Russia will not legalize drugs

Federal Drug Control Service chief Viktor Ivanov has confirmed that soft drugs will not be legalized in Russia.

"Legalization of drugs is the way to nowhere," he told reporters in Moscow on Thursday.

"European countries, our partners in the United States and Russia share the common position that drugs cannot be legalized and the three basic anti-drug UN conventions cannot be reviewed," Ivanov said.

Ivanov said in Belgorod on July 10 that one-fifth of Russian citizens have tried drugs by the age of 24.

"Some 13% of Russian citizens, or about 18 million, have experienced using drugs. The number of citizens using drugs occasionally has reached 5.5 million, and regularly 3 million," he said citing a survey.

Seventy-five percent of crimes involving violence are related to drugs one way or another, Ivanov said.

As many as 215,000 crimes connected with illegal drugs trade were committed in Russia last year, he said.

"Over 109,000 citizens or 13% of Russia's convicts, got their sentences for illegally selling drugs," he added.

"These figures are appalling and they vividly demonstrate the natural limits of how this problem can be resolved by police. It appears that in the first 10 years of the millennium police have prosecuted more than 1 million people, most of them young," Ivanov said.

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