Lies from Raymond Yans and the INCB

Immediately following Uruguay’s legalization of cannabis, the International Narcotics Control Board and its president, Raymond Yans, issued this press release.

It’s full of really outrageous statements, and much of it is being picked up in media outlets all over the place, such as this article in U.S. News.

Let’s just look at one statement:

“Smoking cannabis is more carcinogenic than smoking tobacco.”

You can’t get any more blatant of a lie.

Lots of prohibitionists like to bring up carcinogens in cannabis, as a way of inferring a cancer risk without actually saying it. Still a lie because it’s intentional deception, but they seem to think that they can get away with it on technical points.

However, in this instance, the INCB is actually blatantly saying that smoking cannabis is more cancer-causing than smoking tobacco. There’s no study anywhere that supports that.

Still waiting for a media outlet to point that out in their coverage.

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46 Responses to Lies from Raymond Yans and the INCB

  1. Servetus says:

    Just in time for the Christmas holiday gift-giving season. It’s the Raymond Yans INCB doll. Press the button on its head and listen to it lie about drugs.

  2. Jake says:

    The bit that really annoyed me:

    “the main aim of the 1961 Single Convention is to protect the health and welfare of humankind. Cannabis is controlled under the 1961 Convention, which requires States Parties to limit its use to medical and scientific purposes, due to its dependence-producing potential

    I don’t think I need to state here just why this hypocrisy is so offensive…

  3. DdC says:

    Pete Guither ‏@DrugWarRant
    “Smoking cannabis is more carcinogenic than smoking tobacco.”
    —Raymond Yans/INCB re Uruguay.

    Still waiting for a media outlet to point that out in their coverage.

    Get comfortable…

    TransformDrugPolicy ‏@TransformDrugs
    Why can’t we have an honest conversation about drugs?: Suzanne Moore in The Guardian

    Radley Balko ‏@radleybalko
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    Chase Madar, The Criminalization of Everyday Life
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    A Scientist Develops Medical Marijuana Firm In Jamaica

    We gonna chase those crazy baldheads out of town…

    Simulations back up theory that Universe is a hologram
    A ten-dimensional theory of gravity makes the same predictions as standard quantum physics in fewer dimensions.

    So that’s where the drug worriers crawl back to after such embarrassing public statements.

    • DdC says:

      edit ✔:

      Pete Guither ‏@DrugWarRant
      “Smoking cannabis is more carcinogenic than smoking tobacco.”
      —Raymond Yans/INCB re Uruguay.

      ☛You can’t get any more blatant of a lie.☚

      Still waiting for a media outlet to point that out in their coverage.

      Get comfortable…

  4. Frank W says:

    The whole story seems to be founded on the statements of one Kevin Sabet. WHO?!?!?

  5. strayan says:

    “the accumulated weight of evidence implies far lower risks for pulmonary complications of even regular heavy use of marijuana compared with the grave pulmonary consequences of tobacco.

    The suggestion that smoking cannabis is more dangerous than smoking tobacco is likely to undermine public health as people may assign more urgency to quitting cannabis than tobacco when the very opposite is true!.

  6. kaptinemo says:

    This is like a bunch of morons daring each other to press the button clearly marked “SELF DESTRUCT”. Do they really want to force the issue? Do they really?

    All the scientific facts favor our side. The public in general doesn’t know that, of course, but they’ll find out very quickly if this issue is ever dragged into a courtroom. Which is where these lies are leading.

    Sooner or later, the liars will be called liars, to their face, publicly, and then challenged to prove they are not liars. And that’s where all the studies that prove them liars gets entered into evidence. Literally a ton of evidence, if you had to print every study single-page.

    They are just itching for a drubbing. Sticking their chins and their arses out, just asking for it. Daring people who have every reason in the world to ‘go nuclear’ on them to do so.

    Yans and his fellow prohibs are making what amounts to the beginning of a banzai charge in the face of changing demographics and the attitudes towards presently illegal drugs those demographics share. And like all such moves born out of desperation, it’s just as doomed to failure…

  7. kaptinemo says:

    And this is especially rich:

    “”There is no doubt that this moves violates international law, and the U.N. does have enforcement power,” says Sabet, who co-founded the anti-legalization group Project SAM in January with former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I. “So the ball is in their court. I think they need to make it clear that violating international law cannot be ignored.”

    ROFLMFAO. OMFG. WTF is the perennially neutered UN gonna do? Is Sabet saying we can expect blue-helmeted thugs from Bumphukhistan to join our jackbooted ones? Will the UN invade Colorado? LOLOLOL!

    I did say that the more we win, the crazier they’ll get. And right on time, they deliver. And will continue to do so.

    • claygooding says:

      Blue helmets are such good targets and now Kev-Kev is feeling the pressure of that train on his neck as four more countries start debating legalization and more state legislatures start debates and investigations of their own,,looking beyond what Kev-Kev calls science and watching polls,,his job doesn’t depend on anyone voting for him but political offices do.

      • Freeman says:

        what Kev-Kev calls science

        Exactly. What they call science. We’ve all noticed how the prohibitches are all talking about “science-based” approaches lately, as if they think we’ll fall for the ruse that they’re switching from pure propaganda to some sort of scientific justification. What’s been lacking as far as I’ve seen is any citation of any actual science — they simply make the claim that their position is based on science and we’re expected to take their word for it. Like Pete’s been saying: “Where’s the science?”.

        There’s a lot more to science than the deceptive manipulation of statistics, but so far that’s about all I’ve seen out of them. Real, peer-reviewed experiments-independently-duplicated-and-results-verified science that can accurately predict outcomes? HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Not even close!

        • kaptinemo says:

          What’s funny is that since the publishing of the late, great Jack Herer’s (blessed be his name!) seminal work, the amount of scientific information regarding cannabis has grown exponentially. Here’s a list of over 600 studies that refute the prohibitches.

          600+. Over a span of 3 decades. How many more studies will it take to sway a prohib’s (tiny) mind? The answer? ∞. Because no amount of studies ever will. A point which has already dawned on some of the public’s awareness.

          Hence more support for re-legalization amongst a broader spectrum of the electorate…the same electorate the prohibs tried to make into good little anti-drug propaganda spouting Orwellian Sheep, who’d continue the gravy train by blindly voting for pols who’d feed the Prohibition Beast with tax dollars.

          They failed.

          We have the science. And now, we have the demographic numbers. Demonstrably, the electorate is on our side. Referenda on re-legalization are popping up in geographically distant States…with more on the way, as State comptrollers realize the longer they wait the sooner an adjoining State will reap the benefits of reduced spending on LE prohibition support, and reallocating new revenues for more useful purposes.

          You could say that a ‘perfect storm’, a confluence of forces that happen only once a generation, is taking place surrounding prohibition…and prohibitches. They stand in its’ way at their political and social (and perhaps personal) peril when it becomes common knowledge of what their support of prohibition has cost the planet.

    • N.T. Greene says:

      It’s like they forget how often we tell the UN to go fuck itself.

      You know, on human rights issues and the like. And warfare.

      …since those are soooooo unimportant by comparison.

  8. Howard says:

    While the INCB is rehashing long debunked cannabis/cancer lies, there’s this;

    “In an historic move, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) released the first installation of a two-part Cannabis monograph today that classifies cannabis (marijuana) as a botanical medicine, alongside many other widely accepted Complementary and Alternative Medicines.”

    Here’s one source containing the full article;

    • Freeman says:

      Excellent article! I read the sample cannabis monograph. Now THERE’s some science! That’s what I’m talking about! Thanks for the link.

      OK Kev-Kev, now that you’ve seen what real science looks like, what’ve you got?

  9. ezrydn says:

    Kev-Kev’s ready to call out the UN’s National Guard on people. What a joke! And every time there’s a joke, Kev’s there, ready with the punchline. And once we reach full legalization, he’ll self-emmolate. Or, is that “ellimonate?” Either way, it’ll produce a beautiful, fresh dawn.

    Did Uruguay opt out by letter or did they just say “screw it” and change, leaving the UN to wonder? Anyone know?

    • Freeman says:

      According to Kleiman, My understanding is that Uruguay has decided neither to challenge the treaties nor to openly defy them. Instead the plan is to interpret them out of existence, by claiming legalization as a “health measure.”

      Works for me — much healthier than prohibition enforcement.

      I found that an anonymous commenter on that post had some pretty insightful thoughts to share:

      Generally, even if there were a customary international law norm requiring that governments ban marijuana (and there isn’t), it still wouldn’t be enforceable against Uruguay unless it is in the narrow category of norms that are “jus cogens”, i.e., specific, universal, and obligatory, such that any violator is considered hostis humanae generis, an enemy of all humankind. Torture and genocide are the sorts of norms in that category.

      With respect to ordinary customary international law, a country is not bound so long as it persistently objects. Presumably Uruguay will persistently object having passed this law.

      • strayan says:

        “the Single Convention is the only United Nations treaty characterising the activity it seeks to regulate, control or prohibit as being ‘evil’…

        …the use of such language is highly unusual. Indeed, the unique nature of the use of the language of ‘evil’ in the Single Convention is particularly glaring when considered alongside that used in other treaties addressing issues that the international community considers abhorrent. For example, neither slavery, apartheid nor torture are described as being ‘evil’ in the relevant international conventions that prohibit them.

        Nuclear war is not described as being ‘evil’ in the treaty that seeks to limit the proliferation of atomic weapons, despite the recognition in the preamble that ‘devastation that would be visited upon all mankind’ by such a conflict. The closest one finds to the language contained in the preamble to the Single Convention to describe drugs is that found in international instruments in the context of genocide. For example, in describing the crimes committed during the Second World War, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights uses the term ‘barbarous acts’, while the Genocide Convention uses the term ‘odious scourge’.”

  10. Krymsun says:

    As Bob Dylan said/sang, “you’re gonna have to serve somebody”; who does Yans answer to? I’d like to know who to complain about his incompetence. If that worthy supports Yans, demonstrating their incompetence, then I’d bump my rant up the chain of command.

    • Pete says:

      Tricky question. That’s part of the problem of the INCB — there’s been a lot of criticism to the point that they appear accountable to nobody and do their deliberating in secret. Here’s their official statement about who they are:

      The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) is an independent, quasi-judicial expert body established by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 by merging two bodies: the Permanent Central Narcotics Board, created by the 1925 International Opium Convention; and the Drug Supervisory Body, created by the 1931 Convention for Limiting the Manufacture and Regulating the Distribution of Narcotic Drugs. INCB has 13 members, each elected by the Economic and Social Council for a period of five years. INCB members may be re-elected. Ten of the members are elected from a list of persons nominated by Governments. The remaining three members are elected from a list of persons nominated by the World Health Organization (WHO) for their medical, pharmacological or pharmaceutical experience. Members of the Board shall be persons who, by their expertise, competence, impartiality and disinterestedness, will command general confidence. Once they have been elected, INCB members serve impartially in their personal capacity, independently of Governments.

      Independent of governments, independent of any other organization. The only recourse is to try to get the governments who vote for these members not to re-vote for them in 5 years. And, of course, the people nominated for this group tend to be hard-line prohibitionists anyway.

      • claygooding says:

        The main problem is that most of them are probably law enforcement connected,,meaning they are on the receiving end of ONDCP drug funds,,so you could say they are influenced by US.

      • Freeman says:

        And, of course, the people nominated for this group tend to be hard-line prohibitionists anyway.

        Indeed, which puts the lie to the notion that they are in any way interested in selecting members on the basis of “expertise, competence, impartiality and disinterestedness”. I almost fell off the couch when I read that!

  11. Jillian Galloway says:

    Who the hell is the INCB to dictate the laws that sovereign countries can and cannot have? If we in the U.S. want marijuana legal we will make it legal – we will NOT be dictated to by some foreign power that refuses to ask itself if marijuana should even be illegal!

    The UN is happy pushing this failed policy onto sovereign countries but it’s not them who have to live with the harm that it causes – all the murders, all the money diverted to organized crime, law enforcement turned against the very people they swore to protect. This is OUR land and NOT the INCB’s, the INCB can take its failed and deadly prohibition elsewhere!

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Technically the SCT signatories did agree to these terms which is what gives the INCB the “authority” to whine about the new law. I do think that ethically Uruguay is obliged to honor the terms of the treaty which the Country’s lawmakers agreed to voluntarily. By comply I mean that Uruguay should write the “Dear John” letter and withdraw from the treaty unless the UN agrees to give them an exemption. By “ethically obliged” I mean like people are ethically obliged to honor the “don’t walk” sign when negotiating a intersection in the middle of the night.

      I’m still fascinated by North Korea’s cannabis policies and how that country is being ignored by the international community. I presume that North Korea is not a signatory of the SCT. Is the country a member of the U.N.?

    • Tony Aroma says:

      I’m sure the feds will tell the bankers the same thing they told WA and CO: They’re not changing any federal laws, but they won’t prosecute. Unless of course they decide to prosecute, which they reserve the right to do at any time for any reason (e.g., a US Attorney that doesn’t abide by DOJ guidelines). That should satisfy the banks, and everyone will live happily ever after.

  12. darkcycle says:

    Here is another study to debunk the “link” between cannabis and schizophrenia:

    • darkcycle says:

      Oops…sorry. That’s the same Harvard study linked here a day or so ago. My bad….thought it was a new one.

  13. darkcycle says:

    Here’s a good one up at AlterNet to make up for my useless repetition of the link above:

  14. Tony Aroma says:

    OT, but interesting. Here’s a link that shows how much money is spent by lobbyists and who is spending the most:

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  15. Eridani says:

    Absolutely deplorable. The INCB is one of the biggest and most powerful criminal organizations ever to exist. It, along with the DEA and ONDCP (and similar institutions from other countries) must be eradicated completely. And because they’re related to other authoritarian policies, like the Patriot Act, humanity will never know peace until then (I’m not saying world peace is guaranteed if these institutions go away, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction).
    “There is no doubt that this moves violates international law, and the U.N. does have enforcement power.” I admit I don’t know much about U.N. policies, but what are the U.N.’s enforcement powers, and how are they carried out? Is military mobilization one of them?

    • darkcycle says:

      The INCB is a toothless tiger. They have no enforcement powers beyond finger-wagging.

      • Servetus says:

        Crush the INCB anyway. All it takes is once. They won’t do it again, whatever it is they do. Revolution for the hell of it.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      We should be so lucky that the U.N. could be stupid enough to send in troops. International ostracism is realistically the worst that Uruguay could face. They did that to Iraq in the 1990s ordering member states to not buy oil from Saddam Hussein because he wouldn’t let the U.N. inspect certain places which they wanted inspected. Of course with the benefit of hindsight that the game in the mind of Mr. Hussein was just chest beating posturing to make his enemies think he had WMDs.

      But Mr. Hussein didn’t give a chit, he just discounted his oil and marched it out the back door. Which is what got him murdered…he cost Mr. Bush the lesser and his faithful ward Dick a boatload of money.

  16. allan says:

    Apparently Mr Yans hasn’t heard the question most often asked after the uttering of that too-oft repeated lie:

    Where are the bodies?!?


    • allan says:

      I’ve met a lot of folks from a lot of countries. We hosted a group of Russki scientists from Lake Baikal when I was living at Opal Creek (tree huggers in the middle of logging country) and they were super nice. They, like every other visitor to that magnificent ancient forest, were tickled to the bone to be able to drink water straight from the creeks.

      Obviously Mr Yans is neither a scientist nor a nice guy. Some people (not to mention any names, Kev) leave me feeling there is no hope for humanity. Obviously in some family lines the genetic ‘evolve’ switch is set at Off.

  17. Firefighter Frank says:

    Reading Sabet’s statement about UN “enforcement” made me blow my tea out of my nose. My travels to Latin America have shown me that what we consider sleepy little(and large)backwater nations suddenly become hornet’s nests of Killer Bees when provoked. Uruguay is 9 hours from Miami. If blue helmets showed up on the streets of Montevideo, I would be on the next flight out to take up arms and become a Killer Bee myself. If an amazing country like Uruguay through democratic process cannot enact and manage their own law, it’s time to fight.

  18. DdC says:

    Ethan Nadelmann ‏@ethannadelmann
    Uruguay should ignore criticism by UN #INCB just as Europeans ignored INCB rejection of heroin maintenance & SIFs.

    Comment is free ‏@commentisfree
    Heroic Uruguay deserves a Nobel peace prize for legalising cannabis | Simon Jenkins (@simonjenkins4)

    FDA: No to #MedicalMarijuana, Yes to “Super-#Vicodin”

    Pills That Kill: Legal #Drugs Snuff Out Americans

    Ethan Nadelmann ‏@ethannadelmann
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    • DdC says:

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  19. Duncan20903 says:

    Hold onto your hats! This one is from the “don’t the prohibitionists ever get anything right?” category:

    GW Pharmaceuticals plc Announces U.S. Patent Allowance for Use of Cannabinoids in Treating Glioma

    LONDON, Dec. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — GW Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: GWPH, AIM: GWP, “GW” or the “Company”), a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform, announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a Notice of Allowance for U.S. Application Serial Number 12/996,124, a patent which covers the use of cannabinoids for treating glioma.

    Glioma describes any tumor that arises from the glial tissue of the brain. Glioblastoma, or GBM, is a particularly aggressive tumor that forms from abnormal growth of glial tissue. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, GBM accounts for approximately 46% of the 22,500 new cases of brain cancer diagnosed in the United States each year. Treatment options are limited and expected survival is a little over one year. GBM is considered a rare disease by the FDA and the European Medicines Agency, or EMA.

    • thelbert says:

      gee, i wonder what that will cost.

    • strayan says:

      What we need to do is make ABSOLUTELY sure that people realise that Sativex is just hash oil in a propylene glycol and ethanol excipient:

      their product is nothing more than a highly characterized, twenty-first century version of hash oil—with peppermint flavoring.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        Oh silly me, I think that I was confused thinking that the patent is for using ∆-9 THC as a treatment for brain cancer. For some unknown reason I would have thought it highly significant that organic THC used as a curative for brain cancer would be a knife through the hearts of the prohibitionist parasites. Upon further reflection I realize that my mistake was thinking that the prohibitchionests actually have hearts. I must have suffered a brain fart.

        Thanks for setting me straight!

    • Windy says:

      Do you suppose that the next thing to happen will be to make any old dude making his own oil in his own home to treat a glioma behind his doctor’s back into a criminal?

      • Duncan20903 says:


        Umm Windy, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it’s already criminalized. How many times has Mr. Simpson been raided and arrested? The last time I heard he’d gone fugitive in Europe after raid #3. I’m sure that the story has advanced beyond that point but that’s where it was the last time I looked.

        I don’t care if there’s a cohort of Canadians extracting CBD from hemp claiming that it’s legal in the U.S. and ready to send it out by mail order. Those people are just plain wrong. Now if somebody started to extract CBD from flax it might be a different story. But I don’t know that just because flax has CBD that it’s economically feasible to extract. It could be just as possible as extracting THC from a hemp crop. Which is to say that it’s just not economically feasible.

        Something I’ve never understood is the phenomenon that has cannabis law reform advocates acting as if loosening up the laws will cause our current system to collapse. E.g. if the State of Washington passes I-502 with no provision for personal cultivation that the growers in Washington will just fold up their grows and stop. It’s just plain silly. The one and only reason that the absolute prohibition of cannabis is an utter failure is because we refuse to comply. I’m totally mystified why anyone would think that less prohibition would change our very nature.

        Oh well, people are going to believe what they want. But I can’t see even a speck of bad news in the fact that the FDA is going to consider that organic THC is an effective treatment for brain cancer. The only negative I can see is that we’re not going to get the credit. But I know that the only reason it’s happening is because of our combined effort. GW Pharma would not exist if it weren’t for our efforts. But I’ve come to accept the reality that cannabis is the Rodney Dangerfield of substances on the Federal naughty lists and that cannabis law reform advocates are the Rodney Dangerfields of law reform advocacy. I’ll send you cookies for Christmas every year for the rest of my life if you can figure out how to disabuse the outsiders of that attitude but I won’t be holding my breath. 20 years from now the history books will almost certainly say that cannabis law reform was achieved and exo-cannabinoid medicine was invented in spite of us. But I can live with that as long as those things happen. Like it or love it, those are the only choices that I can see.

  20. DdC says:

    Julian Buchanan ‏@julianbuchanan
    Uruguay’s Prez Rips Into U.N. Official Over Marijuana Law: ‘Stop Lying’ | @scoopit

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