Drug War Incompatible with Human Rights, Says Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Good observations from the fine law enforcement officers of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) on the closing of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting this week:

During consideration of a U.S.-sponsored resolution to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first laws banning opium, Norway’s delegation attempted to insert the phrase “while observing human rights,” but even this move encountered resistance from the US delegation, which preferred not to mention human rights. 

“Fundamentally, the three UN prohibitionist treaties are incompatible to human rights. We can have human rights or drug war, but not both,” said Maria Lucia Karam, a retired judge from Brazil and a board member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

Richard Van Wickler, currently a jail superintendent in New Hampshire, adds, “I suppose it’s not shocking that within the context of a century-long bloody ‘war on drugs’ the idea of human rights is a foreign concept. Our global drug prohibition regime puts handcuffs on millions of people every year while even the harshest of prohibitionist countries say that drug abuse is a health issue. What other medical problems do we try to solve with imprisonment and an abandonment of human rights?” 

The UN meeting, the 55th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, comes amidst a rapidly emerging global debate on the appropriateness of continuing drug prohibition and whether legalization and regulation would be a better way to control drugs. In recent weeks, Presidents Otto Perez Molina of Guatemala, Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica and Felipe Calderon of Mexico have added their voices to the call for a serious conversation on alternatives to drug prohibition.

“Unfortunately, none of these powerful Latin American voices were heard during the official sessions of the UN meeting,” says Judge Karam. “In the halls of the UN building in Vienna we did speak to delegates who agree that the drug war isn’t working and that change is needed, but these opinions were not voiced when they counted the most. During the meetings, all the Member States remained voluntarily submissive to the U.N. dictates that required that all speak with a ‘single voice’ that mandated support for prohibition.”

Commemorating a century of grotesque government crimes; good on 'ya, UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

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  • Restoras||

    Norway’s delegation attempted to insert the phrase “while observing human rights,” but even this move encountered resistance from the US delegation, which preferred not to mention human rights

    So we are for human rights in places like China but against them in places...like home???

    Excuse my French but
    What. The. Fuck.

  • ||

    There is no human right to smoke your dope hippie.

    Sorry was just channeling my inner drug warrior.

  • ||

    That would be funny if it wasn't so true.

  • Suki||

    There should be no government power to prevent it.

  • Reality||

    The word you are looking for here WRT the government is "tyranny": Absolute power without legal right, aka criminal rule.

    The word that applies to the public here is "victim": a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, in this case, any facet whatsoever of drug enforcement.

  • ||

    That is a whole new level of assfuckery.

  • ||

    In all seriousness, the term "human rights" is a technical term. It implies all kinds of obligations, that we might not want to give.

    Just is just a guess, but our objection had nothing to do with internal drug policy. What is really going on is the US is reserving the right to wage war against the Mexican drug cartels and treat them as an enemy rather than a law enforcement problem.

  • ||

    The U.S.A. is at the bottom of the list of counries that respect human rights. Blame your loyalist family, friends, and neighbors.

  • Suki||

    Sounds like the Marxist view of free markets, except correct.

  • ||

    Are there any LEAPers who are still actually, you know, law enforcement?

    I get the impression it should be Retired Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

  • Gojira||

    Dunphy "liked" them on facebook. So, you know, that totally counts as being against the drug war.

  • Joe M||

    Former works better: FLEAP.

  • Joe M||

    Oh, and I think if there are, they're very few and far between. Just like Clinton spoke out against the drug war after his presidency was over.

  • ||

    [citation needed]

  • ||

    Never heard that. How about a link?

  • BakedPenguin||

    You said it: LEAPR. As in "Law Enforcement Against Prohibition - Retired", or a current law enforcement person who is ready to throw his career off a tall building.

  • tarran||

    I think two years ago one of LEAP's officers (as in senior management) bemoaned the fact that only one active officer was a member.

    Being against the giant workfare program that is the war on (some) drugs has gotten at least one cop fired in the past year. I'm sure there are more that we've never heard of.

  • T||

    Wait, the President of Costa Rica is a chinchilla? Can we get in on that action? Right now, a hamster sounds better any of the efenant or donk candidates.

  • J_L_B||

    even the harshest of prohibitionist countries say that drug abuse is a health issue.

    Haha, yeah like Singapore which treats it with a silk rope around the neck, and Indonesia, which treats it with a mandatory quarter century of bed rest and a high fiber diet.

    Even if Federal drug laws disappeared tomorrow, the drug laws of a few states will still remain close to the Southeast Asian variety.

    At their root, these laws (minimum wage laws being another example) serve to remove from society those deemed unpleasant for the majority voting class, which is much bigger than the recently-famous 1%.

  • ||

    And Singapore and Indonesia still have drug problems. You would think the prohibitionists would learn something from that.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Drugs are available (and, I presume, necessary) in prison, but they refuse to understand the implications of that.

  • ||

    Touche. And I am telling you. They objected to the language because they want to be able to wage war against the Mexican drug gangs. The movement is now towards an "all hazards" approach to counter terrorism and crime. That is you look at transnational criminal gangs the same way you do terrorist organizations. They are just dying to get into a nice low intensity conflict in Mexico.

  • ||

    I know of no evidence to suggest that Prohibitionists are capable of learning anything.

  • ||

    Even in states where medical cannabis is legal they can still do shit like this, for some unfathomable reason:

    http://blog.norml.org/2012/03/.....-patients/

    3-week old nursing baby taken from its mother for four months! This has got to end.

  • ||

    Libertarians won't end it. They are cowardly scholars who would rather write an article than throw a bomb.

  • ||

    I doubt throwing a bomb would be helpful.

  • BakedPenguin||

    As crappy as his writing often is, Steven King had a good line about this. One of his characters approached a mobster to obtain explosives. The mobster said something like "what the radicals fail to understand is that if they blow up a courthouse, the government will build two in its place. One to replace the old one, and another to convict all the mad bombers."

  • ||

    Yup. Political assassination always just gives the government an excuse to get worse. In fact it is such a great excuse really enterprising governments fake political violence to create the justification for political oppression as in the Richstag fire and the Kirov Assassination.

  • ||

    It sounds like you have spent a lot of effort putting together reasons for not fighting against political oppression. Your yellow streak is showing, libertarian.

  • tarran||

    And you sound like a government provocateur trying to create the next terrorist threat about which the head of the DHS will brief a fawning media to keep the proles in a state of fear.

  • ||

    I know perfectly well why you prefer armed rebellion to actually running a political campaign for change; Running around in the hills with an AK47 and balling ideology- addled co-eds is more fun than doing any actual work. Just try to stop sounding so goddamned smug about it.

  • Reality||

    The reason to not use violence against political oppression is that they will kill you, thus solving your oppression problem completely. Work with the system, survive to enjoy any wins you might have, or at least, know you tried. Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

  • ||

    Why are those the only two possibilities you can imagine?

  • Hugh Akston||

    So Prohibition or Human Rights. I wonder which one the US Government will choose.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Human rights" is just code for SOFT ON CRIME.

  • MWG||

    Something about the headline made me smirk.

    NEWS FLASH: War in Iraq incompatible with human rights, says Code Pink

    Obama Care incompatible with the constitution, says GOP

  • ||

    It's not like the drug war has enabled the government to institutionalize the presumption of guilt or anything....

  • ||

    a U.S.-sponsored resolution to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first laws banning opium

    YAY!

  • ||

    The so-called 'War On Drugs' is merely a continuation of the old 'War On Blacks' except that the word 'black' was not used back in the 'good ol' days'.

  • ||

    It's worse than that, actually. Yes, the first Federal laws against marijuana, heroin, and cocaine were passed amid a blizzard of the worst "we gotta keep them goddamned niggers in line" swill ever published. But that wasn't the REASON. The reason was that the government was afraid they were going to have to let go all those lovely Prohibition Agents, what with repeal. It was a "full employment for government goons" measure. The oppression of blacks was an excuse, not a goal.

  • ||

    The UN is ALSO incompatible with human rights.

  • ||

    All Prohibitionists eventually get to experience utter loneliness - also known as "the sadomoralist condition". This is usually accelerated by the deep realization that it's simply not possible to prove any of the nonsense they've been continually spouting for decades. It's this type of loneliness that often turns their attention to a higher power, the one that usually comes in liquid form. This is a serious terminal affliction and not one that a shrink, philosopher or priest can help with. Ultimately, they become trapped in a situation where they have literally nobody left to relate to. In such situations it is our civic duty and moral obligation to point them to the nearest high bridge.

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