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Russian ambassador to UN calls dangerous idea to legalise drugs

September 13, 2014, 10:07 UTC+3 UN
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UN, September 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia is categorically against failing the existing international system of fighting the drug threat, Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Organisation Vitaly Churkin told ITAR-TASS on Friday while commenting on the report of international experts, who recommended introduction of regulated turnover of marijuana and some other drugs.

“Unfortunately, at the UN it was not the first attempt to promote drug-liberal norms. We do not share dangerous ideas of the kind and we are categorically against failing the existing international system of fighting the drug threat, where the UN should have the coordinating role, and first of all its Commission on Narcotic Drugs,” the diplomat said.

Results of the Commission’s recent session, a key anti-drug body at the UN, have demonstrated Russia’s views “are shared by many countries,” he said. “We hope decisions the General Assembly takes in 2016 will be aimed at improving this system.”

On September 9, the Global Commission on Drug Policy presented a report, where, on the contrary, it recommends using the UN General Assembly’s special session due in 2016 as a platform for offering new international regulations in the anti-drug policies.

The Commission, which unites former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, NATO’s former head Havijer Solana, former presidents of Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland and Chile as well as other well-known public and political figures, comes to the conclusion traditional methods for fighting drugs have not proven to be effective and the Commission suggests using another radical approach, including considering drug addiction not as a crime, but as a disease.

“To give some details, the report mentions promotion of the practice of so-called replacing therapy, introduction of regulated turnover of marijuana, coke leaves and some psycho-active substances, as well as of certain other ‘progressive’ experiments,” the Russian ambassador said.

The United Nations’ Office on Drug and Crimes confirms the number of drug addicts is growing. In 2008, the Office quoted 203 million addicts worldwide, and by 2012 the number grew to 243 million. The Global Commission says in its report punitive measures have proven inefficient: over 100 billion dollars are spent every year for fighting drugs, while programmes to assist drug addicts would require 3.5 billion dollars a year.

On Friday, Russia’s drug control official Victor Ivanov told ITAR-TASS the report “is an example of a mighty, strong drug lobby,” which is backed, among others, by the banking system.

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