The 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs …

… and HumCo/CA Weed Legalization


I wanted to pass along this factoid I happened across this am from a 2012 Kevin Drum post.  I think it’s good to keep in the back of one’s mind as we think about weed legalization.

“Probably nobody cares about this, but there’s a reason marijuana isn’t legal anywhere in the world: the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, an international treaty adopted in 1961. Marijuana is a Schedule I drug under this treaty, which means it’s flatly, totally forbidden. Countries can decriminalize marijuana use, but no signatory to the treaty can legalize either use or cultivation.

So it’s not just a matter of getting either Congress or a state legislature on board for legalization. You’d have to get the United States to withdraw from the 1961 treaty, and that just isn’t in the cards. Decriminalization and wink-wink-nudge-nudge lack of enforcement are about the best we can hope for anytime in the near future.”

I’d imagine, and it is only imagining, that this is one of the unspoken and perhaps unknown reasons legalization doesn’t really come up as a subject nationally.  That and the Moral Majority.

My bias on this is I think we do need to depend on international treaties to help guide growth and development internationally given environmental concerns that don’t understand national boundaries.


5 thoughts on “The 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs …

  1. Tony says:

    The treaty is null and void after 2 nations and 2 states broke it. The US picks and chooses what treaties to obey all the time. Your bias is hilariously naive.

  2. Lisa says:

    Like the voters of Cali are going to care about a 1961 international treaty? Half the population of CA has a relative sitting in prison because of weed prohibition. The nanny state has imprisoned too many people profiting the prison corps billions. No one who honestly calls himself a liberal is against legalization.

  3. Tony and Lisa – You must have a strong relationship to be typewording at the same time and upvoting your own thoughts. I don’t know this for a fact as I’m not checking IP addresses, etc. I just find it so interesting two similar thoughts were expressed by two people who haven’t ever commented before here within 22 minutes of each other. Oh, and you both got one up vote. Interesting. Must have something that needs to be repeated for some reason.

  4. Mary Ella Anderson says:

    So, are you saying that the Netherlands or Holland isn’t a party to this treaty? And I believe that at least one other European country has followed their lead. On Jefferson Public Radio the other day, the fellow who hosts Travels with Rick said that Holland experienced no problems in increased usage of marijuana after they legalized it. I question the validity of the assertion that we would never violate an international treaty. From my perspective we’ve been doing it routinely with our invasions and bombings of civilians.

    1. Hard to argue that point Mary in a paragraph or two. Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. A newly retired report had only great things to say about you at a GPU meeting a month or two ago. Keep up your wonderful activism!

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