A report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime or UNODC revealed that the organization is lobbying to declare that criminalization of drugs is “harmful, unnecessary and disproportionate.” The said “as-yet unreleased statement” from the international watch group was seen and revealed publicly by Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group.
According to Sir Branson, the statement from UN was circulated to BBC and other media, himself and his colleagues at the Global Commission on Drug Policy. Branson said he thinks it is wise to make the statement from UN public ahead of its embargo date because he suspects UN will “bow to pressure by not going ahead with this important vote.”
The said statement from UN was supposedly to be release in Malaysia on Sunday but has now been delayed. “As I’m writing this I am hearing that at least one government is putting an inordinate amount of pressure on the UNODC. Let us hope the UNODC, a global organization that is part of the UN and supposed to do what is right for the people of the world, doe not do remarkable volte-face at the last possible moment and bow to pressure by not going ahead with this important move. The war on drugs has done too much damage to too many people already,” Branson wrote on his Virgin website.
In a statement, the UNODC explained that the statement seen by Branson and is now being widely reported is neither a final nor formal document from their office.
“It remains under review and UNODC regrets that, on this occasion, there has been an unfortunate misunderstanding about the nature and intent of this briefing paper. UNODC emphatically denies reports that there has been pressure on UNODC to withdraw the document. But, it is not possible to withdraw what is not yet ready,” the UNODC said in the statement.
“Overall, UNODC remains committed to the balanced approach that, in particular, promotes alternatives to incarceration in line with international human rights standards,” the statement said.