Dmitry Dzhus

Russia Condemns Canada’s Cannabis Legalization

The Russian Foreign Ministry has condemned Canada’s recent legalization of adult-use cannabis, according to a Newsweek report. The Ministry said in an official statement that the move was a breach of Canada’s “international legal obligations.”

“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.” — The Russian Foreign Ministry, via the Information and Press Department statement

Canada’s move to legalize, having occurred at the federal level, technically violates several international conventions. Canada is a signatory, along with the U.S., of several sweeping anti-narcotic conventions. State-level legalization efforts in the U.S., while tacitly allowed by the U.S. federal government, do not yet explicitly break any international agreements.

In April, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with Canadian senators and said that legalization would make things more difficult for Canadian citizens trying to come into the U.S.

“Canada is aware that there will be international opposition from some countries. But like Uruguay, Canada has said they are [legalizing marijuana] for the health and safety of their citizens.” — Hannah Hetzer, the senior international policy manager for the Canadian Drug Policy Alliance, via Newsweek

Uruguay became the first nation to legalize recreational cannabis in 2013. Several of the largest U.S. banks have since refused to do business with Uruguayan banks that handle legal cannabis revenues, citing federal drug trafficking and money laundering regulations. It is unclear if U.S. banks intend to do the same with cannabis-friendly Canadian banks.

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