International Narcotics Control Board criticises decision by some US states to legalise use of cannabis
Cannabis decriminalisation measures across the United States, including the medical use of marijuana in California, have been sharply criticised by the United Nations, which has warned Washington they violate the international drug conventions.
The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), which polices the drug treaties, has also warned about the growing public health threat from the “unprecedented surge” in “legal highs” and called for concerted global action to curb the growing trade.
Launching its annual report in London, Raymond Yans, the INCB president, said that the successful ballots in Colorado and Washington to legalise the use of cannabis for recreational purposes and the fact that Massachusetts had recently become the 18th state to allow the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes violate the international drug conventions.
“They also undermine the humanitarian aims of the drug control system and are a threat to public health and wellbeing,” said Yans. He claimed that so-called “medicinal use” initiatives were little more than “a back-door to legalisation for recreational use”.
The INCB has warned the US government that medical cannabis must be properly regulated. “In some US states they are being operated in a way that is completely inappropriate and outside of the conventions,” the report says.