction, torture, child stealing and executions in the 1970’s and 1980s should be providing leadership to the USA in 2009 in this key issue of personal liberty and incarceration. The AP report quotes an Argentine leader’s analysis of how the drug war harm maximization evil began:
- Cabinet chief Anibal Fernandez declared that the ruling brings an end to “the repressive politics invented by the Nixon administration” in the United States, and later adopted by Argentina’s dictators, to imprison drug users as if they were major traffickers.
There was a time, before the war on drugs, when personal liberty was a key American value. Forty years, 20 million cannabis arrests and a quintupling of the prison population later, punishment and incarceration have replaced those American values.
- The war on drugs is the USA’s own dirty war.