In not-so shocking-news, the top drug policy czar for the United Nations is not happy about marijuana legalization victories in the United States. Yury Fedotov, the Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, recently stated that marijuana reform victories in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. are not inline with international drug treaties. Per the Washington Post:
The U.N.’s top drug czar says that state-level marijuana legalization initiatives are violations of longstanding international drug treaties. Yury Fedotov, the director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, told reporters that “I don’t see how [state-level marijuana legalization in the U.S.] can be compatible with existing conventions,” according to a Reuters report.
Fedotov’s remarks are notable for coming less than a month after Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield outlined an official policy of “flexibility” in the U.S.’s interpretation of existing U.N. drug control conventions, which require countries to strictly outlaw the sale and use of many common drugs.
Noting that the first of the three major treaties was drafted in 1961, Brownfield said that “things have changed since 1961. We must have enough flexibility to allow us to incorporate those changes into our policies.” He called for all nations, the U.S. included, to “tolerate different national drug policies, to accept the fact that some countries will have very strict drug approaches; other countries will legalize entire categories of drugs.”
Similar comments were made after the 2012 Election. Yet despite the outcry at the U.N. at that time, reform efforts continued, and will continue after these comments. Marijuana reform is here to stay, and history will look back on people that opposed such reforms and consider them to be on the wrong side of history. Whether it be at the local level, state level, federal level, or even the international level, those that cling to failed policies of the past will continue to go the way of the dinosaur.