Canada en route to becoming the first developed nation to legalize recreational marijuana is “committed” to stay in the line of the international law.
“As the Board has stated repeatedly if passed into law, provisions of Bill C-45, which permit the non-medical and non-scientific use of cannabis would be incompatible with the obligations assumed by Canada under the 1961 Convention as amended,” the UN reported stated.
But to mitigate its fears, the Canadian government had “very extensive conversations” with Canada’s international partners and the UN anti-drug agency – the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), said federal MP Bill Blair, who is tasked to lead Canada’s marijuana legalization process.
“We simply remind them that illegal production, distribution, importation remain serious criminal offenses,” Blair said on Tuesday during a town hall meeting in Toronto.
“We are living up to our international law obligations, and uphold our obligations towards other countries,” he said. “But among other obligations is the obligation to protect our kids, and to deal with organized crime in our own country.”
He said exporting marijuana strictly for marijuana and scientific purposes, “can only be done through licenses from the Ministry of Health.”
“For example, There are a number of European countries, who have contracted with our licensed producers through ministerial permits to grow cannabis for medical purposes to be used in European countries for medical uses,” he said.
“We have a strict criminal prohibition in production and importation to any country for any other purposes other than medical.”
Canada Signatory to Three UN Treaties
The three treaties are: the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
One of Canada’s options to not violate these treaties is to withdraw from them, but the government hasn’t pursued any step in this regard.
Meanwhile, the UN has long been criticized for having no clout. Some U.S. states have already legalized recreational marijuana, including for example the state of Colorado, where recreational cannabis became legal as far as 2014. But Colorado did not land itself in hot water but thrived.
The only issue facing U.S. states like Colorado is its own federal government, which is waging an anti-marijuana campaign, and not the UN.