ONDCP director Kerlikowske and UNODC director Costa stinking up Vienna

The UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs 2010 is taking place this week in Vienna (program).

There has been outstanding blog-by-blow coverage at CNDblog, a project of the International Harm Reduction Association.

CND is the UN body tasked with overseeing global drug policy. However, despite this important mandate, the Commission chooses to work in relative secrecy. Its meetings are not webcast, nor are minutes or summary records made available to the public. The final reports of the meetings are extremely limited. The CND never votes, so it is difficult to find out what position your government has taken on key issues. CNDblog is an attempt to fill this gap, and provide hour by hour records of the debates and decisions rendered during the 53rd session of CND in March 2010.

While the UNODC has made a point of saying they wish to be inclusive, they’ve really tried to shut out any other views.

Transform Drug Policy Foundation, which will actually have a session connected to the CND event, has a wonderful report on the lengths that UNODC’s Costa will go to marginalize other views.

For a start the Executive Director of the UNODC deliberately slandered a whole section of the NGO community in his opening speech, calling groups who support a debate on wider drug law reforms/regulation “pro-drugs”, despite Transform specifically writing to him, requesting that he desist with this childish and unwelcoming slur, on the basis that it was inaccurate, pejorative and offensive. Would he call the US Government “pro-drug” for supporting the regulation of tobacco and alcohol? No. We wrote to him about this after the last CND – see “Reformers are not pro-drug” – and got an acknowledgment of our concerns, but no actual response.

I can’t resist showing this… The NGO’s (non-governmental organizations, including Transform, Harm Reduction Association, etc. many of whom are there to try to reform) tend to get shut out of key portions. However, they were promised a location to make their materials available to delegates.

The 160 representatives from 55 NGOs were given this table.

Our own drug czar is also, of course, in Vienna. His opening speech was full of the usual stuff — multi-pronged balanced approach, no marijuana legalization, no “harm reduction,” etc. and full of the usual lies as well (treatment numbers being proof of the “significant consequences of marijuana use” etc.)

Here’s the kicker. Kerlikowske is conducting one session himself. On Wednesday at 2 pm, he’s conducting a session on… “Understanding the Threat of Drugged Driving.”

Oh, yeah, he’s using the same false information that he’s been using before. Reuters is running a teaser about the session…

“If you think about driving on an American road on a Friday or Saturday evening about 16 percent of the vehicles – one in six of the cars – (the driver) will be under the influence of an illicit or licit drug,” Gil Kerlikowske, director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, said.

“Drugged driving is a significant problem.” he told reporters at a week-long U.N. drug policy review meeting.

It’s the same lies he told Ashley III Halsey

Remember, he is basing his entire drugged driving fear campaign on a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And does the NHTSA study support Kerlikowske’s claims?

“The reader is cautioned that drug presence does not necessarily imply impairment. For many drug types, drug presence can be detected long after any impairment that might affect driving has passed. For example, traces of marijuana can be detected in blood samples several weeks after chronic users stop ingestion. Also, whereas the impairment effects for various concentration levels of alcohol is well understood, little evidence is available to link concentrations of other drug types to driver performance. “


“Caution should be exercised in assuming that drug presence implies driver impairment. Drug tests do not necessarily indicate current impairment. Drug presence can be measured for a period of days or weeks after ingestion in many cases. This latency of drug presence may partially explain the consistency between daytime and nighttime drug findings.”

I wrote to Reuters and suggested to them that perhaps the real story is the fact that the Drug Czar is in Vienna conducting a session about drugged driving, and he has no actual evidence that the problem exists!

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31 Responses to ONDCP director Kerlikowske and UNODC director Costa stinking up Vienna

  1. allan420 says:

    love the table… lol… not one of my psychedelic experiences has been as strange as watching this drug war circus. These people are really bizarre. They make me very glad that I smoke ganja. wow…

  2. allan420 says:

    bless you Pete Guither… I’m still laughing at this – as I pass it on to others…

  3. Bruce says:

    I work with sharp knives all day long. Day in day out have not cut myself in over a year. Drugged drunk sober it don’t matter.
    C’mon Kerlikowski lets see if you can keep up to me without leaving half your blood leaked out on the floor.
    What disgusting freaks. I pay you fuckheads wages, dont tell me what is good for me. Get a real job, and a life, chump.

  4. misanthropic philanthropists says:

    These groups like to prattle on about how much good they are doing for us poor unwashed simpletons out in humanity. They are all full of shit.

  5. claygooding says:

    When you consider that Kerli is protecting a 15 billion dollar budget,what other actions would you recommend?
    We cannot even comprehend how much money that is or how many people receive their wages or part of them from it.
    Over 2/3 of that budget is to pay for fighting marijuana,
    either for all those airplanes and choppers,and I would imagine that being a pilot for them would be a good paying job. And then you have him paying for those harm studies. 74 aircraft,the last I heard.
    It would be interesting to ask GAO just how much that his office spends yearly on marijuana harm research.
    And don’t forget that each year,every local police force,sheriffs office and state police receive thousands
    from the drug war chest.

  6. Chris says:

    Truly absurd.

  7. ezrydn says:

    The UNODC has already established their “track record.” Multiple charges of “drug-free world in 10 years” to “the table.” Here, we find another group of dinosaurs that are starting to see their “perfect world concept” crumble. Didn’t they recently make known that they didn’t appreciate what “the People” of the different countries were doing in regard to reform? And let’s face it, Gil fits right in with them. I would expect more stupidity to come out of that office, especially after November. Costa is no longer the “lord high sheriff” and he’s realizing that fact. It looks like we’ve past the hard part. Now, we’re into the “crying” part. All the Prohibs have taken to crying to the public. The “doom and gloom” they cry about is only related to themselves.

  8. ezrydn says:

    Just read Costa’s opening day statement. Glad to hear his office is facing financial problems. It’s about time it started affecting them. Is that a crack I see in their foundation?

  9. Just me says:

    It dont matter what these DOPES say or do. Yes thats what they are DOPES, addicted to thier drug war and delusional in thier lies. We the people here in the states will change this, one state at a time, whether they like it or not. Fuck’em. Its our country , our lives , last I checked they dont pay my bills we pay thiers.

  10. Just me says:


    Hey everyone , go here ^^^^^^ And read this story. Is costas bullshitting or what? Is he backtracking or blowing our own smoke up our asses? I thought Costas was a hardliner against ending prohibition.

  11. Just me says:


    Found this one at change.org also.

  12. Pete says:

    Costa is not a fool. He knows there’s a growing international movement for harm reduction, etc., so depending on the audience, he’ll often talk a good game, but underneath, he’s still hard-line. Or he’ll admit that prohibition hasn’t worked out like we’d hoped, so therefore… we need to fix prohibition by doing more of the same…


    Just a reminder, folks. Try to use html for your links (or a URL shortener). Instructions on how to use html are on the About page.

    In particular, this is important if the URL you’re giving is in the first paragraph, because long links in the beginning of the comment break the front page (where we have most recent comments showing).


  13. Bruce says:

    Soon we will all be old driving around on electric scooters and nothing will have changed. Scooter checkpoint! LOL
    Saw a funny wanted ad {Victoria B.C.} yesterday;
    Wanted; house to rent for legal grow….

  14. kaptinemo says:

    There’s nothing like having the ‘social engineers’ find out that those they sought to ‘engineer’ into ‘drug-free perfection’ have instead thrown their shoes into the works.

    The sad fact is that the ‘Progressive’ movement of the early 20th century, that saddled us with the drug laws, were chock-full of those ‘engineers’…who looked at the rest of society as their Junior Scientist Lab Kit. And that attitude survives today on the part of latter-day prohibs. An attitude evinced by the UNCND and its’ (secretive, elitist) members. Costa is merely its’ voice.

    A long time ago I read about how the father of Frederick the Great of Prussia used to chase his subjects down the street, swinging a cane and demanding that those who he sought to do bodily harm to love him. That’s this bunch. Only now, we’re getting canes of our own. And they are starting to realize that there’s vastly more of us than there are of them. Or, as an old Robin Williams skit about apartheid South Africa said, “Hundreds of millions of them (Black Africans), thousands of you (Afrikaaners). Does the name ‘Custer’ mean anything to you?”

  15. tom says:

    Oh yea, the push to adopt Per Se, zero-tolerance drugged driving laws is coming.

    This is very serious. Regardless of the various wins drug reformers score, if zero-tolerance DWI laws are established every pot smoker will be in violation of the law the minute they turn their car on.

  16. claygooding says:

    Yes,it looks like their next ploy,since no big money jumped up and started building the rehab centers necessary in every major city for them to hatch the treatment scheme
    that has,so far,failed to take root.
    Hopefully,they are banking on the new tech way of determining whether marijuana is involved at the time of the encounter. But,of course,the equipment is expensive,and they have to buy enough for every law enforcement agency in America. More money,and they don’t have any.

  17. tom says:

    clay, they won’t have to if they adopt zero-tolerance standards. I know Souder introduced a bill in 2004 (H.R. 3992), but it has not gone anywhere. I bet that the reasons for trumping up this drugged driving thing is to get these things through.

    Those Per Se laws combined with checking stations like DUI checkpoints would bust so many pot smokers it is not even funny. What is more likely to happen is that poor people with few resources to combat this unconstitutional law will be nailed all over the place while police in more affluent areas, or places like college towns will most likely just not test people knowing what would happen if they did.

  18. mikekinseattle says:

    Given Kerlikowske’s talk about ‘drugged driving’ recently, I do expect that to be the last stand for marijuana prohibitionists, given the momentum for medical marijuana in more and more states, and the push for outright legalization in several states (CA, OR, WA, NV out here in the west; there will be others). We also seem to be hearing more about marijuana addiction lately, so I expect that to be used as a tactic of last resort as well.

    They’ve lost the fact war on the other supposed dangers of cannabis, so this is what they’re left with. I do think we’re at a point where fact based rebuttals will be received well by the public, so we just have to keep hitting back with the facts when these canards are spouted in public venues and in the media.

  19. What about Coca?


    How about a RICO action against the US govt for criminal mercantilism?

  20. DdC says:


    The adventures of DEAth Czar Kerlikowske,
    in the mythical kingdom of Obombo-Congo,
    and his ever faithful companiUN OD Cologne,
    – a mild-mannered skunk.

    Scene 420: Kerli’s guiding a CIA plane back from a
    botched mission in Peru titled: CYA Missionary Mercenary’s?

    Kerli: Alright, he’s on final now, put out all runway lights except 9er.
    Towerguy: Czar Kerli, maybe we ought to turn on the search lights now.
    Kerli: No, thats just what they’ll be expecting us to do…
    Towerguy: Czar Kerli… it’s the President, a National Emergency…

    The Stoners are Threatening to go on Strike!
    AP UP IP Wooshingtoon DMZ
    Sending ripples of fear through the Notions Crapithole and Wallmartstreet Casino’s… Not to mention the Intervention Co.’s.
    The Detention Facilities, Court Fees and Whiz Quizzes,
    partially owned by the clever investments of the Contraband Cartels…
    Sinking Unemployment deeper, gloom, despair and agony forecast.
    Stay tuned for more adventures of Czar Kerli’s Misfits…

    DEA, U.N. Strong-Arm Canada On Legal Med Pot Program
    With DEA offices throughout Canada, it’s not surprising that U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency reps weaseled their way into meetings with Health Canada, the government agency responsible for overseeing Canada’s national legal medicinal marijuana program.

    Going Rogue: DEA Style
    A group of conservative and liberal lawmakers are teaming up to tell the federal government to butt out of the legislative process and local communities about medical marijuana.

    Heads vs. Feds
    High Times Editor Steve Hager and retired DEA agent Robert Stutman fought Head to Fed in a debate about marijuana legalization at the University of South Alabama.

    Cartels Use Intimidation Campaign to Stifle News Coverage in Mexico

  21. Emma says:

    The forced-sobriety crowd is clearly on the defensive. Calling drug-reform advocates “neo-colonialists”?? It’s so absurd.

    Costa: “They don’t seem to care about the consequences of loosening drug controls in countries that would be impacted the most. This drug neo-colonialism will open the floodgates of a public health disaster in the Third World, already ravaged by so many tragedies.”

    He then gives several examples of Third World drug use under the current prohibitionist regime.

    However, Costa doesn’t even want to use the term prohibition: “This is hardly the language of a prohibitionist regime.”

  22. DdC says:

    Good info site Douglas… Now if we can only teach the politicians how to read. Coca wine and many other products. I heard Costa Rica has an open warrant on George Boosh sr. for smuggling Contra dope to Arkansas via Bary Seal. Klintoon as governor and Asa Hutchinson as the DA, convenient. Reminds me of Alfred E. Newman; What Me Worry? I still wonder how Coca Cola grows coca?

    Coca, Bolivia, and Law 1008

    George Bush: Chapter -XV- CIA DIRECTOR

    CIA Involvement in Drug Smuggling Part 4


    Kill the Messenger
    Editor’s note: It’s not easy when a colleague, let alone a journalist you hold in the highest regard, commits suicide. When Gary Webb took his own life two years ago, he and I had both been working at the Sacramento News & Review. In the days that followed, I fielded numerous phone calls from well-meaning folks who were convinced that he had been shot by the agency he went after in his famed “Dark Alliance” series. My personal belief is that the CIA didn’t need to kill Gary; they’d already set his demise in motion by employing “unnamed sources” to discredit him in the nation’s major print media. To the very end, Gary complained that no one had ever disproved a single fact in his series. The fact that so many respected newspapers so eagerly took this bait, and that one of our nation’s last true investigative reporters had been driven to such desperation, is something I could not reconcile then or now.

    Cover-Ups, Prevarications, Subversions & Sabotage

  23. Bruce says:

    Drug drving laws are already here in B.C. The reason for my rants. Twice now have had my vehicle impounded on spurious trumped up nonsense regarding ‘consideration’ and alleged impairment. How is it I can do first class workmanship even recieving tips from my happy flooring customers then be paraded around at a checkpoint on my way home forced into all manner of contortions and gymnastics on based the sole evidence; an ‘odor’
    Laffable Nazism

  24. joc says:


    NH House passes decrim bill

  25. joc says:

    If I did the math right the NH house wouldn’t be able to override a veto unless the bill can pick up 19 votes. 🙁

  26. denmark says:

    There are days I’m unable to stomach all the news concerning the ongoing and broken record rants of prohibitionists.
    They are beyond stupid.
    Would be so wonderful to have their stupidity fully revealed once and for all.
    We all know they’d fall off the radar screen real fast.

  27. Duncan says:

    “Is costas bullshitting or what? Is he backtracking or blowing our own smoke up our asses?”

    Always cracks me up. Blowing smoke that way was actually a fad and thought to be the cure for drowning near the turn of the 19th century. Anyway just thought you’d like to know where the phrase originated.


  28. Just me says:

    LOL Thanks duncan. Needed a laugh.

    Thanks for the link tip Pete, I will do my best to help out.

  29. ezrydn says:

    It keeps being said that this is Costa’s last year. When, exactly, does he “leave the building?” And, is there any idea as to whom his replacement will be?

  30. Cliff says:

    I’m convinced that there are liars, damn liars, statistics and people like Kerlikowske who would tell a lie if the truth would do.

  31. kaptinemo says:

    Cliff, as I pointed out once on a comment last year, he had to know that mendacity is required of the position, if only in general, as he bloody well knows from his own experience that the drug laws are not only ineffective but fallacious.

    Yet…he took it anyway. Which means that he’s little more than a low-level opportunist. What we once called in the military a ‘ticket-puncher’ and what the military now refers to as a “Massengale”.

    But no matter. The way things are going, he may very well be the Last DrugCzar. And, as I once said, I can’t help but think that’s also part of the reason why he took the position. This is his last chance at a cushy job before it’s eliminated. As they used to say (very cynically) “Nice work if you can get it.”

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