United Nations


What Do UN Treaties On Cannabis Mean For Canada’s Legalization?

For the time being, Canada is still tied to the UN and their international conventions on illegal drugs. While we all know that the only reason the UN proliferated anti-marijuana rules for its member nations was pressure from the United States, it seems as though these rules may impede Canada’s plan to legalize. Or will they?

There are three treaties, under which Canada is currently bound, that prohibit the member nation from engaging in the production or distribution of drugs like marijuana. While many nations are already implementing medical marijuana programs, places like Uruguay, who legalized cannabis in 2013, persist in violation. It should be noted that while the US is responsible for international drug prohibition, states like Colorado and Washington flaunt their independence from such treaties and have broken records year after year in cannabis sales.

Critics of the plan to legalize use the UN treaties as a way to boast a moral high ground, despite the fact that the treaties don’t seem to be worth the paper they are written on. These treaties came about in 1961 and over time, appear to have less meaning in the realm of public health than they do in the world of politics. So far there has been no mention of the UN treaties from anyone in the government, which is a good indicator that they too realize that the treaties are outdated and have no bearing on the realities of today.


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May 26, 2017

by Cory Hughes

Profile photo of Cory Hughes
Cory Hughes is a former police officer turned cannabis cultivator and writer. After years of being on the wrong side of the law, Cory decided to hang up his badge and gun and move into an industry that truly has the potential of bringing people together. He has been an active part of the Colorado cannabis culture and has worked as a horticulturist in dozens of licensed grow operations. Cory now looks to share his knowledge of cultivation and horticulture with the world.


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