It looks like recreational cannabis or Marijuana, is set to be approved soon. Plenty of Canadians are worried about how sales and distribution will work, how impaired drivers will be tested and punished, as well as the major impact that the passing of this law will have on children. Something that hasn’t come up too often though is international law.
If Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Marijuana or Cannabis Act passes, it will be violating 3 treaties set forth by the United Nations. The Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs are all treaties that Canada are a part of, and they all have the same requirement that countries who have signed the treaties must ban the production and possession of recreational marijuana.
In order to withdraw from those treaties, the United Nations requires that countries give notice a year before leaving the treaty. That means that Ottawa would had to have given notice to the United Nations in July of 2017, as recreational cannabis is set to become legal this July.
While some people who are aware of this situation feel that Canada should try to respect and follow all of the treaties that they are a part of, and that Canada should put off signing the recreational cannabis into law until the one year requirement can be met, many members of the liberal party are saying it does not matter. This is alarming because if our country just starts breaking treaties certain people look at as being “silly”, then this could set a very dangerous precedent.
Perhaps the most alarming thing about this who situation though, is the government’s lack of communication and transparency regarding this issue. They need to make sure that all Canadian citizens are aware of every reproduction that concerns passing the recreational Cannabis – Marijuana bill, not just the ones they deem to be important.