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UNGASS Still Supports Prohibition

United Nations Cannabis Now Magazine
Photo by JasonParis


UNGASS Still Supports Prohibition

While a legion of drug policy reform advocates have spent their life savings traveling to New York to participate in the first United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs in almost two decades, the word on the street is that the sideshow and circus of protestors surrounding this momentous event has overshadowed the fact that prohibition will ultimately remain unscarred.

report from The Guardian indicates that, despite mounting pressure from several nations to end the War on Drugs, the General Assembly has approved a new agreement that maintains the current ban on illicit substances, including marijuana. On Tuesday, while world leaders like Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said, “We must move beyond prohibition to effective prevention,” there were some, like the ambassador for Indonesia, who argued that maintaining the death penalty was “an important component” to enforcing his country’s drug laws.

The UN agreement, which was approved on the first day of the three-day meeting, did not include plans to prevent people from being executed for possession of controlled substances. It only suggests the need for better cooperation between the connected nations under the current prohibitionary model, which makes it illegal to use any drug recreationally.

“The non-medical use of substances, in particular cannabis, are in clear contravention of the conventions,” said Werner Sipp, president of the International Narcotics Control Board. “They defy the international conventions.”

The agreement supposedly puts more of an emphasis on the, “health and welfare of humankind” rather than challenge the antiquated laws that have allowed nations like the United States to incarcerate an overabundance of people for being non-violent drug users.

Nevertheless, the unwillingness of the General Assembly to dig deeper into the issue of international drug reform did not stop Canada and Mexico from announcing that their respective nations plans to peruse nationwide cannabis reform in the near future.

During the UNGASS meeting, Canadian Health Minister Jane Philpott said that legal marijuana would happen in Canada next year.

“We will introduce legislation in spring 2017 that ensures we keep marijuana out of the hands of children and profits out of the hands of criminals,” Philpott said. “While this plan challenges the status quo in many countries, we are convinced it is the best way to protect our youth while enhancing public safety.”

Although Philpott did not go into detail about the northern nation’s plan to allow recreational pot to be cultivated and sold in retail outlets all across the country, she did say the effort would be done with “respect to human rights,” backed by a “firm scientific foundation.”

“In Canada, we will apply these principles with regard to marijuana,” she said.

Meanwhile, Peña Nieto revealed that not only does he support the legalization of medical marijuana, he said plans were already in works to bring medicinal cannabis to Mexican citizens.

“I am giving voice to those who have (in public forums) expressed the necessity of changing the regulatory framework to authorize the use of marijuana for medical and scientific purposes,” Peña Nieto said. “We should be flexible to change that which has not yielded results, the paradigm based essentially in prohibitionism, the so-called ‘War on Drugs’… [which] has not been able to limit production, trafficking nor the global consumption of drugs.”

Reuters reports that Mexico’s medical marijuana legislation could be approved sometime in May.

Members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, like Chris Beyrer, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health and Human Rights in Maryland, argue that despite the outcome of UNGASS, marijuana will still be the wrecking ball that brings down the international drug treaties.

“No matter what comes out of the special session, legal cannabis is what’s going to cause the international order on drugs to collapse,” Beyrer said.

What do you think? Does the UNGASS agenda go far enough? What drug laws would you like to see changed?



  1. dissent

    April 25, 2016 at 10:17 am

    yes. go ahead. censor my last comment you hippie scum. it is because of you anti us hippies cannabis is still banned. as someone who genuinely needs cannabis as medicine my hate for you anti israel anti us pro muslim regressive left wing retards has gone thru the roof. i genuinely hate you.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox

      April 25, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      You seem a little tense there buddy, maybe you should take a little more of your medicine…

  2. griz

    April 25, 2016 at 7:15 am

    Finding essential needs to materialize these plants in a effical way. Economically producing fabric. Keep traditional methods of herbal medicine usage as remidies with healthier options of use.

  3. Iownme

    April 24, 2016 at 9:10 am

    It’s so easy just to blame the US all the time, isn’t it? Why is nothing ever said about Russia or China’s draconian policies on drugs? They are the real prohibitionists. It is the USA where actual change is happening – weed is sold in stores in Colorado FFS!

  4. John

    April 22, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Aside from the fact that cannabis is a vegetable with many of the same nutrients as other leafy greens (like fiber, iron and calcium), it is jam-packed with beneficial cannabinoids that are unique to the cannabis plant. In other words, juiced cannabis is a nutritionally-dense, very potent medicine. The high concentration of cannabinoids in juiced cannabis coupled with the perfect balance of fatty acids could help improve cell function and reduce damage caused by free radicals. Additional benefits of raw, juiced cannabis include reduced inflammation and the facilitation of two-way cellular communication. Many cannabinoids also have anti-tumor properties which are readily available through the consumption of raw marijuana. The N° 6 630 507 United States patent states that some cannabinoids have useful therapeutic effects, which are not activated by cannabinoid receptors and, consequently, don¿t have psychoactive effects. Furthermore, this absence of psychoactivity allows very high doses without non-desired side effects. Dr. Courtney claims that these cannabinoids help the regulatory system of our body to be more efficient. In summary, they are nutrients that help to better regulate the performance of our 210 types of body cells. We are not talking here about their use as a medicine, but simply as essential nutrients

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