Pubdate: Thu, 30 Oct 2003
Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003, Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Peter Webster
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Note: Parenthetical remark by the Sun editor, headline by newshawk


RE "LETTERS to the Editor," by Dan McTeague (Oct. 28): Although Dan
McTeague, MP, insists that cannabis decriminalization is forbidden by the UN
treaties, he should take note that there exists a perfectly good escape
clause: The UNDCP World Drug Report (New York: Oxford University Press,
1997, Page 185) states: "... (none of the) three international drug
conventions insist on the establishment of drug consumption per se as a
punishable offence. Only the 1988 convention clearly requires parties to
establish as criminal offences under law the possession, purchase or
cultivation of controlled drugs for the purpose of non-medical, personal
consumption, unless to do so would be contrary to the constitutional
principles and basic concepts of their legal system." (Italics mine.)

It would appear that if the highest court of any given nation would rule
that the prohibition of a drug such as cannabis is unconstitutional, it
would automatically render null and void all the problematic restrictions of
the UN treaties in question.

This is the very road that Canada appears to be following, if in fits and

Peter Webster

Review Editor

International Journal of Drug Policy

(That's quite an escape hatch)
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