World Health Organization
February 16, 2003
The war on drugs claimed a new victim when the World Health Organization (WHO) buckled to political pressure and suppressed one of it's own documents showing that cannabis is safer than both alcohol and tobacco.
The first report on Cannabis by the WHO in 15 years was eagerly anticipated by scientists and doctors but unfortunately when they received the report a section was missing.
The WHO claimed that the section was suppressed because "the reliability and public health significance of such comparisons are doubtful". However a leaked version of the document to the New Scientist is much more revealing.
In the original version it states that "in developed societies cannabis appears to play little role in injuries caused by violence, as does alcohol"
Oops, time to hit the delete button. The leaked version further states that the purpose of the section was "not to promote one drug over another but rather to minimise the double standards that have operated in appraising the health effects of cannabis".
What's that? accusing the drug zealots of double standards? Where's that delete button?
In fact the section allegedly finds that in most of the comparisons it makes between cannabis and alcohol, the illegal drug comes out better, or at least on a par, with the legal one.
Short interlude for dramatization .
"Hello WHO speaking"
"Hello WHO this is the alcohol industry"
"Hello alcohol industry how can we help you" ?
"Well have a look at your keyboard. Do you see a delete button" ?
WHO representative looks down and feels smug when he spots it immediately
"Yes alcohol industry We see the delete button"
"Well f*"ck%ng well press it or we'll have your bureaucratic syphilitic balls for garters"
Short interlude for dramatization ends
According to the New Scientist article "advisers from the US National Institute on Drug Abuse and the UN International Drug Control Programme warned the WHO that it would play into the hands of groups campaigning to legalise marijuana."
So it would seem that any facts that support the argument for legalisation of marijuana are to be suppressed. The drug zealots are the modern day book burners. but in their case are even more zealous than the fanatics of old. Modern book burners burn books prior to publication. I'm so glad we don't live in a police state....
Can the WHO ever be trusted again? That is debatable. A good start in regaining public confidence would be to publish the report in full with a public apology for this act of censorship.
The New Scientist article can be found here