#434 The International Narcotics Control Board On Cannabis

Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2010
Subject: #434 The International Narcotics Control Board On Cannabis

THE INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS CONTROL BOARD ON CANNABIS

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DrugSense FOCUS Alert #434 – Thursday, 25 February 2010

Today major newspapers across Canada printed articles with headlines
like ‘Strengthen Medical Marijuana Laws, UN Drug Watchdog Warns’ which
appeared in the National Post http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v10.n140.a11.html
The key paragraph from the article states “The Vienna-based
International Narcotics Control Board said Canada is operating outside
international treaty rules aimed at minimizing the risk criminals will
get hold of cannabis grown under the program.”

The Board has only the power to encourage governments to act in
accordance with the United Nations Conventions on Narcotic Drugs.
Governments are free to express their sovereignty as their laws allow.
The media is more often than not clueless about this.

Understanding this may help you to counter the issues raised in your
letters to the editor and your other efforts in support of marijuana
law reform.

MAP’s news clippings are updated a few times each day at
http://www.drugnews.org/ Some may touch on this issue, but many will
not. Most clippings are worthy of consideration for your letter to the
editor writing efforts.

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The Board’s report is at http://www.incb.org/incb/en/annual-report-2009.html
and Chapter III, Americas is at http://mapinc.org/url/8FhqCC7M The
paragraph about the United States and cannabis is below.

400. While the consumption and cultivation of cannabis, except for
scientific purposes, are illegal activities according to federal law
in the United States, several states have enacted laws that provide
for the “medical use” of cannabis.41 The control measures applied in
those states for the cultivation of cannabis plants and the
production, distribution and use of cannabis fall short of the control
requirements laid down in the 1961 Convention. The Board is deeply
concerned that those insufficient control provisions have contributed
substantially to the increase in illicit cultivation and abuse of
cannabis in the United States. In addition, that development sends a
wrong message to other countries. The Board welcomes the reaffirmation
by the Government of the United States that cannabis continues to be
considered a dangerous drug. The Government has also underscored that
it is the responsibility of the Food and Drug Administration to
approve all medicines in the United States. The Board notes with
appreciation that the Government, following new guidelines on
prosecution, which stipulate that activities should not focus on
individuals who comply with “medical” cannabis regulations in states,
has confirmed that it has no intention to legalize cannabis. The Board
is concerned over the ongoing discussion in several states on
legalizing and taxing the “recreational” use of cannabis, which would
be a serious contravention of the 1961 Convention. The Board
emphasizes that it is the responsibility of the Government of the
United States to fully implement the provisions of the 1961 Convention
with respect to all narcotic drugs, including cannabis (see paragraphs
61-64 above).

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Suggestions for Writing LTEs Are at Our Media Activism
Center

http://www.mapinc.org/resource/#guides

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Prepared by: Richard Lake, Senior Editor http://www.mapinc.org

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