The United Nations’ International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has expressed concern over the widespread legalization of recreational marijuana in many countries. In its 2017 annual report, the INCB has warned its member countries that have legalized marijuana, saying it is a clear violation of the UN’s 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
The INCB, which is entrusted with ensuring adherence to international drug control treaties, comprises individual members from medical, pharmaceutical or pharmacological backgrounds. In other words, while this implies proper representation of the Big Pharma within the board, it excludes pro-cannabis advocates from having a say. Over the past decades, several member states have signed international drug control treaties to prevent the expansion and non-medical use of dangerous substances, including cannabis. However, contrary to the signed treaties, in recent years, nations like Uruguay have decriminalized and streamlined non-medical use of marijuana. Even Canada is all set to legalize marijuana later this year.
In the United States, marijuana is an illegal drug at the federal level, but nine American states and the District of Columbia allow its use for recreational purposes. However, the INCB doesn’t seem to agree with this move. Issuing strong reprimands to North American member states, the INCB said that their national and state policies have given rise to multiple entry points for drug trafficking organizations. “Governments and jurisdictions in North America have continued to pursue policies with respect to the legalization of the use of cannabis for non-medical purposes, in violation of the 1961 Convention as amended,” says the INCB’s report.
The report said that the entire approach to decriminalize cannabis has led several drug traffickers and criminal organizations to focus on the production of illicit drugs, such as heroin. Experts cite a significant amount of evidence suggesting a major shift from trafficking marijuana to smuggling other drugs among criminal organizations. The INCB report confirmed that though medical cannabis was allowed under the international drug control conventions, member states are duty bound to ensure that weed is prescribed by competent medical practitioners backed by solid scientific research.
Drawing a line on the cultivation of cannabis for personal use, the report said international norms do no permit such practices. The report insisted on a national cannabis agency to control, monitor and license the cultivation of marijuana. The report spoke of implementing stringent measures to stop illegal cultivations of cannabis plants, and to stop abuse and smuggling of the drug. Additionally, the INCB reiterated that personal cultivation of cannabis for medical use doesn’t comply with the 1961 convention.
Dealing with menace of marijuana addiction
In the wake of the widespread acceptance of pot across the U.S., experts fear that such a move could sideline the detrimental and addictive nature of the drug. While the medicinal benefits of marijuana remains a disputable and largely challenged matter, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continues to classify it as a Schedule I substance along with drugs, such as heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), ecstasy, methaqualone, and peyote.
Irrespective of the legalization of medical and recreational use of the cannabis plant in certain U.S. states, on the whole, users should be educated about the hallucinogenic nature of the drug that is known to cause several health problems. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the principal ingredient in marijuana that triggers psychoactive changes in the system, causing dependence and compulsive drug-seeking urges. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), nearly 4 million Americans aged 12 or older in 2016 had a marijuana use disorder in the past year.
The only way to break free from the clutches of marijuana addiction is to seek professional detox at a reputed drug addiction treatment center to reverse the devastating effects of the substance. A leading mental health and substance abuse treatment provider, Sovereign Health understands the plight of someone who is unable to discontinue the use of harmful substances despite being aware of the negative impact on his or her life. Customized treatment for drug addiction at Sovereign Health of San Clemente is designed to treat a person holistically. If you or your loved one is battling addiction to marijuana or any other substance, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online to know about the most effective programs at our world-class treatment centers.