|Photo: Russia Beyond The Headlines|
|Russian Drug Czar Viktor Ivanov: “The people who are addicted develop psychiatric deviations”|
Russian drug czar Viktor Ivanov has flown into California and offered his unsolicited opinion on marijuana legalization there, warning of “psychiatric deviations” if Proposition 19 should pass.
Ivanov, a former KGB officer and now a prominent member of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, took the unusual step of going to Los Angeles to “conduct a campaign against legalizing marijuana in California,” as he said in an interview, according to Foreign Policy.
He also came to Washington, D.C., this week to meet with U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske and U.S. Afghan envoy Richard Holbrooke to discuss anti-opium poppy measures in Afghanistan and call for an “intensified program” of aerial poppy eradication there.
Ivanov, who heads up Russia’s Federal Service for Narcotics Control, had a stern warning for those pot-smoking Californians.
“I’m afraid that the consequences of [legalization]will be catastrophic,” Ivanov warned.
“Even the Netherlands, where they sell marijuana legally in coffee shops, they are now reversing on this,” he inaccurately claimed. “Because there, and everywhere, drug addiction is becoming stronger and the people who are addicted develop psychiatric deviations. They say, ‘What does God do when he wants to punish a person? He deprives him of his mind.’ “
“[…]I’m not sure that support from Ivanov — whose own government has an elastic definition of personal freedom — is an endorsement the anti-19 forces will embrace,” drily noted Los Angeles Times “Opinion L.A.” columnist Paul Thornton.