Uruguay's legalization of marijuana violates an international treaty

By Kyle Johnson,

Uruguay's recent vote on Tuesday to legalize the growing, sale and smoking of marijuana might have broken an international treaty that the South American country signed.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) claims that the decision to legalize goes against the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, The Guardian reports. The INCB claims it is an independent and international body.

INCB president Raymond Yans released a statement saying, "Cannabis is controlled under the 1961 convention, which requires states parties to limit its use to medical and scientific purposes, due to its dependence-producing potential."

Yans notes in the statement that he was surprised the country would be willing to break the treaty as well as legalize a drug that could negatively impact the health of the citizens of the country. "Cannabis is not only addictive but may also affect some fundamental brain functions, IQ potential, and academic and job performance."

As previously reported, Uruguay voted 16-13 on Tuesday to legalize marijuana. The decision was made as the government hopes legalizing the drug will reduce crime.

Once the law goes into effect, Uruguayan residents 18 and older can register and will be allowed to purchase up to 40 grams a month from a licensed pharmacy. Uruguay has become the first country to legalize marijuana.

image: Wikimedia Commons


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