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Maybe they're not shooting enough of their citizens

We always have idiots in this country who like to claim that if we only got tougher(!) on drugs, we’d end the drug problem.

Of course, all you need to do is point to countries like China who regularly execute drug traffickers, and yet still never seem to run out of traffickers to execute.

Unfortunately, tomorrow is the U.N.’s annual International Day Against Drug Abuse and Trafficking, known as Anti-Drug Day. It’s a day to dread, because just about every year, China likes to “celebrate” it by shooting a whole bunch more of their citizens in the head.

And how is that get as tough as it’s possible to be policy working?

China says drug cases shot up 16 percent last year from 2008 with courts convicting more than 56,000 people.

Chinese courts handled more than 50,000 drug trafficking cases in 2009 and about 17,000 people received severe sentences – from five years in prison to a death sentence – up almost 9 percent from the year before, the Supreme People’s Court said Thursday.

Police seized nearly 28 tons of drugs last year, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Friday.

Drug prohibition, even at its most extreme, does not work. And the U.N. has been criminally culpable by not focusing on human rights abuse while it encourages and even pushes countries to get tougher on drugs.

With the UNODC’s director Antonio Maria Costa’s term expiring in July, there’s an opportunity, but also a danger…

New UN drugs tsar must be a leader on human rights by Damon Barrett in the Guardian

Unfortunately, the current frontrunner for the role of UN drug tsar is the candidate being pushed by the Russian government.

The candidate is Yuri Fedotov, current ambassador to the UK. But this is not about the individual except to the extent that he is a career diplomat of over 40 years’ service. It is about Russia’s disastrous drug policies, its appalling human rights record and despite this, a government official nonetheless taking a high-profile position of strategic importance to both issues.

Russia is no supporter of human rights scrutiny in drug control, and works to block any such progress in international political fora such as the UN commission on narcotic drugs. There are nearly 2 million people who inject drugs in Russia, and the government has abandoned them to HIV and abusive “treatments” such as “flogging therapy”. Moreover, the government regularly seeks to block political progress on public health interventions such as opioid substitution therapy and needle and syringe exchange intended to fulfil their human rights. It is now estimated that 37% of people who inject drugs in Russia are HIV positive and as many as 80% of all new HIV infections in the country are due to unsafe injecting practices.

A UNODC director from Russia would likely be a disaster.

The new director will soon be appointed by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

My condolences to the families of those who will likely be shot to death by the Chinese government tomorrow.

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13 comments to Maybe they’re not shooting enough of their citizens

  • claygooding

    The WoD is going to be very hard to stop and these atrocities even harder.
    China does not kill just drug offenders,they seem to favor that particular punishment for a number of crimes.

    Sunday evening regarding the WoD with interviews and films of every aspect of the WoD from the farmer to the transporter to the consumer to the police.

    Will post more info as it comes to me. Appx 8pm es, because I was busy in bathroom and couldn’t hear the time that good because of sound of splashing water.

  • Cannabis

    Perhaps this will not work out well for the world, then: Russia, US plan joint action against Afghan drug barons. Is this a run-up to Viktor Ivanov becoming the UNODC’s director?

  • kaptinemo

    Partially OT, but germane to much of what we face:

    From the Pro Libertate site (an unabashedly libertarian site; may their tribe increase!) about how a berserk cop has cost a town its’ fiscal solvency and the town’s municipal government has dissolved due to bankruptcy.

    Here is the future of those small towns who thought they could buy into the DrugwWar. People forget that after markets rise, they fall…often with catastrophic results for small towns. Lawsuits against armed rogue civil servants using the Drugwar as a excuse to engage in abusing the civil liberties of their paymasters will be the coup de grace for many of these small towns and counties.

    Larger towns and cities are no less at risk of this double-whammy; the way things are going, tax revenues will be depressed for some time, and that means cut-backs. Or attempts on the part of State legislatures to criminalize just about anything and everything in order to raise revenue. Which will lead to even greater friction between police and their paymasters…which lead to more lawsuits. ‘Vicious circle’ doesn’t properly describe what’s coming, but ‘feeding frenzy’ just might…

  • permanentilt

    “Drug prohibition, even at its most extreme, does not work.”

    I am beginning to think that many people don’t really care if drug prohibition works. They do not care if there is a way to prevent the harms of drug abuse, or a way to reduse the financial and human cost. Their line of thinking is very linear “There will always be drug abusers, they must face dire consequences.” Beyond this statement they have no care whatsoever about Drug Wars, harm reduction, SWAT raids, overburdened courts, blackmarket fundamentals, etc, etc, etc.

    All they know is, druggies must be punished! No amount of argument will change that. But I don’t think that this is the dominant opinion once the facts come out. We just need to continue to make sure that the facts DO come out.

  • kaptinemo

    “All they know is, druggies must be punished! No amount of argument will change that. But I don’t think that this is the dominant opinion once the facts come out. We just need to continue to make sure that the facts DO come out.”

    PermanenTilt, I would add a caveat, given what I wrote above your comment: The ‘druggies’ must be punished so long as doing so doesn’t break the bank. And it is becoming increasingly clear that that’s what is happening, and it’s no longer fiscally justifiable to spend money on chasing ‘pot-heads’ and locking them up when the costs of doing so become such a radioactively hot ‘guns or butter’ issue in an election year.

  • Tony Aroma

    I’m not sure why this Russian guy would be so bad, at least compared to anyone else. Sounds like the Russians are very similar to us in terms of their drug abuse problem and their prohibitionist position. Just replace “Russia” in those paragraphs with “US,” and you wouldn’t know it wasn’t a description of the US. Besides, I have a feeling this UN drug czar is no different than ours, in that both are just mouth pieces used to promote existing policy.

  • permanentilt

    kap’n- I was actually talking about the ones who think “druggies must be punished, no matter the cost! ” The ones who believe in “so long as doing so doesn’t break the bank.” Would fall into the “dominant opinion” I mentioned. I think in general, when people realize the costs, there is no way they support prohibition. But to some blowhards, the cost doesn’t matter. Just like to some liberals, when it comes to social safety net, cost does not matter. Or a fearful public on terrorism, cost doesn’t matter.

    My point was that most people just need to understand the cost.

  • kaptinemo

    PT, I did get the gist. We all know about the concrete-brained, stiff-necked, hide-bound ideologues who provide the ‘intellectual justification’ (which always winds up being more emotional than anything else) for continuing prohibition.

    We also know that they generally are NOT in charge of the purse strings…but are continually poor-mouthing themselves that they haven’t enough money for bullets to kill, uh, er, I mean, to…‘help’…their intended victims. Such people annually wear out the gloves they must use to keep their knuckles from scraping on the ground.

    But, thankfully, they are a minority. A very loud one, but still a minority. And that loud minority has only to say something really dumb about how they need more money to protect kids from drugs while unemployed people are in the audience: the resulting verbal firestorm would be marvelous to behold. And you can bet that that will happen sometime soon, as the prohibs at the lower levels of their food chain are generally very poor when it comes to thinking before speaking.

  • Servetus

    Why would a Russian want the title UN Drug Czar? Nicholas II hasn’t been dead all that long. It’s not like anyone has forgotten. This sounds like some kind of bad omen.

  • kant

    Apparently some people believe we should take after china’s policies…

    http://www.opposingviews.com/i/time-to-get-tough-on-crime-maximum-penalties-every-time

  • Hope

    Prohibitionists. True to the bone. Willing killers.

  • Hope

    And they’re so self righteous and self congratulatory about it.

    Oh!

  • strayan

    The more people they execute, the more job openings they create. It’s one helluva perverse job creation scheme.