Russian authorities call for Canada to abide by its international commitments on drug control.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation posted a deprecating comment on their official website in response to formal legalization of cannabis in Canada.
Condemning Canadian decision on legalizing marijuana, the Russian foreign-policy agency refers to international legal obligations primarily stated in three UN anti-drug conventions which Canada still is a part of and must follow. They are the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 and the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988. The International Narcotics Control Board, mandated to monitor and support governments’ compliance with those drug control treaties, also expressed deep concern about legalization of pot for non-medical use in Canada, stating that this fact cannot be reconciled with the country’s membership status in the above-mentioned conventions. At the same time, Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, assures that Canada is committed to working with its global partners to best promote public health and combat illicit drug trafficking, pointing out that eight U.S. states have already decided to legalize recreational cannabis.
Meanwhile, Russian authorities appeal to other countries and especially Canada’s partners in the G7 to prepare a strong response exposing Canada in violation of the international law.
“Evidently, the “drug liberalization” carried out by the Canadian authorities will become a serious obstacle on the way to the strategic goal set by the world community – building a drug-free society.”
Bill C-45 on legalizing the recreational use of cannabis in Canada was passed by the Senate of the country on June 19, 2018. The first country to legalize recreational marijuana was Uruguay in November 2013. But Canada will be the first G7 country to do so. Simultaneously, the British government announced that it would move to lift its ban on cannabis-based medicines, although rejecting calls to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Meantime, medical cannabis is in use in 29 U.S. States, Canada, France, Germany and Italy among other G7 countries, while it is still illegal in Japan and the UK.