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UN Official Says State Marijuana Legalization Violates International Law

The UN anti-narcotics chief says that the legalization of marijuana in several US states violates international laws on the subject and that he intends to discuss the issue with officials in Washington next week.

UN Office on Drugs and Crime executive director¬†Yury Fedotov told Reuters that “I don’t see how (the new laws) can be compatible with existing conventions.” Fedotov plans to raise the problem with the State Department and other UN agencies next week.

Marijuana also remains illegal under federal law, although the Obama administration has thus far allowed for states to go forward with these legalization initiatives without backlash from the federal government. International organizations have also been unable to stop the legalization of marijuana in places like Uruguay, the Netherlands and Bangladesh, or even affect its decriminalization in places like Portugal.

These American laws and other violate the¬†1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which requires states to limit any legalization of marijuana to scientific and medicinal purposes only due to the drug’s dependency potential.

Featured image from Shutterstock

Brad Matthews

Brad Matthews is the Digital Content Coordinator intern for Watchdog Wire. Twitter is @bradmatthewsDC

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