UN Drug Czar Pressing US Feds to Disregard Marijuana Legalization in Co. and Wa.

Apparently a democratic vote to decide what substances people can put in their own bodies isn't enough.

The head of the UN drug watchdog agency is pressing US federal officials to challenge ballot measures in Colorado and Washington that decriminalized marijuana, in blatant disrespect for what the people voted for in those states.

Raymond Yans, who heads the International Narcotics Control Board, said legalization sends “a wrong message to the rest of the nation and it sends a wrong message abroad.”

Yans told The Associated Press on Tuesday he hopes US Attorney General Eric Holder “will take all the necessary measures” to ensure that marijuana possession and use remains illegal. Apparently a democratic vote to decide what substances people can put in their own bodies isn’t enough to overcome state violence against non-violence drug users.

Leaders in Latin America have repeatedly voiced support for legalization and decriminalization as a way to cut down on drug war violence, undermine the cartels, and preclude US meddling in the region. But the powers that be in Washington have vehemently battered this down.

Now, after democratic votes for legalization in Washington and Colorado, there may be an opening. Presidents from Mexico, Belize, Honduras and Costa Rica said on Monday that trends toward marijuana legalization in the US would make enforcement of prohibitionist policies in Latin America difficult to abide

“The four called for the Organization of American States to study the impact of the Colorado and Washington votes and said the United Nations’ General Assembly should hold a special session on the prohibition of drugs by 2015 at the latest,”according to the Associated Press.

The drug war justifies all kinds of aggressive US foreign policies in the region, supporting repressive governments and para-militaries, while allowing the prohibitionist policies to deepen the black market in drugs and embolden violent drug gangs.

Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.