Cannabis reform at the international level refers to efforts to ease restrictions on cannabis use under international treaties. Most cannabis reform organizations do not spend a great deal of resources on international cannabis reform, since success would require governmental assistance that has so far not been forthcoming. Decisions to change global drug regulations are usually reached by informal consensus; without such agreement, reform is virtually impossible.
Nations could withdraw from international drug control treaties, but they would almost certainly continue to face great pressure to comply with their provisions. As of January 1, 2005, 180 nations belonged to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The international drug control bodies exert a powerful influence across the globe, preventing even reform-minded nations such as the Netherlands from completely legalizing cannabis.
The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs makes a distinction between recreational and medical and scientific uses of drugs. Numerous provisions state that nations are allowed to permit medical use of drugs. However, recreational use is prohibited by Article 4:
- The parties shall take such legislative and administrative measures as may be necessary . . . Subject to the provisions of this Convention, to limit exclusively to medical and scientific purposes the production, manufacture, export, import, distribution of, trade in, use and possession of drugs.
Furthermore, the Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances requires its Parties to establish criminal penalties for possession of drugs prohibited under the Single Convention for recreational use. If a nation wished to completely legalize marijuana, it would have to withdraw from the treaties. According to leading researchers in this area of law, every signatory has a right to do this. http://www.cfdp.ca/ap2596.html
Barriers to reform
Some barriers to cannabis reform are the result of the international drug control structure, while others are related to political circumstances. The United Nations system in general tends to be difficult to change, partly due to the large number of members and the prevalence of consensus-based amendment mechanisms. Since the international drug control system is overseen by the United Nations General Assembly and UN Economic and Social Council, this has affected drug reform efforts. In addition, United States officials have used their influence in the past to dissuade other countries' delegations from even proposing drug reform
The Single Convention grants the Commission on Narcotic Drugs the power to reschedule controlled substances. However, it would be difficult or impossible to change international cannabis regulations through that body. As Cindy Fazey, former Chief of Demand Reduction for the United Nations Drug Control Programme points out:
- Theoretically, the conventions can be changed by modification, such as moving a drug from one schedule to another or simply by removing it from the schedules. However, this cannot be done with cannabis because it is embedded in the text of the 1961 Convention. Also, modification would need a majority of the Commissions’ 53 members to vote for it. Amendment to the conventions, that is changing an article or part of an article, does not offer a more promising route for the same reason. Even if a majority were gained, then only one state need ask for the decision to go to the Economic and Social Council for further consideration, and demand a vote. The 1971 and 1988 Conventions need a two-thirds majority for change, not just a simple majority.
The only way to modify cannabis regulations at the iternational level would be call a conference to adopt amendments, in accordance with Article 47 of the Single Convention. This has only been done once, with the 1972 Protocol Amending the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. As Fazey notes, this process is fraught with bureaucratic obstacles.
The United States, one of the most influential Parties to the Single Convention, has tended to oppose loosening marijuana laws. Describing the former-U.S. President's position, an October 20, 1999 article in the Dallas Morning News noted, "Aides said Mr. Bush does not support legalizing marijuana for medical use". The international drug control machinery is heavily dependent on American donations; for instance, the U.S. contributes about 90% of the budget of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Without U.S. support for reform, the chances of effecting change at the international level are remote.
In reference to situations where the Commission on Narcotic Drugs proposes changing the scheduling of any drug, 21 U.S.C. § 811(d)(2)(B) of The U.S. Controlled Substances Act gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services the power to issue recommendations that are binding on the U.S. representative in international discussions and negotiations:
- Whenever the Secretary of State receives information that the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the United Nations proposes to decide whether to add a drug or other substance to one of the schedules of the Convention, transfer a drug or substance from one schedule to another, or delete it from the schedules, the Secretary of State shall transmit timely notice to the Secretary of Health and Human Services of such information who shall publish a summary of such information in the Federal Register and provide opportunity to interested persons to submit to him comments respecting the recommendation which he is to furnish, pursuant to this subparagraph, respecting such proposal. The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall evaluate the proposal and furnish a recommendation to the Secretary of State which shall be binding on the representative of the United States in discussions and negotiations relating to the proposal.
The Secretary of Health and Human Services also has power, under 21 U.S.C. § 811(b), to issue findings on scientific and medical matters that are binding on the Attorney General, and to require that drugs be removed from federal control. Thus, the Secretary of Health and Human Services has great power over drug policy at the U.S. and global levels. The U.S. President's control over drug policy ultimately rests in his ability to appoint and dismiss the Secretary.
In addition, the International Narcotics Control Board has tended to have an unfavorable view of drug legalization. This was perhaps most profoundly expressed by Philip O. Emafo, President of the International Narcotics Control Board, in the Board's 2002 annual report:
- The Board continues to serve the international community in line with its mandate. Some distractions, however, come from groups that advocate legalization or decriminalization of drug offences, and others come from groups that favour a crusade focusing only on “harm minimization” or “harm reduction”. Contrary to all available evidence, such lobbyists have persisted in proclaiming that there are safe ways to abuse drugs.
- Supporters of such legalization pursue their goals through aggressive, wellfunded campaigns and with missionary zeal. Their arguments, however, do not reflect the truth. The truth is that there are no safe ways to abuse drugs. The truth is that drug abuse creates problems for the drug abusers, for their immediate environment and, ultimately, for society as a whole. Most people are all too familiar with the pain experienced by the family members of a drug addict and with the disintegration of families as a result of drug abuse. And many people are aware of the loss of productivity that occurs in companies whose employees abuse drugs.
- The sight of unkempt drug abusers on street corners and in train stations, begging for money to finance their drug habits, cannot be ignored by responsible Governments. States have a moral and legal responsibility to protect drug abusers from further self-destruction. States should not give up and allow advocates of legalization to take control of their national drug policies. Governments should not be intimidated by a vocal minority that wants to legalize illicit drug use. Governments must respect the view of the majority of lawful citizens; and those citizens are against illicit drug use.
- Persons in favour of legalizing illicit drug use argue that drug abusers should not have their basic rights violated; however, it does not seem to have occurred to those persons that drug abusers themselves violate the basic rights of their own family members and society. Families and society also have rights that should be respected and upheld.
Understand the History, Where and WHY GLOBAL TREATIES Control your Country, Your Choice, Your Children's Future,
Regardless of the Treaty being Nuclear, Finance, Drugs, International Trade, or Human rights these TREATIES are Subverting EVERY sovereign nationality there own peoples moral authority to CHOSE, The Treaties prevent Future leaders of those Sovereign Nations from ever REFORMING there own Nations without Facing GLOBAL SANCTIONS
If a Nation was to have a referendum, And the Nations people spoke as a completely 100% united peoples to REFORM there own nation's Laws that may become a VIOLATION of INTERNATIONAL TREATY, RESULTING IN SANCTIONS!
So if a Nation's people spoke with 100% Agreement to Print there own Money outside of the International Monetary Fund "IMF" there own Countries Federal Reserves being bypassed "bypassing the international Bankers", the GLOBAL SANCTIONS would be that there new money is not able to be used in World Trade...
If a Nations people spoke with 100% agreement to TRADE THERE OWN COUNTRIES GOODS FOR ITEMS OR CURRENCIES OUTSIDE OF those agreed to in the International Trade agreements "Like gold rather than the US$" then other countries could Claim all that countries investments in other nations as they would be in violation of the trade treaty
SOLID ASSET TRADING IS A VIOLATION EVEN IF 100% of a nations population totally agree to use GOLD rather than the US$ for international transactions
If a nation Decides with 100% agreement that the scientifically proven benefits of Canabinoids to the human body is as essential as Water is to maintain a healthy human body, and should not be restricted to those already sick because its proven effects to PREVENT illness without CAUSING ILLNESS should be available to all a Nations people, and should no longer be seen as Recriational!!! there by allowing the previously perceived recriational use to be seen as MAINTAINING A HEALTHY BODY WHILE SIMULTAINIOUSLY PREVENTING FUTURE COMPLICATIONS, The Treaty would still result in sanctions because other people express a different perception "World view, hitler called it world view wairfair" today its called Psychological wairfair, Forcing others to Submit to the Choices made by people in other countries
And the Argument that Treaties give people HUMAN RIGHTS, and protect us from everyone having NUKES is comparable to the Hypocritical argument's of Religion "my gods better than yours because my religion gives me a better afterlife than yours so you MUYT follow my religion or your going to HELL!"
HUMAN RIGHTS are UNALIENABLE , and Nations use the EXCUSE of not being part of the Treaty as an Excuse to Ignore those UNALIENABLE RIGHTS EVERYONE HAS REGARDLESS OF OTHERS ACKNOWLEDGING THEM!
Do murderers acknowledge there immorality ? no or they would not murder!
The same is for War Treaties "The Rules of War are only obeyed during PEACE for the IMMORAL amongst us, When its WAR then IMMORAL PEOPLE DON'T FOLLOW THEM DURING WAR! claiming its War anything goes...
Nukes are to a Psychopath what a Gun or Knife is to a IMMORAL Murderer, If the IMMORAL MURDERER GETS THERE HANDS ON NUKES MILLIONS of INNOCENT will be harmed...
No Treaty, No Rules will stop them from attacking Cities, killing women and Children "like Hiroshima and Nagasaki"
To good Moral people, TREATIES ARE NOT NEEDED!, MORALITY DEFINES THERE CHOICE and so no Violations to force CHOICE on to others will be considered!, however its the IMMORAL PEOPLE THAT MAKE CHOICES FOR YOU, THAT DECIDE TO MURDER, USE NUKES, IGNORE TREATY.. etc...
Their for i ask you... Do you Enforce Treaties from people in other Countries over your own people? do you CHOSE to stop the CHOICES of your fellow country men? Do you see the Difference between MORALITY and IMMORALITY? or are you totally De-MORALIZED!
Its time people became MORALIZED! Stop Choosing for others who you claim are Equally FREE, there not FREE TO CHOICE IF YOUR CHOOSING FOR THEM!