The International Narcotics Control Board is challenging Uruguay’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana, claiming it conflicts with the 1961 Single Convention of Narcotic Drugs, of which Uruguay is a member.
The convention aims to limit the possession, use, distribution, and production of any drug to medical and scientific purposes only.
“Cannabis is controlled under the 1961 Convention, which requires State Parties to limit its use to medical and scientific purposes, due to its dependence-producing potential,” said INCB president Raymond Yans.
The INCB is an independent international agency that monitors the enforcement of UN drug treaties. According to the organization, Uruguay’s move to legalize marijuana is focused solely on reducing crime, while ignoring the potential public health issues that recreational marijuana could create.
The decision “will not protect young people but rather have the perverse effect of encouraging early experimentation, lowering the age of first use, and thus contributing to developmental problems and earlier onset of addiction and other disorders,” Yans said.
“The Board regrets that the Government of Uruguay did not respond to INCB to engage in a dialogue prior to further consideration of the law,” the statement said. “INCB reiterates its call to the Government of Uruguay to engage with the Board to ensure that Uruguay continues to respect and implement the treaties to which it is a party.”