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Powerful new U.N. report

Study on the impact of the world drug problem on the enjoyment of human rights. Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

[…]to be presented to the Council at its thirtieth session, on the impact of the world drug problem on the enjoyment of human rights, and recommendations on respect for and the protection and promotion of human rights in the context of the world drug problem, with particular consideration for the needs of persons affected and persons in vulnerable situations.

This is some really important stuff. Here are some highlights…

The Special Rapporteur on the right to health has underlined the distinction between drug use and drug dependence. Drug dependence is a chronic, relapsing disorder that should be medically treated using a biopsychosocial approach. Drug use is neither a medical condition nor does it necessarily lead to drug dependence. People who use drugs and people who are dependent on drugs possess the same right to health as everyone else, and those rights cannot be curtailed if the use of drugs constitutes a criminal offence […]

The Special Rapporteur has emphasized that health-care personnel have an obligation to provide treatment on a non-discriminatory basis and not to stigmatize or violate a patient’s human rights. […]

Individuals have sometimes been denied access to medical treatment on the grounds of their prior or current drug use, where evidence does not justify denial of treatment. Such denial has occurred on the rationale that a person’s drug use would make him or her unable to adhere to treatment. The Special Rapporteur notes that adherence to medical treatment is not necessarily lower among persons who use drugs, and should be assessed on an individual basis […]

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,8 the Committee on the Rights of the Child9 and the Special Rapporteur on the right to health have all determined that a harm reduction approach is essential for persons who use drugs. […]

Providing drug users with access to drug-consumption rooms can contribute to preventing the transmission of diseases and to reducing damage to the veins, as well as encourage users to make use of treatment and other services. Drug-consumption rooms have contributed to reducing overdose rates and increased access to medical and social services […]

The lack of needle and syringe programmes, in particular, has a direct impact on the spread of HIV. […]

The Special Rapporteur on the right to health has stated that if harm reduction programmes and evidence-based treatments are made available to the general public, but not to persons in detention, this contravenes the right to health. […]

The Special Rapporteur on the right to health has noted that drug users in States that criminalize drug use may avoid seeking health care for fear that information regarding their drug use will be shared with authorities, which could result in arrest and imprisonment, or in treatment against their will. The use of drug registries (lists of people who use drugs) may deter individuals from seeking treatment, especially given that violations of patient confidentiality have been frequently documented in States that maintain such registries […]

The Special Rapporteur has observed that criminalizing drug use and possession has led to risky forms of drug use designed to evade criminal prohibitions, which has in turn resulted in increased health risks for drug users. […]

He added that criminalizing the dissemination of information, including on safe practices pertaining to drug use and harm reduction, is not compatible with the right to health because it hinders individuals’ ability to make informed choices about their health. […]

WHO has recommended decriminalizing drug use, including injecting drug use, as doing so could play a critical role in the implementation of its recommendations on health sector interventions, including harm reduction and the treatment and care of people who use drugs. UNAIDS too has recommended decriminalizing drug use as a means to reduce the number of HIV infections and to treat AIDS […]

The Special Rapporteur has identified many ways in which criminalizing drug use and possession impedes the achievement of the right to health. He has called for the decriminalization of drug use and possession as an important step towards fulfilling the right to health. [emphasis added] […]

The Special Rapporteur has noted as positive the decriminalization experience in Portugal […]

Restricting access to opioids affects not only the availability of opioid substitution therapy but also three unrelated areas where access to controlled medicines is essential: (a) management of moderate to severe pain, including as part of palliative care for people with life-limiting illnesses; (b) certain emergency obstetric situations; and (c) management of epilepsy […]

Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides that, in those States which have not abolished the death penalty, the sentence of death can only be applied for the “most serious crimes”. The Human Rights Committee has determined that drug-related offences do not meet the threshold of “most serious crimes” […]

In some States, it has been reported that accused persons may be given a choice between serving a sentence after conviction or submitting to drug treatment. Bearing in mind the right of a person to refuse treatment, this practice may be a cause for concern, in particular given the level of coercion involved. […]

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has called for reform to ensure that sentences for drug-related offences are proportionate to the nature of the crime […] The Working Group has found that overincarceration for drug-related offences contributes significantly to prison overcrowding and that overcrowding can call into question compliance with article 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees that everyone in detention shall be treated with humanity and respect for their dignity […]

Different forms of discrimination may result once an individual has a criminal record resulting from a conviction for a drug-related offence. These may include obstacles to obtaining employment, adverse effects on the custody of children or visitation rights, losing government benefits such as access to public housing, food assistance or student financial aid, or difficulties concerning travel abroad. […]

It has been reported that members of ethnic minorities, in particular those who are poor and live in marginalized communities, may be particularly subject to discrimination in the context of drug enforcement efforts. In the United States of America, for example, African Americans make up 13 per cent of the population, yet account for 33.7 per cent of drug-related arrests and 37 per cent of people sent to state prisons on drug charges. […]

It has been reported that women who use drugs may, depending on the laws and policies in force, face losing custody of their children, forced or coerced sterilization, abortion or criminal penalties for using drugs during pregnancy.

In every aspect, the drug war violates basic human rights. It’s time for the world to wake up to that basic fact.

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29 comments to Powerful new U.N. report

  • Ed Gogek has written a book full of “fightin’ words”. Let me quote from the National Families in Action web page:

    There are at least two sides to every debate, but in the case of marijuana legalization, only proponents’ side is being heard. That changes with the publication this month of Marijuana Debunked.

    One of the favorite claims of marijuana-legalization proponents (and biased journalists, see next story) is that marijuana cures cancer. Like most other claims for the drug’s ability to cure or relieve some 250 different diseases, this one originates from 1) a lack of understanding about how science works and 2) plain, old-fashioned greed.

    Ed Gogek, MD, is an addiction psychiatrist who has treated more than 10,000 addicts over his 30-year practice. Like all doctors, he has been trained to evaluate evidence that leads to FDA drug approval as well as insufficient evidence that fails to support such medical claims.

    In Marijuana Debunked, Dr. Gogek exposes medical marijuana for what it is: the camel’s nose under the recreational marijuana tent. The four states and the District of Columbia that have legalized recreational pot got there by first legalizing medical pot. And medical pot provided the opening for a commercial industry to develop that already rivals the tobacco and alcohol industries in targeting children and the addicted as lifetime consumers.

    Dr. Gogek analyzes the substantial research that shows how marijuana hurts people, especially children. He calls out the media for biased reporting about the drug and the entertainment industry for promoting it’s use. He asks us to rethink marijauna policy to find a “third way” between prohibition and legalization and describes what that might look like.

    In short, Dr. Gogek has made a powerful, passionate case against legalization and its inevitable consequences. He shows that we have a choice: we can base marijuana policy on science and find an alternative to current policy or we can succomb to the siren call of free-market profits and increased tax revenues (that won’t cover costs) and legalize a third addictive drug. Everyone concerned about health, justice, and the ability of our citizens to thrive should read his book.

    The fact that a guy one of whose subspecialities is homeopathy is lecturing others about how science works seems a bit ironic to me.

    • Freedoom

      Homeopathy? Isn’t that the stuff all those dope smoking hippies are into? Perhaps he is projecting?

      • Homeopathy: the theory that validates the existence of the placebo effect.

        “Large-scale studies have found homeopathic preparations to be no more effective than a placebo, suggesting that positive feelings after taking homeopathic medicines are due to the placebo effect and normal recovery from illness.”
        http://tinyurl.com/qg9vkmc

        In other words, Ed Gogek is a quack. Why would the public buy the philosophy of a quack? Why would the press publish the rantings of a quack?

    • DdC

      Marijuana causes insanity…
      in non-smokers ~ Tim Leary
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/1703

    • kaptinemo

      Like I keep saying, the prohibs are emptying their highest, most oxy-starved attics of the quacks, loons, speakers-in-(esoteric) tongues, academic versions of ‘holy rollers’, Church Ladies with degrees, whatever, all the Crazy Uncles and Aunts they kept out of sight from the public (for reasons which the attic dwellers themselves will soon demonstrate), and sending them into the front lines as a ‘forlorn hope’ in a forlorn hope of staving off the inevitable defeat.

      This latest move isn’t bravado; they have the metal stink of fear wafting from them. They’re standing while crossing their legs, bent over, looking furtively for the lavatory signs. They’re that scared.

      GOOD. Because this is just the beginning. After Kevvie’s performance, misreading the political atmosphere amd essentially calling Senator Booker a useful idiot of reform groups for co-authoring the CARER legislation, prohibs are not exactly welcome on Capitol Hill anymore.

      And if they bring in Dr. A or Dr. Hart to testify under oath, then juxtaposing their testimony and qualifications with Dr. Gogek’s, he may soon pine for the obscurity he once enjoyed.

  • jean valjean

    “In some States, it has been reported that accused persons may be given a choice between serving a sentence after conviction or submitting to drug treatment. Bearing in mind the right of a person to refuse treatment, this practice may be a cause for concern, in particular given the level of coercion involved. […]”

    Kevin “Coercion” Sabet take note. Forcing non-problematic drug consumers into treatment with the threat of jail if they don’t comply is not ethical. That goes for problematic users as well, so long as they are not harming others.

  • jean valjean

    Took a quick look at the UNODC site to see how Yury Fedotov is reacting to this bomb going off under his chair…. crickets……

    https://www.unodc.org/

  • DdC

    Tom Angell ‏@tomangell

    New: Letter from 56 House members cites my scoop that DOJ misled Congress on marijuana.

    • kaptinemo

      Which, logic would dictate, means the chief LEOs of the country perjured themselves.

      Indeed, one could argue that a conspiracy to commit perjury existed in order to coordinate the Executive Branch’s DoJ personnel in the deception.

      And, that of course, inevitably leads to the ONDCP…and what the actual relationship between Kevvie and his former(?) employers is.

      Point blank: I say Kevvie gets his moolah from his ‘former’ employer, but is acting publicly as if he is a free agent, when in fact he’s little more than a bureaucratic version of a Mob ‘bagman’. Nothing more than a courier for the ill-gotten gains courtesy of delivering (taxpayer extorted!) ‘grants’ for the Project SAM clones springing up like plastic toadstools sprouting from the equally phony astroturf ‘grass roots’ anti-reform groups.

      It’s getting real obvious, now. They’re so inept, they can’t cover their tracks properly. Stinking dollops of slime, everywhere. And the reek is unmistakable.

      It’s just like the great financial advisor Catherine Austin Fitts said: “The winners in a rigged game get stupid.” The forces of prohibition have enjoyed an advantage in using taxpayer dollars against taxpayers because they had the political cover courtesy of low-information voters demanding their elected representatives to increase penalties for illicit drug use and commerce, and the pols happily complied. They all got ‘fat, dumb and happy’ until reform began making the inevitable generational upsurge.

      A pattern that existed for 40 years…and which now is facing replacement by a high-information electorate appraised and updated almost daily of the utility and relative safety of cannabis…and perforce, the refutations for the reasons for (and treason of!) prohibition. An electorate that favors ending prohibition.

      And we’ve all got ringside seats to watch the implosion of the Administration’s efforts to covertly use the DoJ to sabotage reform efforts from behind the scenes. In an election cycle, no less. A nice, big, blood-dripping chunk of raw, red meat for the media to chew on…if they can get their dentures back from their Gub’mint sources. This oughta be good for a few fireworks.

      (Getting up from The Couch and stretching) Save my seat, willya? I wanna go get some popcorn…

  • Tony Aroma

    I bet prohibitionists everywhere are doing everything in their power to ignore this report. Maybe a fist fight will break out between the Special Rapporteur and the UNODC.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    The title of Dr. Gogak’s screed is just plain funny. I suspect that he didn’t realize that bunk weed is slang for very low quality cannabis. If he can debunk cannabis I’d think it a welcome endeavor and an overall positive for society. Do we really need bunk weed?

  • Servetus

    In the multi-billion dollar poker game between drug consumers and prohibitionists, consumers have called, and the prohibitches’ hands are all losers. The gig is up. International leaders know it, or many of them do at least, but more importantly, they know their citizens know the drug war is a hoax, and a total loss. Drug repression won’t fly in any friendly skies in the future. Coincidental with the upcoming Sixth Great Extinction, we should include the extinction of any laws that don’t automatically justify their own existence.

  • claygooding

    Fuck em.

  • Mr_Alex

    Many Prohibs in New Zealand are not taking this report well and are now calling this report a left conspiracy, unfortunately for New Zealand it is one of the most ignorant countries where Prohibs outnumber the ones who want change

  • Hope

    Former world leaders call for nations to decriminalize drug use and experiment with legalization

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/09/08/former-world-leaders-calls-for-nations-to-decriminalize-drug-use-and-experiment-with-legalization/

    Excerpt:

    “We agree that we should use science-based approaches, rely on alternatives to incarceration for non-violent drug offenders, and ensure access to pain medications,” says Cameron Hardesty, spokeswoman for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. “Our goals are not so dissimilar from the goals of the Global Commission. However, we disagree that legalization of drugs will make people healthier and communities safer. Our experience with the tobacco and alcohol industries show that commercialization efforts rely upon increasing, not decreasing use, which in turn increases the harm associated with the use of tobacco and alcohol. In fact, if we take Big Tobacco as prologue, we can predict that that approach is likely to cause an entirely new set of problems.”

    • Servetus

      Cameron Hardesty is one more ONDCP idiot deserving attention from activists. Notice how she jumps from the subject of human rights for drug consumers to an off-topic subject involving tobacco and alcohol. No one was talking about tobacco and alcohol because they’re already legal, and no one noted that consumers of tobacco and alcohol aren’t subjected to felony arrests. As for world leaders, the CNN Republican debate introduced some prohibitionist loonies for ‘leader of the free world’:

      But other candidates took turns at laying out specific plans and contrasting their ideas with those of their rivals. Sen. Rand Paul, a libertarian, took issue with Jeb Bush’s vow to crack down on recreational marijuana, and Chris Christie jumped into the conversation to warn about the dangers of marijuana use leading to abuse of harder drugs — a point underscored by Fiorina, who talked about the death of her stepdaughter, who was a drug user.

      Perspectives on drug enforcement are a good way to spot political phonies. Jeb Bush did far more drugs as a college student than Obama ever did, or could conceive of, based on what I learned from sources who knew Jeb at the time. Reports indicate that back then we here on the couch would have had a hard time competing with Jeb’s multiple drug use and levels of drug consumption. Considering Jeb’s former and current dispositions toward marijuana and other drugs, he should be nearly brain dead by now, as well as strung out on heroin. We can presume he’s not. Yet, for purposes of being president, Jeb! Bush would bust people like his former fraternity brothers for smoking pot. That makes him evil, as well as incompetent.

      • DdC

        J.E.B. trying to hide his Oxy daughter, while considering fungus for cannabis eradication. Grand Pa laundered money for Hitler before and during the war. Bought his son a senate seat. CIA since Kennedy. Dimwitted grandson given presidency, title. While The Dick ran things for daddy o. J.E.B’s turn, its only fair. HW getting old. Marvin and Neil need jobs. Mass murder, genocide, torture, terrorism of drug war victims, coercion, lies, propaganda, trillion dollar profits, making people sick to sell them medicine. But they say they hate liberals so vote for em jimmyluke.

        “The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.” – Aldous Huxley

        Conservative Addiction Good!
        Liberal Addiction Bad
        2003
        ▬ Fair Deal for Noelle Bush 2002
        ▬ Noelle Bush Needs Help, As All Addicts Do
        ▬ Jeb Bush Urged To Reconsider Drug Law View
        ▬ JEB BUSH CAUGHT IN ILLEGAL DRUG COVER-UP SCANDAL

        Morality is always the product of terror; its chains and strait-waistcoats are fashioned by those who dare not trust others, because they dare not trust themselves, to walk in liberty.
        — Aldous Huxley

  • Servetus

    While we’re discussing the UN report and human rights abuses, I came across this brief bio-summary of former DEA agent and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in a Daily Kos article entitled “The Millionaire Sheriff of Maricopa County”. Arpaio is the very type of public official the UN Human Rights Council is addressing:

    Sept 16, 2015 — A first generation American born of Italian immigrant parents, he went into the army at 18, spending time as an MP. After discharge, Arpaio moved to Washington, DC where he worked his way up in the federal drug enforcement agencies. He ended that phase of his career as the head of the DEA’s Arizona branch in 1982, retiring a year after being sued by a DEA investigator for racial and gender discrimination.

    In a surprising twist, when Arpaio left the DEA he took on the role of salesman for his wife’s business Starworld Travel Agency.

    While there, he sold passage on the Phoenix E space rocket, which was hoped to take off from either Edwards Air Force Base or Vandenberg Air Force Base on the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the new world. Although he claimed in 1988 that the first 19 flights of the Phoenix E were booked, no flights were ever made.

    The drug war appears to have saved Joe from a lifetime of poverty and misery as a travel agent selling E tickets for outer space.

    • kaptinemo

      It seems that every time you scratch the surface of these prohibs, you find some truly weird stuff.

      Most of the time, it’s extreme religiosity bordering on mania. The wide-eyed, fulminating kind is more common amongst the bottom-feeders of the prohib food-chain.

      The more ‘refined’ mania, free of Bible-thumping, bug-eyes and flying spittle, doesn’t always have to show on the surface: Kevvie’s B’hai faith precludes all intoxicants. The idea that he isn’t trying to foist those particular tenets of his religious beliefs upon others, while having worked for a bureaucracy that allowed himn to do just that through use of its propaganda organ, is naive. But even this is common.

      But…every now and then you find exceptional gems of ‘high’ (no pun intended) strangeness like this. Off the wall stuff from out of left field, unexpected.

      I can just see it now: Like something from the dawn of TV in the 1950’s. (Overly enthusiastic narrator’s voice) “It’s time to lift off with……Joe Arpaio: Space Cadet!”

      Complete with pink space suits, no less. He really likes the color pink, I understand.

  • Windy

    http://www.naturalnews.com/051164_cannabinoids_mental_capacity_marijuana.html#ixzz3m1XxKSSQ

    As the “grease” of the brain, cannabis doesn’t alter dopamine production like alcohol, cigarettes and hard drugs do

    Crucial to a proper understanding of how cannabis affects the human brain is recognizing the fact that the brain was made for cannabis. Cannabinoids help bridge the gap between brain neurons, which are known as synapses, acting in ways that help positively regulate brain chemistry. When used appropriately, cannabis can help individuals break bad habits or learn new things. One source refers to cannabinoids as the “grease” that keeps the brain in tip-top shape, enabling mental growth and positive change.

    “If cannabis were unknown, and bioprospectors were suddenly to find it in some remote mountain crevice, its discovery would no doubt be hailed as a medical breakthrough,” reported The Economist back in 2006 about the amazing wonders of cannabis. “Scientists would praise its potential for treating everything from pain and cancer, and marvel at its rich pharmacopoeia — many of whose chemical mimic vital molecules in the human body.”

    Unlike alcohol, tobacco, amphetamines, cocaine and heroin, cannabis doesn’t interfere with the body’s natural production of dopamine, a foundational characteristic of drugs that induce physical dependence and have the potential to be abused. Cannabis exhibits no reinforcing properties, and the brain does not appear to have any cannabinoid receptors in dopamine-producing neurons.

    “Marijuana is distinguished from most other illicit drugs by the locations of its brain-receptor sites for two predominant reasons: (1) The lack of receptors in the medulla significantly reduces the possibility of accidental, or even deliberate, death from THC, and (2) the lack of receptors in the mesocorticolimbic pathway significantly reduces the risks of addiction and serious physical dependence,” wrote Jon Gettman in a 1995 review of cannabis and how it affects the human brain.

    “As a therapeutic drug, these features are God’s greatest gifts.”

    • kaptinemo

      I’ve always felt that beneath the ‘obvious’ conspiracy behind the prohibition of cannabis for recreational and industrial uses, there has existed a much deeper, uglier and more vicious conspiracy aimed at Humanity in general.

      A conspiracy that attacks Humanity through its health, by denying it what is proving to be, with study after study, one of the most beneficial substances for the Human body on the planet.

      For once, without any doubt, the word ‘genocide’ fits perfectly.

      • Frank W.

        Welcome to Paranoia Land! I’ve been a citizen here for some years. “The Naked Lunch” laid it all down in 1956. Come to think of it, Lao Tzu laid it all down a lot earlier! It seems people were around before The Corporation, no matter how much murder It gets away with (see today’s “Democracy Now” broadcast). And we’ll still be here, farting and ranting and smoking…

        • kaptinemo

          If you intend the old Greek meaning of the word ‘paranoia’, yes, we reformers all arrive there. Can’t help it.

          No matter who was in power, the same agenda seems to roll along. Political fads and BS ‘crises’ (usually fomented by those who offered ‘solutions’ to them, as Mencken said they would) came and went, to distract the majority of the electorate, but it was always the same names showing up, again and again and again. Wheels within wheels, deals within deals. Political ‘enemies’ belonging to the same club (CFR). And always the robbed, abused, clueless taxpayers picking up the tab.

          But it’s getting harder to hide, thanks to the Internet. The conspirators have already been outed in the alternate media. The corp-rat media’s silence on the issue is deafening…and quite noticeable for its absence.

          That’s because it is complicit.

          So, if ‘higher (no pun intended) awareness’ translates to knowledge of these de facto conspiracies against Humanity, and thus do not constitute mental illness, then the furious denials that they exist are symptomatic of the real pathology.