As the United Nations, which is widely ridiculed as the “dictators club,” becomes increasingly bold in purporting to dictate policy to nations and governments, the controversial global body is now under fire from many of its traditional allies after claiming that Uruguay’s recent decision to end marijuana prohibition violates "international law.” The United Nation's claim about Uruguayan drug laws follows recent demands by it that Obama defy state voters and the U.S. Constitution to smash cannabis legalization in American states.
With the recent decision to end decades of pot prohibition in Uruguay making it the first entire nation to take the step, analysts widely anticipate similar efforts around the world to accelerate. Already, voters in Colorado and Washington state have completely nullified the federal and international marijuana regimes, and other states have come close. Across Latin America and Europe, meanwhile, drug policy more broadly has been hotly debated, with at least two nations so far — Portugal and the Czech Republic — decriminalizing all drugs.
In response to the trends, UN narcotics bureaucrats, whose generous tax-funded salaries depend on the perpetuation of the war on various plants and substances, have responded with outrage and concern. UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) boss Yuri Fedotov, an ex-Soviet diplomat, for example, called the Uruguayan government’s decision “unfortunate.” In a press release, UN drug czar Fedotov also suggested that confronting problems associated with prohibited substances was dependent on following his global bureaucracy’s agenda.
“Just as illicit drugs are everyone’s shared responsibility, there is a need for each country to work closely together and to jointly agree on the way forward for dealing with this global challenge,” the former communist functionary said in a statement cited on the UN “News” Center. A spokesman for Fedotov’s UNODC added: “It is unfortunate that, at a time when the world is engaged in an ongoing discussion on the world drug problem, Uruguay has acted ahead of the special session of the U.N. General Assembly planned for 2016.”
Uruguayan lawmakers, in defiance of UN warnings and five decades of international prohibition, decided to buck the UN by abolishing legal prohibitions on the growing, distribution, and consumption of cannabis. Lawmakers and authorities said it was part of an effort aimed at attacking violence and drug cartels, which reap major profits in the black market. The plan was originally proposed by Uruguayan president and former communist guerilla José Mujica.
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