Russia blasts Canada’s move to legalize marijuana violation of international law
Canada officially legalized marijuana in early June 2018, and Russia is openly criticizing the new legislation as a violation of international law. While many countries around the world are beginning to relax their restrictions on cannabis products, Putin’s government has been amplifying his country’s legal prohibitions for over ten years and counting.
In 2006, for example, Russia updated the minimal charging requirements for persons caught in possession of marijuana. Before the change in law, the minimum threshold for offenders was the possession of 5 grams of hash or 20 grams of marijuana. After the change, those levels dropped to a mere 2 grams or 6 grams respectively. On June 22 just days after the Canadian House of Commons approved Bill C-45, otherwise known as the Cannabis Act, the Russian government issued a public statement rebuking the political move
“…Canada deliberately decided to breach its international legal obligations under 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, which require the member states to restrict the use of drugs except for medical and scientific purposes. The International Narcotics Control Board has repeatedly stated, <including> with regards to Canada’s liberal drug initiatives, that the fundamental principle of these conventions does not provide for any exceptions or ‘flexible interpretation.’”
To make matters even more interesting, the United States along with the rest of the G7 are also members of these very same international drug treaties. As a result, Russia is demanding that the G7 admonish the Canadian government immediately. In its official statement, the Russians even manage to include a pointed jab at liberals, as well.
In the United States, terms such as liberalism and conservatism are highly politically charge these days. In the Age of Trump, the battle lines are very clearly drawn. But when Putin’s government implies that anyone who smokes pot is a liberal, many Americans can only laugh at such a classification.
After all, there are likely millions of Trump supporters who engage in marijuana consumption just like there are millions of Never Trumpers who also do the same. Wouldn’t it be funny if legalized marijuana becomes the unlikely bridge between these two, constantly-warring, political camps? Stranger things have happened.