|Russian Federal Narcotics Service director Viktor Ivanov.|
In Russia, marijuana smokes you! Or, apparently that’s what Russian officials want the Russian public to believe. According to Russian Federal Narcotics Control Service chief Viktor Ivanov, marijuana users are 60 times more likely to be heroin users than non-marijuana users. In addition to becoming junkies, pot smokers end up depressed and schizophrenic in later life.
Not that the former KGB officer backed up those statistics with any actual documentation or anything like that.
Ivanov basically said he isn’t going to allow марихуана (marijuana in Russian) to invade his country in an interview this week with Interfax (no doubt downing a bottle of vodka afterward). His wild arguments against cannabis seem to be picked from invalidated studies from anti-cannabis governments around the world. Not only that, but he seems to be completely out of touch with what cannabis does to people and essentially says that pot smoking will lead to a Fukushima-like disaster.
“Today we live in the age of high technology, a lot of things are managed with the help of computer systems,” Ivanov said. “Someone who works at a nuclear power plant can wreak real havoc after smoking marijuana.”
It would almost be funny if it wasn’t so scary. Ivanov also said that he sees little evidence that drug rehabilitation programs truly work, including methadone clinics and need-exchanges (both systems that have proven to be very beneficial for addicts).
It’s probably because programs in his own country are largely ineffective and poorly run, not to mention widely distrusted. According to the Russian Times, there are an estimated 8.5 illegal drug users in Russia, but only 600,000 are registered at state-run methadone clinics.