Thursday, February 25, 2010

UNODC censors its own website making the case for cannabis decriminalisation

note: for an update on this story see here  (the censored section has returned in dramatically edited form)

The page on the UN Office on Drugs and Crime site that we flagged up on the blog earlier this week, has now been censored to remove the section featuring a rare outbreak of pragmatism making the case for cannabis decriminalisation.

This seems rather pathetic. The page in question has sat unmolested since September 2006, over 3 years, only to be stripped of the decrim-arguments now, the day after we blog about it. Why, its almost as if......

Anyway, as people should all know by now the internet never forgets, and you can read the page as it was using the ever useful Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

I hope that the fact they have rather childishly censored this page on their own site will help teach the UNODC another lesson: Internet users do not like being treated like idiots and tend to respond rather badly.

So to all our internet friends: Please link this and the previous blog as much as possible, blog about it elsewhere, and use twitter, facebook and all your other internet toys to get the original page (and its censorship) as much publicity as possible.

By all means contact a few journo friends as well, see if you can get it in the news. They should be interested as it makes considerably more interesting news than (or at least an interesting counterpoint to) the latest tedious INCB report, obsessed as ever with attacking countries who, wait for it, dare contemplate decriminalising drug possession.


Anonymous said...

I approve of exposing this - what is even more pathetic than pulling it was that the issues mooted were of such low horizons anyway. It was hardly saying bring down the whole flawed edifice. We can't get too excited about a discussion about cannabis when SO MUCH harm is caused by prohibition of ALL drugs - but thanks to this close monitorring we get a glimpse of the bad faith that pervades the UNODC.


thepoisongarden said...

Having taken my full quota of paranoia pills today, a thought occurs.

We know that it was the US government who got the block put on the WHO cocaine survey. Is its hand in this latest censorship?

Is there any FOI route to find out why UNODC changed this page?

I'll now go back to writing about this on my site.

Martin Powell said...

That the UNODC would act in this way demonstrates how twitchy they are getting about the ever rising volume of calls for an end to prohibition.

It also shows how closely they are watching what Transform does - which we shall take as a compliment!

By the way we have now saved the UNODC original page in case there are any shenanigans with the archived version...thanks anonymous.

Anonymous said...

When the US government failed to interdict and destroy the 2009 opium crop from the "Happy Valley" last spring but let it be sold on the black market,it proved that the country that rammed the war on drugs down the worlds throat was not the same zero tolerance country it used to be.
The government claims that they did not want to alienate the local population but those farmers and harvesters would not have cared where the money came from.
The only acceptable policy,according to their laws,would have been for our government to buy those poppies and napalmed them,right there.
The failure to destroy 80% of the worlds opium production was just to big a slap in the face for our allies in the war on drugs.
We are not the only country suffering from the economical upheaval that this war on drugs has caused and is now becoming an unsustainable debit.After all,opiates are one of the most addictive,deadly drugs and they just let it go.
If they had done it right,they could have sold tickets to the 2010 crop burning party.

Martin Powell said...

We've removed a couple of comments because they included personal insults aimed at the staff of UNODC.

If you want to repost without these personal attacks please feel free to.

Unknown said...

I have ADD and can't take the time to go through line by line.

Can you sum up the changes somewhere,(side by side comparisons) or do I have to vaporize some medicine and do it myself?

I'd love to be able to link to a quick summary to share your glorious observations with the world.

hANOVER fIST said...

"the country that rammed the war on drugs down the worlds throat was not the same zero tolerance country it used to be."

Is this the same country that has troops protecting those same poppies so that they can make it to Wall Street so that the losers who "didn't see" the financial meltdown coming can go back to nodding out in their Herman Miller chairs?

Anonymous said...

"(iv) the effect of cannabis laws"
is still in the intro


Tim Scully said...

hANOVER fIST said..."Is this the same country that has troops protecting those same poppies so that they can make it to Wall Street so that the losers who "didn't see" the financial meltdown coming can go back to nodding out in their Herman Miller chairs?"

well well, but of course! Whenever important distribution routes are identified, in most cases links with political entities and secret services also surface. For example:

It seems that, at least before the illicit drug traffic reached its present monstrous proportions, was an exchange of prohibited substances for military arms and influence. Since the beginning of the seventies, however, what these people have been involved in is a business, the net profits of which exceed those of nuclear and fossil fuels combined. Protected by anonymity, there is no lack of hints that this business continues to be concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, by means of production, distribution, and laundering of the resultant cash.

What we do not know for sure is to what degree this underground empire has already become a single syndicate, such as that in existence in the last few years of alcohol prohibition, or whether it is still in the process of formation. Due to its nature, I feel incline to the first option, following a trend to monopoly actively encouraged by illegality.

thepoisongarden said...

'"(iv) the effect of cannabis laws"
is still in the intro'

Not now it isn't.

It's good to know this blog is being read so avidly by the man from UNODC.

Anonymous said...

The reason there are confused messages coming out of UNODC is a attributable to the fact that their Executive Director is unable to string together a coherent argument (read his Executive Summary of the World Drug Report 2009). It is understandable that his subordinates can't make sense of all his contradictions and fallacies and occasionally publish something they later retract.

The fact that we have begun to treat perpetrators of injustice with such benign tolerance is absolutely detestable. Equally shameful is the fact that the people and organisations responsible for the horrors of prohibition will get to walk away from the mess without being held accountable.

Danny K said...

We're saddened that you feel the need to censor information in this way.
You may want to take a critical look at the analysis of the Executive Director of UNODC, Antonio Maria Costa, in which he shows that it is the drug control system itself that has created five major unintended consequences - a huge criminal black market, policy displacement from health to enforcement, the baloon effect, substance displacement and stigmatisation of users.
Good luck with removing its traces. He's repeated it many times...We don't want the public to get the wrong idea now, do we?

Sven said...

A new section 4 is back on the original site, written in a completely different style to the rest of the article, and with a tone much more in line with the prohibitionist posturing that we expect from the UNODC.