Thursday, December 12, 2013

Uruguay improved drug policy, stupidly done

Uruguay legalizes marijuana. This is a smart thing to do, especially as now there is a growing body of evidence that marijuana is miscategorized as to its medical uses in the international drug control regime. But Uruguay does it by breaking its treaty obligations instead of withdrawing from the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs which it would have been permitted to do under Article 46.

Article 46

1. After the expiry of two years from the date of the coming into force of this Convention (article 41, paragraph 1) any Party may, on its own behalf or on behalf of a territory for which it has international responsibility, and which has withdrawn its consent given in accordance with article 42, denounce this Convention by an instrument in writing deposited with the Secretary-General. 

2. The denunciation, if received by the Secretary-General on or before the first day of July in any year, shall take effect on the first day of January in the succeeding year, and, if received after the first day of July, shall take effect as if it had been received on or before the first day of July in the succeeding year. 

3. This Convention shall be terminated if, as a result of denunciations made in accordance with paragraph 1, the conditions for its coming into force as laid down in article 41, paragraph 1, cease to exist.
Any drug reform laws inconsistent with the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs really needs to go through the treaty withdrawal process. Uruguay's method of drug reform is going to land it in unnecessary trouble.