Uruguayan President José Mujica blasted the United Nations’ drug czar on Friday over his country’s newly approved plan to legalize marijuana.
Last week, the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) released a statement from its president, Raymond Yans, saying that he was “surprised” that Uruguay would violate international drug treaties by legalizing pot.
Mujica responded in a characteristically unfiltered manner.
“Tell this old guy not to lie,” Mujica told reporters. “Any guy in the street can meet with me. Let him come to Uruguay and meet with me whenever he wants… He thinks that because he’s in an international position, he can tell whatever lie he wants.”
Uruguay belongs to a 1961 international treaty that prohibits the cultivation and sale of marijuana, among other substances. The legalization effort in Uruguay appears to defy that agreement, but U.S. officials — the biggest champions of the global drug war — haven’t spoken out against it.
The U.S. is handcuffed when it comes to international marijuana legalization efforts. The states of Colorado and Washington will both legalize pot in 2014. While that goes against federal drug law, the Obama administration is allowing the legalization programs to go forward.
That’s undercut the United Nations’ hardline message in the global war on marijuana.
Mujica called on Yans to turn his attention to the United States and the legalization programs there.
“Do they have two discourses,” Mujica asked the press, “one for Uruguay and another for those who are strong?”