As reported on Denver’s Westword earlier this week, Colorado and Washington state law that makes small quantities of marijuana possession legal might just be in violation of a treaty the United States signed as part of The United Nations in 1961.
The main point is excerpted here:
“Keeping marijuana illegal is a treaty obligation under the 1961 International Convention on Narcotic Drugs and supported by the two other Conventions: the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Drugs and the 1988 Anti-Trafficking Convention. The United States was a prime mover of these multilateral treaties and largely responsible for signature ratification by virtually every other country in the world. The President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has already protested the initiatives in Colorado and Washington.
The treaty conflict has not gone unnoticed by Mexico and other Latin American leaders. Mexico’s President, Felipe Calderon, declared that the United States has “no moral authority” to insist that other countries enforce drug laws if two states in our nation legalize marijuana.”
This news brings up many interesting issues that states and the federal government are currently trying to work out. Since the laws in each state are only at the state level (as so many agencies keep pointing out for everyone), can they really be called into question on an international stage? Even though we’re the United States, we still let each state decide certain things for themselves, including marijuana policy.
What do you think, Weedists? Does an international treaty from the 60’s have any weight in a world where two states in our country have made the sensible decision to move forward with responsible marijuana legalization?