Source: De Pers (NL)
December 12, 2007
By: Marten Blankesteijn
The United Nations manipulate statistics to suggest that the liberal Dutch drug policy doesn’t work. This statement comes from Tim Boekhout van Solinge, criminologist at the University Utrecht.
‘It is no coincidence. The UN wants to propagate the idea that things are getting out of hand here. This idea is wrong: The Netherlands, on the contrary, are doing very well.’
To substantiate his claim Boekhout van Solinge mentions the 2000 World Drug Report, which stated that The Netherlands harbored the most addicts of all EU members at that time. ‘The UN had reduced the list of 15 to 13 countries by counting the Benelux as one country.
This was a questionable simplification, because by doing so the country with the largest number of addicts (Luxemburg) was added to the country with the smallest number (The Netherlands). These numbers were not properly linked to total population estimates, instead averages were calculated. That’s how the Benelux ended on top of the list of drug addicted countries. The message for the public was clear: Dutch drug policy is not working.’
The UN are outspoken supporters of the war on drugs, the war against growers, dealers and users that should lead to a drug free world.’ Experts have been clamouring for years that this battle can never be won’, says Boekhout van Solinge. ‘Things are just getting worse.’
In the mean time the UN see Sweden as the lighting example. Since 1977 harsh measures are used in a relentless drug hunt. And this has been a great success – at least, that’s what UN reports say: Sweden has the smallest number of blowers in Europe. But even the Swedish facts are polished to fit the UN message. ‘The reports ‘forget’ to mention that The Netherlands have fewer addicts. Nor is there any reference to the 8% of Swedish students that sniff glue. That Sweden tops the European list in drug mortalities, is also conveniently omitted. When talking drugs, the UN is not a reliable club. These reports have little to do with science.
There are more international organisations that fumble with opinions and research to justify the war on drugs. Says the criminologist: ‘On a conference of the World Health Organisation on cocaine all experts agreed that an overwhelming majority of cocaine users are in perfect control of their use, which led them to conclude that cocaine wasn’t that much of a problem. This conclusion was never made public under pressure of the American government.’
Another example? ‘A WHO report on cannabis paints a dramatic picture of the drug. But when you examine the documents and research used as a basis for the report, you learn that specific research was conducted to estimate what would happen if cannabis would be used as much as alcohol and tobacco are used. The remarkable conclusion of this research: cannabis would still be the least harmful. But this information was kept from the summary.’