Russian chief medical officer blames the Beatles for rising drug problem… 40 YEARS after they split up
By LEON WATSON
PUBLISHED: 11:50 GMT, 26 June 2012
Years behind the Iron Curtain meant for the most part Russia missed the Swinging Sixties that swept the West.
But the former Soviet Union state is now in the midst of a dangerous counter culture that is threatening its youth, according to its top doctor.
Russia's chief medical officer has blamed The Beatles for a boom in drug taking - more than 40 years after they broke up.
The Beatles, whose line-up was John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, have been for a rise in drug use in Russia. The album Magical Mystery Tour (cover pictured) was particularly drug-inspired
Health official Yevgeny Bryun claims the band's dabbling with religious cults in India turned people on to the idea of taking mind-bending substances.
'After The Beatles travelled to expand their consciousness in Indian ashrams, they brought the idea of changing one's psychic state to the people,' he explained.
Dabbling: The Beatles met Indian guru and mystic Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as part of their Indian adventure
'When business then realised it was possible to make money from this — pleasure, and goods associated with pleasure — that was when the growth in the demand for drugs started,' he added.
The health official said the Fab Four had launched a demand for pleasure seeking without responsibility which is now a threat to society.
'Either we stop adolescents from taking drugs at an early age, or tell them that either prison awaits them, or death,' he added.
Earlier this year Paul McCartney revealed he has finally turned his back on cannabis use aged 69 for the sake of his eight-year-old daughter.
The former Beatle was introduced to drug use in the Sixties by Bob Dylan.
In 1980 McCartney spent 10 days in jail and was deported from Japan after customs officials at Tokyo airport found 7.7 ounces of cannabis in his suitcase.