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Europe and the mumbling grave stones

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:33 am    Post subject: Europe and the mumbling grave stones Reply with quote

Presentation in the European Parliament, Brussels, November 7, 2006 by Peter Cohen, a must-read, he explains why the prohibition policy is like a religion

An excerpt...

Ladies and Gentlemen

In 2008 the UN will discuss its plans to have realised a drug free world, by that year. "A drug free world - we can do it" - the directors of the UN drug-policy circus said 10 years ago.

To begin with, I am sure none of the people gathered here want a drug free world. But I can assure you that the world is not drug free in 2008 and that the world is not going to be drug free ever. And I can assure you that recreational drug use in Europe will slowly grow, at the rate of about one half of a percent of the population per year, a movement quiet and determined like the rivers Rhone or Rhine flowing inevitably towards the sea.

For our UN drug treaty institutions this is heaven. For them to exist and for their salaries and perks to exist, a drug free world would be a catastrophe. A world where drug use and drug production is growing, that is business, fat and risk-free business for the UN.

So 2008 is not going to be a sad year for them. They are not going to say: damn, we did not make it, we did not do enough, apparently the world has the drugs it is asking for, we quit. No, they are not going to quit. They will write and plan and pontificate and fly all over the world and prepare new meetings about this ambition to create paradise on earth. Because that is their job. They create a dream of paradise on earth, for all of us. Their work can best be compared to the big managers in Hollywood and Bollywood where fake worlds and fairy tales about love and evil are created. Their work can also be compared to that of the priests in any church, who all over the world promise a better future to their followers if only they would really follow and really believe in religion or religious books and texts. I have said many times to my friends that the UN bureaucrats should be dressed in robes, and wear colourful miters and chant holy texts from the UN treaties and have their audience repeat key parts thereof. If they would act like that we would all understand that the Treaties are old and holy, and can not be rewritten by us mortals.

But, I do not expect the director of UNODC, nor the drug policy bishop of the EU, nor the representative of the American Drug Czar and the countless cardinals from all over the world will sing Treaty texts in Vienna. They will do something that is close enough, however. During the daily sessions they will speak of their vision of a drug free world, they will quote the holy Treaties, they will come with plans, they will ask for money, they will shout out how wonderful it is when some plants in some country are pulled out of the ground, they will call for more faith, and in the evenings they will have dinner and chat. That's about it. That is what has always been. It is wonderful and amazing to behold.

And the journalists will write and the journalists will try to quote the faithful cardinals who suffer for us and want to help us to reach the drug-free Paradise on earth. And the people will read the papers, and will skip everything that relates to Vienna. Nothing is changing and that is precisely the Vienna agenda: nothing should be changing!

Some of us, poor mortals that we are, think that the drug treaties are about making the best possible drug policy. But poor mortals, that is not what the Treaties are about. Please read them! They are about prohibition. Since 1909 the prohibition business has flourished, and after 1945 better than ever. Thousands of substances are now prohibited for use by us mortals. Plants themselves are even illegal, and every year our prohibition priests find new evil in new compounds. And they list them in the Holy Book of prohibited substances and they pray that one day there will be enough police to enforce just a part of this ever growing body of rules.

Read the rest of this speech here...

On the author, Peter Donald Albert Cohen, Ph.D.

Peter Cohen has been researching drug use, drug policy and drug use epidemiology at the Universiteit van Amsterdam, as director of the first Amsterdam Drug Research Program, and since 1996 as director of CEDRO, the Centre for Drug Research.

Dr Peter Cohen first entered the field of drug research in 1980 by way of a course in sociology on the 'history of social problems'. In his view, human construction of cultures and societies can be partly understood by studying what a society defines as a problem and why. Since then he has studied the so called drug problem as one of the many 'social constructions' of western culture, based on complex prejudice and ideology. His main interest is to conduct empirical research on typical drug myths such as those relating to addiction to cocaine or to cannabis as a stepping stone to more 'dangerous' drugs. Large-scale epidemiological drug use research in the city of Amsterdam and later in the Netherlands as a whole have been conducted. Dr Cohen is currently Director of the Centre for Drug Research at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Universiteit van Amsterdam, doing research funded mostly by the Dutch Ministry of Health.


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