Ottawa, Ontario August 1, 2018
Petition: Stop Canada From Going Rogue!
We hereby request that the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) immediately intervene concerning the forthcoming implementation of legalized cannabis in Canada and bring this matter to the attention of the General Assembly.
On June 19th, 2018, the Canadian government approved the passage of Bill C-45 (the “Cannabis Act”), which legalizes the recreational use, sharing, production, and distribution of cannabis (marijuana) in Canada. This Law will be implemented on October 17th, 2018.
Despite warnings from competent health professionals, and despite significant outcry from thousands of Canadian citizens across the country (particularly from those who work with at-risk communities such as aboriginals and youth), the Canadian government has nonetheless decided to move ahead with full legalization. The government appears eager to realize the monetary benefits from taxing the sale of cannabis.
As a signatory to the United Nations Conventions on Narcotic Drugs (1961, 1971, and 1988), Canada has obliged itself to uphold all of the resolutions adopted under these Conventions. Canada has a duty to the international community and to the rule of law to fulfil its obligations and maintain its compliance concerning these Conventions. As recently as 2016, Canada reaffirmed the importance of these Conventions.
Article 3 of the 1988 Convention reads: “Each Party shall adopt such measures as may be necessary to establish as criminal offences under its domestic law, when committed intentionally: The production, manufacture, extraction, preparation, offering, offering for sale, distribution, sale…of any narcotic drug or any psychotropic substance…”
In an INCB press release dated June 21st, 2018, we read, “The Board cautions that the legalization of the use of cannabis for non-medical purposes, which is in violation of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, also undermines the international legal drug control framework and respect for the rules-based international order.”
In addition, the legalization of cannabis puts Canada in violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which Canada is a party. Article 33 of the Convention states: “Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislative, administrative, social and educational measures, to protect children from the illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as defined in the relevant international treaties…”
By enacting Bill C-45, the Canadian government has shattered a long-established global consensus on the evil of illicit narcotics. Canada has acted unilaterally, without due regard to its international commitments, and without consideration of the impact legalization will have on the enforcement of narcotics laws in other countries. The Canadian government is elevating other political interests over the health and welfare of its citizens in particular, and of mankind in general.
Therefore, we call on the International Narcotics Control Board to take immediate action and bring this matter to the attention of the General Assembly before legalization takes full effect on October 17th, 2018.