Just a week ago, Canada became the second country to legalize recreational cannabis with hopes of helping patients and thwarting the black market activity of drug dealers.
While this historic decision was considered to be an important step for progress in cannabis acceptance after decades of prohibition, there was plenty of criticism as well.
Russia has conveyed its disappointment with this news quite openly and has criticized Canada for violating the international cannabis laws.
As reported by UAWire, the Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement condemning Canada for legalizing marijuana calling it a “gross and deliberate violation by the country of its international legal obligations”.
Elaborating on the violation of the international cannabis laws, Canada has breached three major treaties namely, the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention of Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Convention Against Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
Canada had signed all of these international conventions to ban illicit usage of drugs which the Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out saying “We expect Canada’s partners in the G7 to respond to its ‘high-handedness’ because this alliance has repeatedly declared its adherence to the domination of international law in relations between states,” in an official statement as reported by RT.
Canada has not yet issued any official statement in response to Russia’s explicit disappointment. Looking back to the fact that Uruguay was the first country to legalize cannabis in 2013 and in spite of its involvement in international treaties there have been no consequences for their stand, we are almost sure there wouldn’t be any repercussions for Canada as well.
While announcing Canada’s Cannabis Act, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “it’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that.”
If we look through that lens, then all we can do is agree with Mr. Trudeau. The youth has always had their hands on cannabis despite its illegal status for decades. Keeping cannabis illegal has only worsened social issues like drug trafficking while simultaneously barring access to medical marijuana for patients in need.
As for Canada’s position in the international treaties they are involved in, they can always renegotiate their stand by leaving the conventions and re-entering with some specifications regarding cannabis. Or else, they can just follow the footsteps of Uruguay and do nothing, and wait for the world to accept the medicinal and social benefits of legalizing cannabis.
As such, WHO (World Health Organization), an integral part of the UN is already re-evaluating their approach on cannabis, especially CBD. Also, the UN had asked the US for their advice on changing the international classification of cannabis. If the evidence on the benefits of cannabis are strong enough to convince the UN, we could see a historic amendment in international conventions for cannabis.