Friday, March 16, 2012

Human Rights is a Foreign Concept in the UN’s “War on Drugs”

 Latin American Presidents’ Calls for Legalization Debate Go Unheeded at UN Drug Policy Meeting in Vienna

 VIENNA, AUSTRIA – Even while several Latin American presidents are calling for an outright debate on drug legalization, delegates at the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting this week failed to even discuss a change in the global prohibitionist drug treaties, reports a group of judges, prosecutors and jailers who were at the meeting in Vienna to promote reform.

During consideration of a U.S.-sponsored resolution to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first laws banning opium, Norway’s delegation attempted to insert the phrase “while observing human rights,” but even this move encountered resistance from the US delegation, which preferred not to mention human rights.

“Fundamentally, the three UN prohibitionist treaties are incompatible to human rights. We can have human rights or drug war, but not both,” said Maria Lucia Karam, a retired judge from Brazil and a board member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

Richard Van Wickler, currently a jail superintendent in New Hampshire, adds, “I suppose it’s not shocking that within the context of a century-long bloody ‘war on drugs’ the idea of human rights is a foreign concept. Our global drug prohibition regime puts handcuffs on millions of people every year while even the harshest of prohibitionist countries say that drug abuse is a health issue. What other medical problems do we try to solve with imprisonment and an abandonment of human rights?”

The UN meeting, the 55th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, comes amidst a rapidly emerging global debate on the appropriateness of continuing drug prohibition and whether legalization and regulation would be a better way to control drugs. In recent weeks, Presidents Otto Perez Molina of Guatemala, Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica and Felipe Calderon of Mexico have added their voices to the call for a serious conversation on alternatives to drug prohibition.

“Unfortunately, none of these powerful Latin American voices were heard during the official sessions of the UN meeting,” says Judge Karam. “In the halls of the UN building in Vienna we did speak to delegates who agree that the drug war isn’t working and that change is needed, but these opinions were not voiced when they counted the most. During the meetings, all the Member States remained voluntarily submissive to the U.N. dictates that required that all speak with a ‘single voice’ that mandated support for prohibition.”

Jim Gierach, a retired Chicago prosecutor, added, “Voters in the U.S. states of Colorado and Washington will be deciding this November on measures to legalize marijuana. Already, 16 states and the District of Columbia allow legal access to medical marijuana. It is pure hypocrisy for the American federal government to hold the rest of the world hostage to its futile desire to continue drug prohibition unquestioned when its own citizens don’t even want to go along for the ride.”

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, FBI/DEA agents and others who support legalization after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence. More info at

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CONTACT: Tom Angell – (202) 557-4979 or


  1. Thank you LEAP for bringing pressure to bear. Sorry to hear there are so many adults who are afraid of speaking up for truth and standing up against bullies who are not just harming a few people, but billions!

    I’m certain Dean would have gladly retracted the name of one of his shows and called it 99 Years of Lies, instead of Century of Lies. Oh well.

    Hooray for Norway! BOO on the U.S. murders, devastation devils, and haters of human rights. This only goes to show they don’t want pesky things as the Golden Rule, God’s Law, the Constitution, the U.N. Human Rights Charter, and other inconvenient truths to get in the way of their blood drinking.

    I don’t know who they are, those on the council who say change is needed but don’t lift a finger or raise their voices, they sound asleep at the wheel; aren’t they a part of that body to provide input?!

    Jim is right, “It is pure hypocrisy for the American federal government to hold the rest of the world hostage to its futile desire to continue drug prohibition unquestioned when its own citizens don’t even want to go along for the ride.”

    And as more and more people learn the lies on which Prohibition rests — how corrupting it’s been of governments and officials around the world, the horrors it’s wrought like spraying herbicide on children in foreign lands … home invasions with chainsaws … home invasions in which many innocent people and pets are killed … as well as the cops who conduct them … the unsustainable financial burdens it’s causing … the complete waste of so much natural beauty and finite resources … the hypocrisy of feigned concern for others as they undermine other countries … and TONS MORE — as more and more people learn Prohibition is intrinsically flawed and does the exact opposite of what its biggest cheerleaders say it does, those who knew the truth but stayed quiet will be so sorry and feel so cowardly.

  2. Esther is a very short book and easy to read, I recommend it highly.

    The upshot of the story of Esther is there are some people who are in the right place at the right time and they MUST speak up; ignoring the repercussions of shame or even death! Like Reverend King said, the time for change is now.

    I guess I would ask those delegates to read my questions here (kind of like a Bob Dylan song):
    • how many more tens of thousands of Central American’s should there be?
    • how many more little girls need to be sold off as wives to pay debts in Afghanistan?
    • how many more suppressed studies and reports need to be leaked?
    • how many more high level hypocrites need to be exposed?
    • how many more overdose deaths does there need to be?
    • how many more democratically elected governments need to be toppled because factions in the U.S. aren’t happy with them?

    I guess, in closing, I would point out to the ones most susceptible to being bullied by the blowhards they need to realize that often times those who are the most vehement against a thing have a mental sickness complex; here are but a few examples: video testimony, essay examples. It is my hope that the “Esthers” among the delegates will read this and realize they need to Despise the Shame and speak up before it’s too late. Like I wrote above, as more and more Drug War atrocities come to light (and ALL the ones not atoned for will come to light on Judgement Day), the masses will say to themselves, “you all knew this but did nothing? You let a bunch of Thugs from the U.S. bully you, using $$, into submission?”

    Thank you Judge Karam, Richard, and Jim.


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