|How flexible are the United Nations drug conventions? (1999)
|Type de document :
|Article : Périodique
|International Journal of Drug Policy (Vol.10, n°4, September 1999)
|Article en page(s) :
There are currently three United Nations drug conventions in force: the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, as amended in 1972; the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 and the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.
All of these conventions take a clearly prohibitionist approach to the drug problem. Indeed, prohibitionist drug policies around the world have been modelled after these international conventions. The initial prototype for current drug policies was the 1912 Hague opium convention; current UN conventions only continue the approach started before World War I. There should be no doubt that the purpose of these conventions is to introduce some sort of global prohibition. Moreover, they are perceived as a serious obstacle to the reform of current drug policies, making impossible not only the legalisation of any drugs, including cannabis, but also the adoption of measures to depenalise or decriminalise consumption or implement harm reduction strategies. In other words, the UN conventions impose very serious limitations on the signatories' development of unique national drug policies. The chances of changing this situation, repealing or substantially amending these conventions are extremely slim. However, there are still possibilities for the reform or liberalisation of current drug policies. [Extract]