An international body immersed in one drug (alcohol) yet telling governments to outlaw an objectively less harmful drug (marijuana) is biting comedy.
The notion of alcohol consumers piously demanding that others stop using pot probably makes you think of the beer-swilling World War II generation berating weed-smoking hippies during the 1960s. Now, thanks to the United Nations, that caricature gets an update, and the hypocrisy is at once amusing and depressing.
You may have read the headline-grabbing news that in advance of its conference on drug policy last week, the U.N. issued a report urging the United States government to block Colorado and Washington state from moving forward with voter-approved laws that allow adult citizens to use marijuana as a less harmful alternative to alcohol. What you may not have heard is that on the very same day the U.N. released that report, U.S. ambassador Joseph Torsella slammed his U.N. colleagues for drinking too much on the job. Apparently, binging at the U.N. is so commonplace and excessive that it is hindering the organization from conducting its most basic work.
As hypocrisy humor goes, this is pretty funny. An international body immersed in one drug (alcohol) yet telling governments to outlaw an objectively less harmful drug (marijuana) is biting comedy. It hilariously exemplifies the double standards and contradictions that still define many global leaders’ views of drugs.
Yet before you laugh too hard, remember that it is actually a tragedy for members of the U.N. to be simultaneously drinking too much alcohol and too much anti-pot Kool-Aid. It is a tragedy because the blatant hypocrisy saps the organization’s credibility on the drug issue at a time when the world needs it to be supporting the international political momentum generated by Colorado and Washington state.
That reform momentum is now building as lawmakers in Mexico, Uruguay and Chile are citing the states’ votes as reason for their nations to consider legislation to legalize marijuana. Likewise, according to the Associated Press, presidents of Mexico, Belize, Honduras and Costa Rica 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” to debate the continued prohibition of marijuana.
– Read the entire article at AlterNet.