Perhaps under the influence of copious amounts of potato vodka, or possible even deranged from onset of advanced Russki syphilis, the leader of Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service said earlier this week that the country does not plan to legalize marijuana -- branding it a dangerous gateway drug that leads to junkie destitution.

During a recent interview with the Interfax news agency, Viktor Ivanov said that people who smoke marijuana recreationally are destined to suffer from a diminished quality of life, as well as conditions like depression and schizophrenia, and will undoubtedly move on to harder drugs. “Marijuana users have a 50 or 60 times higher risk of switching to heroin,” he said. “There is one step from dope to heroin.”

The leading Russian drug official said that because of the potential dangers associated with people like air traffic controllers, bus drivers, and taxi-drivers performing their work duties stoned, there is no chance of the Federation ever legalizing marijuana.

“Today we live in the age of high technology, a lot of things are managed with the help of computer systems. Someone who works at a nuclear power plant can wreak real havoc after smoking marijuana,” said Ivanov.

Ivanov also told the Russian news agency that distributing methadone and clean syringes was not an effective measure for controlling drug addiction, stating that methadone therapy is largely undocumented, with similar programs causing frustration in several European countries. “If we want to hand out syringes we should do it in places with addicts, to prevent the spreading of diseases,” he said. “If there are no addicts why would we give syringes to the people? Who would approve of people handing out syringes near his own home?”

Last year, the Russian drug enforcement agency voiced opposition to the legalization of soft drugs, with Ivanov making derogatory comments about Uruguayan President Jose’ Mujica’s decision to legalize marijuana in his country, calling it a mistake.

Statistics from the Health Ministry indicate that nearly 8.5 million Russians use marijuana and other drugs.

Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.