Robert Baker

UN Warns Australia: ACT’s Cannabis Reforms Violate Treaties

UN officials have sent a letter warning Australia’s federal government that the cannabis legalization language recently adopted in the Australian Capital Territory breaches at least three international drug conventions signed by the nation.

Full story after the jump.

The United Nations International Narcotics Control Board has sent a letter to the Australian federal government warning that cannabis reforms in the Capital Territory breaches at least three international conventions on a drugs control treaty signed by the nation, according to a report from the Australian.

“The board wishes to recall that cultivation, production and distribution of cannabis for non-medical purposes is inconsistent with the provisions of the 1961 convention as amended, in particular article 4(c), which requires state parties to limit the use of narcotic drugs exclusively to medical and scientific purposes.” – UN INCB, in a letter to the Australian government

The letter was sent to Australia’s UN mission in Vienna and forwarded to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Health.

“The board wishes to reiterate that the legalization and regulation of cannabis for non­medical use, including in small quantities, would be inconsistent with Australia’s international legal obligations,” the letter states.

The agency issued a similar warning in their 2017 annual report, calling out Uruguay, the Netherlands, Jamaica, Canada and U.S. states for implementing cannabis legalization reforms. The body could bring offenders in front of an international court but, to date, has not taken any action.

Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt has indicated the federal government has “no plans” to fight against the ACT legalization plan – which takes effect Jan. 31, 2020. Attorney General Christian Porter said earlier this month that the law has “no effect” because of Commonwealth statutes.

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