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INCB: Marijuana Legalization Violates International Treaties

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

International Narcotics Control Board logoThe President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Raymond Yans, has weighed in on state laws legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Yans issued a statement saying the laws “are in violation of the international drug control treaties, and pose a great threat to public health and the well-being of society far beyond those states.” The INCB President expressed concern that legalizing cannabis “would send wrong and confusing signals to youth and society and general,” giving the impression that drug use is safe. The INCB also cautioned that legalization may result in the expansion of drug abuse.

The 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, an international agreement endorsed by 185 States, places cannabis under control and limits its use to medical purposes. The INCB is an international, quasi-judicial body charged with monitoring governments’ implementation of the international drug control system. Yans noted that cannabis drugs have grown even more potent since the convention was first ratified and now contain higher concentrations of marijuana’s active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Reminding states of their obligations, Yans noted that all national laws and policies should align with the conventions. The state laws of Colorado and Washington currently conflict with federal laws that still ban marijuana.

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Source: United Nations INCB President voices concern about the outcome of recent referenda

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