Jump to content
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

If You Wondered Why Our Federal Government Is So Hard On Cannabis Use, It’S Because Of A Treaty Agreed To In 1961

Ms Chocolate


I only presented the parts I felt applied to the web site. The highlights are mine.


Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961

The adoption of this Convention is regarded as a milestone in the history of international drug control. The Single Convention codified all existing multilateral treaties on drug control and extended the existing control systems to include the cultivation of plants that were grown as the raw material of narcotic drugs. The principal objectives of the Convention are to limit the possession, use, trade in, distribution, import, export, manufacture and production of drugs exclusively to medical and scientific purposes and to address drug trafficking through international cooperation to deter and discourage drug traffickers. The Convention also established the International Narcotics Control Board, merging the Permanent Central Board and the Drug Supervisory Board.


Read the treaty here http://www.incb.org/pdf/e/conv/convention_1961_en.pdf





The Parties, Concerned with the health and welfare of mankind,


Recognizing that the medical use of narcotic drugs continues to be indispensable for the relief of

pain and suffering and that adequate provision must be made to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs for such purposes,


Recognizing that addiction to narcotic drugs constitutes a serious evil for the individual and is fraught with social and economic danger to mankind,


Conscious of their duty to prevent and combat this evil,


Considering that effective measures against abuse of narcotic drugs require co-ordinated and universal action,


Understanding that such universal action calls for international co-operation guided by the same principles and aimed at common objectives,


Acknowledging the competence of the United Nations in the field of narcotics control and desirous that the international organs concerned should be within the framework of that Organization,


Desiring to conclude a generally acceptable international convention replacing existing treaties on narcotic drugs, limiting such drugs to medical and scientific use, and providing for continuous international co-operation and control for the achievement of such aims and objectives,Hereby agree as follows:


Article 1


1. Except where otherwise expressly indicated or where the context otherwise requires, the following definitions shall apply throughout the Convention:


b) “Cannabis” means the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant (excluding the seeds and leaves when not accompanied by the tops) from which the resin has not been extracted, by whatever name they may be designated.


c) “Cannabis plant” means any plant of the genus Cannabis,

d) “Cannabis resin” means the separated resin, whether crude or purified, obtained from the cannabis plant.


i) “Cultivation” means the cultivation of the opium poppy, coca bush or cannabis plant.


j) “Drug” means any of the substances in Schedules I and II, whether natural or synthetic.


n) “Manufacture” means all processes, other than production, by which drugs may be obtained and includes refining as well as the transformation of drugs into other drugs.


s) “Preparation” means a mixture, solid or liquid, containing a drug.

t) “Production” means the separation of opium, coca leaves, cannabis and cannabis resin from the plants from which they are obtained.


2. For the purposes of this Convention a drug shall be regarded as “consumed” when it has been supplied to any person or enterprise for retail distribution, medical use or scientific research; and “consumption” shall be construed accordingly.


Article 2


1. Except as to measures of control which are limited to specified drugs, the drugs in Schedule I are subject to all measures of control applicable to drugs under this Convention and in particular to those prescribed in article 4 c), 19, 20, 21, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34 and 37.


2. The drugs in Schedule II are subject to the same measures of control as drugs in Schedule I with

the exception of the measures prescribed in article 30, paragraphs 2 and 5, in respect of the retail trade.


3. Preparations other than those in Schedule III are subject to the same measures of control as the drugs which they contain, but estimates (article 19) and statistics (article 20) distinct from those dealing with these drugs shall not be required in the case of such preparations, and article 29, paragraph 2 c) and article 30, paragraph 1 b) ii) need not apply.


4. Preparations in Schedule III are subject to the same measures of control as preparations

containing drugs in Schedule II except that article 31, paragraphs 1 b) and 3 to 15 and, as regards their acquisition and retail distribution, article 34, paragraph b), need not apply, and that for the purpose of estimates (article 19) and statistics (article 20) the information required shall be restricted to the quantities of drugs used in the manufacture of such preparations.


5. The drugs in Schedule IV shall also be included in Schedule I and subject to all measures of control applicable to drugs in the latter Schedule, and in addition thereto:


a) A Party shall adopt any special measures of control which in its opinion are necessary having regard to the particularly dangerous properties of a drug so included; and


b) A Party shall, if in its opinion the prevailing conditions in its country render it the most appropriate means of protecting the public health and welfare, prohibit the production, manufacture, export and import of, trade in, possession or use of any such drug except for amounts which may be necessary for medical and scientific research only, including clinical trials therewith to be conducted under or subject to the direct supervision and control of the Party.


6. In addition to the measures of control applicable to all drugs in Schedule I, opium is subject to the provisions of article 19, paragraph 1, subparagraph f), and of articles 21 bis, 23 and 24, the coca leaf to those of articles 26 and 27 and cannabis to those of article 28.


7. The opium poppy, the coca bush, the cannabis plant, poppy straw and cannabis leaves are subject to the control measures prescribed in article 19, paragraph 1, subparagraph e), article 20, paragraph 1, subparagraph g), article 21 bis and in articles 22 to 24; 22, 26 and 27; 22 and 28; 25; and 28, respectively:


8. The Parties shall use their best endeavors to apply to substances which do not fall under this

Convention, but which may be used in the illicit manufacture of drugs, such measures of supervision as may be practicable.


9. Parties are not required to apply the provisions of this Convention to drugs which are commonly used in industry for other than medical or scientific purposes, provided that:

a) They ensure by appropriate methods of denaturing or by other means that the drugs so used are not liable to be abused or have ill effects (article 3, paragraph 3) and that the harmful substances cannot in practice be recovered; and


b) They include in the statistical information (article 20) furnished by them the amount of each drug so used.


Article 23


1. A Party that permits the cultivation of the opium poppy for the production of opium shall establish, if it has not already done so, and maintain, one or more government agencies (hereafter in this article referred to as the Agency) to carry out the functions required under this article.


2. Each such Party shall apply the following provisions to the cultivation of the opium poppy for the production of opium and to opium:

a) The Agency shall designate the areas in which, and the plots of land on which,cultivation of the opium poppy for the purpose of producing opium shall be permitted.


b) Only cultivators licensed by the Agency shall be authorized to engage in such cultivation.


c) Each license shall specify the extent of the land on which the cultivation is permitted.


d) All cultivators of the opium poppy shall be required to deliver their total crops of opium to the Agency. The Agency shall purchase and take physical possession of such crops as soon as possible, but not later than four months after the end of the harvest.


e) The Agency shall, in respect of opium, have the exclusive right of importing, exporting, wholesale trading and maintaining stocks other than those held by manufacturers of opium alkaloids, medicinal opium or opium preparations. Parties need not extend this exclusive right to medicinal opium and opium preparations.


3. The governmental functions referred to in paragraph 2 shall be discharged by a single government agency if the constitution of the Party concerned permits it.


Article 28


1. If a Party permits the cultivation of the cannabis plant for the production of cannabis or cannabis resin, it shall apply thereto the system of controls as provided in article 23 respecting the control of the opium poppy.


2. This Convention shall not apply to the cultivation of the cannabis plant exclusively for industrial purposes (fiber and seed) or horticultural purposes.


3. The Parties shall adopt such measures as may be necessary to prevent the misuse of, and illicit traffic in, the leaves of the cannabis plant.


Article 29


1. The Parties shall require that the manufacture of drugs be under license except where such manufacture is carried out by a State enterprise or State enterprises.


2. The Parties shall:

a) Control all persons and enterprises carrying on or engaged in the manufacture of drugs;


b) Control under license the establishments and premises in which such manufacture may take place; and


c) Require that licensed manufacturers of drugs obtain periodical permits specifying the kinds and amounts of drugs which they shall be entitled to manufacture. A periodical permit, however, need not be required for preparations.

3. The Parties shall prevent the accumulation, in the possession of drug manufacturers, of quantities of drugs and poppy straw in excess of those required for the normal conduct of business, having regard to the prevailing market conditions.


Article 33


The Parties shall not permit the possession of drugs except under legal authority.


Article 36


1. a) Subject to its constitutional limitations, each Party shall adopt such measures as will ensure that cultivation, production, manufacture, extraction, preparation, possession, offering, offering for sale, distribution, purchase, sale, delivery on any terms whatsoever, brokerage, dispatch, dispatch in transit, transport, importation and exportation of drugs contrary to the provisions of this Convention, and any other action which in the opinion of such Party may be contrary to the provisions of this Convention, shall be punishable offences when committed intentionally, and that serious offences shall be liable to adequate punishment particularly by imprisonment or other penalties of deprivation of liberty.


b) Notwithstanding the preceding subparagraph, when abusers of drugs have committed such offences, the Parties may provide, either as an alternative to conviction or punishment or in addition to conviction or punishment, that such abusers shall undergo measures of treatment, education, after-care, rehabilitation and social reintegration in conformity with paragraph 1 of article 38.


2. Subject to the constitutional limitations of a Party, its legal system and domestic law,

a) i) Each of the offences enumerated in paragraph 1, if committed in different countries, shall be considered as a distinct offence;


ii) Intentional participation in, conspiracy to commit and attempts to commit, any of such offences, and preparatory acts and financial operations in connexion with the offences referred to in this article, shall be punishable offences as provided in paragraph 1;


iii) Foreign convictions for such offences shall be taken into account for the purpose of establishing recidivism; and


iv) Serious offences heretofore referred to committed either by nationals or by foreigners shall be prosecuted by the Party in whose territory the offence was committed, or by the Party in whose territory the offender is found if extradition is not acceptable in conformity with the law of the Party to which application is made, and if such offender has not already been prosecuted and judgment given.


b) i) Each of the offences enumerated in paragraphs 1 and 2 a) ii) of this article shall be deemed to be included as an extraditable offence in any extradition treaty existing between Parties. Parties undertake to include such offences as extraditable offences in every extradition treaty to be concluded between them.


ii) If a Party which makes extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty receives a request for extradition from another Party with which it has no extradition treaty, it may at its option consider this Convention as the legal basis for extradition in respect of the offences enumerated in paragraphs 1 and 2 a) ii)

of this article. Extradition shall be subject to the other conditions provided by the law of the requested Party.


iii) Parties which do not make extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty shall recognize the offences enumerated in paragraphs 1 and 2 a) ii) of this article as extraditable offences between themselves, subject to the conditions provided by the law of the requested Party.


iv) Extradition shall be granted in conformity with the law of the Party to which

application is made, and, notwithstanding subparagraphs b) i), ii) and iii) of this paragraph, the Party, shall have the right to refuse to grant the extradition in cases where the competent authorities consider that the offence is not sufficiently serious.


3. The provisions of this article shall be subject to the provisions of the criminal law of the Party concerned on questions of jurisdiction.


4. Nothing contained in this article shall affect the principle that the offences to which it refers shall be defined, prosecuted and punished in conformity with the domestic law of a Party.



Article 37


Any drugs, substances and equipment used in or intended for the commission of any of the offences, referred to in article 36, shall be liable to seizure and confiscation.



Cannabis is included in Schedules I and IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, as amended by the 1972 Protocol (1961 Convention). Substances in Schedule IV are those considered particularly liable to abuse.


INCB has confirmed in its annual reports that it welcomes sound scientific research on the therapeutic usefulness of cannabis. The Board requested governments concerned to share the results of such research, when available, with the Board, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international community.



The U.S. does have a member on the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB ). Melvyn Levitsky was born in 1938. He is a retired Ambassador in the United States Foreign Service. Professor of International Policy and Practice and Senior Fellow of the International Policy Center, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan (since 2006).


United States diplomat for 35 years, serving as, inter alia, Ambassador of the United States to Brazil (1994-1998); Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics Matters (1989-1993); Executive Secretary and Special Assistant to the Secretary of the United States Department of State (1987-1989); Ambassador of the United States to Bulgaria (1984-1987); Deputy Director, Voice of America (1983-1984); Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs (1982-1983); Officer-in-Charge for Bilateral Relations, Office of Soviet Union Affairs (1975-1978); Political Officer, United States Embassy in Moscow (1973-1975); Consul, United States consulates in Frankfurt, Germany (1963-1965), and Belem, Brazil (1965-1967). Professor of International Relations and Public Administration, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University (1998-2006). Recipient of several United States Department of State Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards, Presidential Meritorious Service Awards and the United States Secretary of State's Distinguished Service Award. Member of the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, the American Academy of Diplomacy and the American Foreign Service Association.


A member of the Advisory Board, Drug Free America Foundation, the Institute on Global Drug Policy. Member of the Board, Global Panel of the Prague Society, the Public-Private Working Group on Sale of Controlled Substances via the Internet (Harvard University Law School). A Distinguished Fellow, Daniel Patrick Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. Member of the University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center. Listed in Who's Who in American Politics, Who's Who in American Government and Who's Who in American Education.

Member of the International Narcotics Control Board (since 2003). Chairman of the Committee on Finance and Administration (2004). Chairman of the Working Group on Strategy and Priorities (2005).





Consider the United Nation view of Cannabis

Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961





Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

This blog entry is now closed to further comments.
  • Create New...