Proposal for a New International Drug Law Treaty
The 1961 Single Convention on Drugs is the primary treaty that focuses on suppressing the drug trade through criminalization of the cultivation, production, and distribution of certain substances (primarily cannabis, opiates and cocaine) for non-medical and non-scientific purposes. Not only have harsh enforcement-base measures shown to be flatly ineffective in reducing drug use and/or drug markets, but human rights abuses in the name of “enforcement” are carried out every day under this system.
However, for legal and geopolitical reasons, the Single Convention and its progeny are almost impossible to change. In the 60 years since the adoption of the Single Convention – and particularly in the last decade – the dialogue at the UN around drugs has changed exponentially. Member State delegates are now more likely to discuss the need to prioritize public health and human rights approaches than ever before, but the international drug control treaties remain stuck in the past.
It is clear that something is needed to align the treaty system with the stated priorities of Member States – and with the Single Convention’s central purpose of protecting the “health and welfare of [hu]mankind”.
Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat.
From Punishment to People-Centered”: Proposal for a New International Drug Law Treaty
“The adoption of a new supplemental treaty that would commit the international community to honor public health and human rights obligations around drugs and drug policy-making.”