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“AMO”, the Philippines' drug war series that actively promotes murder, extrajudicial killings, violence, and the war on drugs in the Philippines. Netflix was succesfully petitioned to withdraw.the series.
Picture collage by ANPUD (Asian Network of People who Use Drugs)

Rise and stand up this June 26th, 2018

One gains power over the nightmare by calling it by its real name.
Martin Buber, I and Thou (1)

The 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and its follow-up treaties establishing the UN drug control regime would prove to be an outright attack on the text and the spirit of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), through its scheduling of a range of life enhancing substances in categories henceforth prohibited to mankind.
Instead of prohibiting them, the use of these substances should have been protected when measured against the stated objectives of the new universal human rights order. 
However, the victorious WWII powers of the industrialized world imposed a rigorous punitive prohibition system that they pretended to legitimize with the examples of the ravages caused by their own chemical drug warfare in former colonies, the ill-advised mass production of addictive over-the- counter drugs for their home markets and a total disrespect for the consciousness enhancing processes of these products, considering them solely as a means to escape from their own mind control. 

In the beginning years of the new 1961 regime the first substances selected were mainly plants from developing countries, many of which only recently had gained independence and were vulnerable to foreign pressure. By focusing the interdiction on the supply side, the countries where these substances originated were the first to be punished in case of non-compliance. Ironically it was precisely in these countries that peoples had learned throughout history to use these substances to their benefit and often depended on them for their cultural survival. In this way the political decolonization of the 1960s was instantly replaced with the worldwide ideological colonization, not only of sovereign nations and sustainable societies, but of the minds of the global citizenry. A sublime and cynical coup de force: by obtaining the support of both the former colonies and of the former colonizers, the new prohibitor forced them all to pledge allegiance to the word of the strongest, presented as the policies of their own United Nations, the apparent advocate of human rights and the rule of law. It amounted to a universal colonization of the minds in the shadows of the UDHR, under the guise of protecting public health and fighting evil. These days we witness the latest consequences of this regime in the worldwide persecution of minorities and the pervasive extra-judicial killings of drugs users in a growing number of countries.
The Single Convention started with the ethnocide of the indigenous societies that had their culture based on the communion with their gods through the consumption of their now prohibited plants. They were given whisky instead, to forget their shamanic trade. The past had to be erased for the future to correspond to the wishes of the imperial mind. And now, when this policy fails, governments turn to the ultimate solution, genocide.

The scientific justifications for the 1961 prohibition scheduling provided overt exercises in deceit. The 1949 Commission of Enquiry on the Coca Leaf already was a racially biased, scientifically unqualified party. Its 1950 report had been highly selective and random in its choice of available scientific literature and conclusions and was perceived by all the Andean coca chewing nations as a short-sighted and willful insult to their cultures. It would become clear in the subsequent decades that addictionism, a pseudoscientific ideology launched by Washington, had taken hold of the United Nations. Science had been given the back seat in drug policymaking and became discarded. Thus, although during the last half century dozens of new clinical cannabis applications were evidenced by research (2), no scientific review of the classification of the plant and its compounds was undertaken and it is still scheduled today as a substance liable to abuse and highly addictive, with particularly dangerous properties and little or no therapeutic values. Only this year 2018, and for the very first time, the World Health Organization assesses the medical uses and harms of cannabis.

The Vienna-based UN-drug control bodies appear not to care though about the ravages the war on drugs produces, like the government sponsored killings of users and the torture presented as rehab in compulsory drug detention centers, or about the successes obtained in the field, like the needle and syringe programs and the opioid substitution programs. 
The case of dr. John Marks’ successful Liverpool heroin prescription project is emblematic. His Merseyside clinic successfully stopped the HIV epidemic in its tracks, improved the health of drug takers dramatically and prevented further deaths from any drug-related cause. But as important, the number of heroin addicts fell significantly. Under prohibition you need to buy at expensive prices, you rob or prostitute or else, you adulterate and sell part of your purchase, become a salesman and promote the experience. Under prescription you don’t have to sell smack to get smack and persuade somebody else to take the drugs too. Nevertheless, under US pressure the Thatcher government shut down the project in 1995. 

Swiss minister of health, Ruth Dreifuß, was persuaded to repeat the Merseyside model which to this day is just as successful as the original was. John Marks became a pariah in his own profession in the UK and had to emigrate to New-Zealand. Asked about his fate of being ‘burnt at the stake’ he said, ‘Whatever gave you the idea folk in authority operate according to reason? Your trouble is you’re being rational.’ (3) And in a blistering critique of this year’s 61st session of the Commission of Narcotic Drugs (CND), ANPUD’s (4) description suggests it functions as some big drowning pit of positive developments and ideas. 
Bias and abdication of responsibility have become the rule, stigmatization of users the social norm, harm infliction proof of good treaty compliance. Although the prohibition of cannabis, coca and opium poppy is formally legal it equally is profoundly illegitimate. 

We were told only zero tolerance could ensure a drugs free world, clear of any debilitating drugs' exploitation of youth and the weak for the benefit of others. This political dictate was proclaimed although one of the foremost architects of the 1961 Single Convention, Mr. Harry Anslinger, who oversaw a previously failed prohibition of alcohol in the USA, knew better. Back home he had personally experienced how such an interdiction would turn the greedy into Mafiosi and in the end corrupt all those with no legitimate interest in the prohibited commodities and flood the market with dangerous adulterated products. As the difference between medicine and drug, use and abuse, is dose, and as the medical world was sidelined as dosing authority by the 1961 Convention, a black market of drugs was offered to numerous mafias that predictably concentrated their activities on the most profitable addiction creating demand. It made the most somber predictions come true as not the scientifically embedded but the socially rejected and unaccompanied use, controlled by a criminal segment of society, dictates habits and procedures of consumption under prohibition. Instead of promoting the highest attainable standards of health, prohibition produces crime, creates disease and fosters death. The USA - who repealed the alcohol prohibition after 13 years - and its partners, wish the UN to stick with a similar prohibition, causing worldwide havoc.

The seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights celebrates an astounding number of victories over discrimination caused by ignorance, prejudice, egoism, fear and hatred. The responsible use of mind altering substances may not participate in the celebration. Not only are the human rights of their users systematically violated, as countless studies report, but this violation itself seems justified in the opinion of many of even the most liberal policy makers and academics. It appears that prohibition logic has accomplished a feat that the UN was supposed to ban from the world community: setting some humans apart from the remainder of mankind and relegating them to a parallel universe where the law of human rights is not applicable and arbitrariness reigns. The human rights of drug users are not violated by mistake in the implementation phases of laws and regulations. The treaty arrangements and their applications in national laws themselves are human rights violations, as is the administration of justice based on these laws and regulations. The fight against ‘the evil’ of drugs use has, inevitably (5), turned the United Nations into the godfather of gross violations of the very human rights order it is called to protect by its Charter. Not only did the UN fail to prevent a new genocide to be committed, it even was its main instigator.

Prohibition's victims are now invited by the UN Secretary-General to stand up against the violation of their rights. That’s a big leap forward. Kofi Annan, a predecessor, waited until after his resignation to publicly confess himself to anti-prohibitionism. António Guterres, now in office, invites the entire UN drug control community to reconsider their criminal scheme. The DPI wholeheartedly welcomes this invitation and wishes Mr. de Oliveira Guterres all the best in his campaign to follow the previous US example and repeal the shameful prohibition of consciousness altering substances. (6)

The denial of humankind’s communion with the voice from within, the voice of the heart, is the negation of the right to religion, the right to spiritual freedom, freedom of thought and physical healing. Responding to the UN invitation we stand up for the human right to mind altering substances, a right to life. Out of the sheer unlimited range of human rights violations prohibition entails, we stand up specifically against the most gruesome violation imaginable, committed in our name: the universal incitement to genocide of people who use drugs. 
The DPI invites to this endeavor all those who understand the importance of consciousness alteration, the attack on human sovereignty by prohibition, the essence of respect of human rights and above all, the blessings of spiritual unity and human solidarity.

If you appreciate the spiritual sovereignty the alteration of consciousness fosters and if you hold solidarity with your fellow humans more important than the states' ability to control our minds, we invite you to rise and stand up for our right to life and let your voice be heard: Stop the Genocide.

¹ Quote copied from ‘Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction’, Adam Jones, Routledge, London and aNew York, 2nd Edition 2011.