Pic of Justin Trudeau

Unelected bureaucrats tell democratically elected government what to do.

By Chris Bovey.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), the unelected United Nations body that exists to impose the failed policies of prohibition on all nations of the world, is expressing concerns about the Trudeau Government’s plan to legalize recreational cannabis use in Canada.

The board reaffirmed its opposition in its newly-released 2017 report, which states that using cannabis for anything other than medical or scientific purposes would be a violation of conventions Canada has signed.

The INCB doesn’t really keep up with the times. Its sole purpose is to preserve the failed policies of prohibition so their bureaucrats keep fancy offices in Vienna, inflated taxpayer-funded salaries with all the lavish expenses and free jollies around the world that come with the job.

They never noticed in The Netherlands, where cannabis has been de facto legal for over 45 years, sold in the nation’s famous coffeeshops, the Dutch managed to allow the legal sale of cannabis, causing no problem to society whatsoever. Although, technically cannabis is illegal in The Netherlands, anybody who’s been to Amsterdam or any large Dutch city will know cannabis can be legally bought and consumed by adults in The Netherlands. The policy has always been seen as a success, despite the previous right-wing government recently placing more restrictions, you can still easily buy a range of cannabis herbs or resins in Amsterdam, where you will find its pleasant odour everywhere.

The Dutch have lower cannabis usage amongst minors than in the UK, because it is sold in licensed coffeeshops, who face strict sanctions if they are caught to selling to under-18s.

This is not the first time the INCB has got into a hissy fit with a country for daring to go against its primitive drugs mantra by legalising cannabis. Only a few years ago, they issued stern warnings to the then President of Uruguay, José Mujica, not to legalise cannabis. He did it anyway and Uruguay is still standing.

In fact, Uruguay is ranked first in Latin America in democracy, peace, low perception of corruption, e-government, and is first in South America when it comes to press freedom, size of the middle class and prosperity. Ironically, on a per-capita basis, It tops the rank of absence of terrorism and it ranks second in the region on economic freedom, income equality, per-capita income and inflows of FDI. Uruguay is the third-best country on the continent in terms of HDI, GDP growth,  innovation and infrastructure. It is regarded as a high-income country (top group) by the UN. Uruguay is also the third-best ranked in the world in e-Participation. Uruguay is an important global exporter of combed wool, rice, soybeans, frozen beef, malt and milk. Nearly 95% of Uruguay’s electricity comes from renewable energy, mostly hydroelectric facilities and wind parks. Uruguay contributes more troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions than any other country per head of capita.

Wow, how did they manage to do that with legal pot?

Chris Bovey in Montevideo with cannabis plants.

Chris Bovey with some legally growing cannabis plants in a growshop in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Then of course we have the bizarre situation in the USA, the home of prohibition, where in some states you can land in jail for a small amount of cannabis, whereas in many others, it is decriminalised, as well as nine states (plus Washington D.C.) that have legalised the recreational sale of marijuana, including California, the world’s fifth largest economy in its own right, overtaking the UK after the Brexit vote.

Of course, Canada is a G8 country, one of the wealthiest in the world with very high living standards. Medical cannabis has been legal there since 2001 and possession of small amounts is already decriminalised.

In 2015, Justin Trudeau and the Canadian Liberals were swept into power from third place, ending nine years of Stephen Harper’s Conservative government. One of the most talked about campaign pledges of Trudeau was the one to legalise recreational cannabis, it proved to be a big vote winner and Canada is set to tax and regulate the legal sale of cannabis later in the year, taking the trade out of the criminal black market.

Pic of Justin Trudeau

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is set to legalise recreational cannabis in Canada this summer.

Prior to election, Trudeau said: “Tax it, regulate. It’s one of the only ways to keep it out of the hands of our kids because the current war on drugs, the current model is not working. We have to use evidence and science to make sure we’re moving forward on that.”

This is of course eminently sensible, Colorado, the first US state to legalise recreational weed has so far raised over half a billion dollars in taxation revenue, much of which has been spent on improving its crumbling schools

California is by far the biggest state to legalise marijuana, it is home to more than 39 million people and is worth around $2.5 trillion — more than twice as populous and wealthy as all the previous legal pot states combined.

Meanwhile, here in the UK, the British Conservative government has ruled out any liberalisation of cannabis laws, with PM, Theresa May, even saying she is sympathetic to the idea of upgrading skunk to a class A drug. That’s not to say cannabis is not grown in the UK, both legally and illegally. The UK is the world’s largest exporter of legal cannabis, but unfortunately what’s good for the goose is not good for the gander if you’re British, with the exception of the high potency skunk extract, Sativex, produced by GW Pharmaceuticals, which is available to very few patients in the UK due it its prohibitively overinflated price, otherwise cannabis remains illegal in all forms in the UK.

Despite the fact, the UK is the world’s largest producer of legal cannabis, the British government maintains the lie that it has no medical value. The Tory drugs Minister, Victoria Atkins who supports prohibition, despite the fact a Home Office license has been granted to her husband, Paul Kenward Managing Director of British Sugar which grows cannabis under contract to GW Pharmaceuticals at its 45-acre greenhouse in Wissington, Norfolk.

Theresa May’s government doesn’t have any problem with sucking up to the Saudis to sell them lethal weapons being used to kill innocent civilians in The Yemen, or sending off her disgraced Trade Minister, Liam Fox, to the Philippines, to tell President Duturte, about his shared values. President Duturte has sanctioned the unlawful killings of over 6,000 drug users in the Philippines. Says something about Liam Fox, who previously had to resign as Government Defence Minister in a corruption scandal that he would share the values of a murdering criminal bastard like President Rodrigo Duterte.

The INCB’s usual huffing and puffing whenever a country dares any liberalisation of drug laws is almost certainly going to be ignored by Canada. Even the head of their parent body, António Guterres, Head of the United Nations and former Prime Minister of Portugal, just recently touted the idea of decriminalising all drugs in a speech to the INCB. When in office Mr Guterres decriminalised drugs in Portugal, much at the protest of the INCB, however, the policy was a success which resulted in the halving of drug use in Portugal.

“Current efforts have fallen short of the goal to eliminate the illicit drugs market,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “We can promote efforts to stop organised crime while protecting human rights, enabling development and ensuring rights-based treatment and support. I am particularly proud of the results of the reforms I introduced in Portugal when I was prime minister almost 20 years ago.”

The wallets of the bureaucracy at the INCB must be shitting themselves. These people are the last dinosaurs fighting to maintain the failed policies of prohibition, not because they care about people, but they care about themselves. Prohibition only benefits organised crime, moralising killjoys, money laundering banks and these pesky meddling bureaucrats.

Ending the so-called “war on drugs”, which was enacted by President Nixon, a racist who saw it as a way of criminalising black people and anti-war hippies, would put the criminal gangsters out of business, end the abhorrent practice of the people trafficking of slave children to grow cannabis for the black market, ensure consumer quality controls, make it harder for minors to obtain and raise a fortune in much-needed taxation, as well as saving a fortune policing these daft laws.

As other countries modernise, it’s only a matter of time before Britain follows the lead of Canada and others by reforming cannabis laws in the UK.

INCB HQ in Vienna

The bureaucrats of the International Narcotics Control Board do not want to lose their fancy offices in Vienna, which is why they work to maintain the failed policies of prohibition.


Chris Bovey, writer and musician.

Chris Bovey is a businessman, writer, musician and practical joker. He lives in Devon with his partner, two children and cat.

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