UN: Colorado, Washington Pot Legalization Must Stop

Colorado and Washington – which voted to legalize marijuana in November – haven’t started (legal) sales of the drug yet and already the measures appear on precarious ground. There have been ambiguous signals from the Obama administration as to a future federal response and a public letter signed by former DEA chiefs demands the new state laws be quashed. Now, the United Nations is piling on.

The International Narcotics Control Board, a UN body charged with implementation of international drug treaties, has issued a demand to the U.S. government to “ensure full compliance with the international drug control treaties on its entire territory,” the Seattle Times reports.  Specifically, drug liberalization laws in Washington and Colorado violate international drug agreements, the board contends. Attorney-General Eric Holder says he is continuing to review the Washington and Colorado laws as he works to formulate a response.

In an unrelated editorial, Daniel Wolfe of the Open Society Foundations, has compiled a list of “the 5 Ways the UN’s Drug Watchdog Fails on Health and Human Rights,” which was published yesterday at The Huffington Post.

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  • https://sites.google.com/site/themattprather Matt Prather

    I just bet they would say that.

    The dude does not abide!
    (not to steal The Dude’s thunder — fuck no!)

  • https://sites.google.com/site/themattprather Matt Prather

    I just bet they would say that.

    The dude does not abide!
    (not to steal The Dude’s thunder — fuck no!)

  • alizardx

    I think it’s time for the US to cut its UN funding drastically as well as repudiating the relevant treaties.

    • davakins

      exactly! Since when did our country start honoring treaties, anyway? When did the UN protect the weak? (Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, the Balkans, etc)

  • phil barnes

    Clearly these treaties were not negotiated with the input of the states. Is is possible that the UN treaties need to be renegotiated?

    • eric82

      I support marijuana legalization but I don’t support this comment.

      Treaties were negotiated with the input of the states acting via their legally empowered representative on questions of international law – the United States federal government. Nations enter treaties with the United States with the expectation those treaties will be enforced over the whole territory of the United States. Just like, if the U.S. enters a treaty with France, it expects all of France to obey that treaty and the city of Toulouse not to “opt out,” which would create a completely untenable situation in global diplomacy.

      If a U.S. state or the city of Toulouse aren’t satisfied with their legal representatives on matters of treaty-making (the U.S. or French governments, respectively), they need to choose new legal representatives. That’s an internal matter about which the world could care less. They, reasonably, want a single point-of-contact with which to contract with the U.S.

    • eric82

      I support marijuana legalization but I don’t support this comment.

      Treaties were negotiated with the input of the states acting via their legally empowered representative on questions of international law – the United States federal government. Nations enter treaties with the United States with the expectation those treaties will be enforced over the whole territory of the United States. Just like, if the U.S. enters a treaty with France, it expects all of France to obey that treaty and the city of Toulouse not to “opt out,” which would create a completely untenable situation in global diplomacy.

      If a U.S. state or the city of Toulouse aren’t satisfied with their legal representatives on matters of treaty-making (the U.S. or French governments, respectively), they need to choose new legal representatives. That’s an internal matter about which the world could care less. They, reasonably, want a single point-of-contact with which to contract with the U.S.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=612431484 Brian Flowers

        Of course, given that prohibition is quite clearly a violation of the US constitution, since it is not a power given to the federal government in the articles, an argument could seemingly be made that the federal government did not have the authority to agree to the terms of these treaties in the first place.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=612431484 Brian Flowers

        Of course, given that prohibition is quite clearly a violation of the US constitution, since it is not a power given to the federal government in the articles, an argument could seemingly be made that the federal government did not have the authority to agree to the terms of these treaties in the first place.

        • eric82

          Yes, that argument could be made.

          But it’s an internal argument the U.S. needs to figure out. It’s unreasonable to expect the United Nations to be interested in sorting through the nuances of constitutional theory of 1 of their 197 members.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.okhurts.1 Mike Okhurts

            not “one of”, us is “the” member

        • InfvoCuernos

          Thats never stopped them before.

        • Fried Hog

          Yes, you are correct. Federal drug prohibition is unconstitutional and therefore unlawful (and therefore related treaties also void). Amendments 18 and 21 demonstrate the Constitutional mandate for lawful drug prohibition.

        • Fried Hog

          Yes, you are correct. Federal drug prohibition is unconstitutional and therefore unlawful (and therefore related treaties also void). Amendments 18 and 21 demonstrate the Constitutional mandate for lawful drug prohibition.

  • BuzzCoastin

    how pathetic
    but this is gonna backfire
    and a whole lot of right wing toddies are about to become pot supporters
    in the name of states rights and F the UN

    • Hadrian999

      first thing i thought when i read the headline

    • Eric_D_Read

      Let’s hope.

      • BuzzCoastin

        The Netherlands & Portugal
        are also in violation of the UN treaty
        which was a US pushed & instigated treaty

        Portugal keeps such a low profile no one seems to notice
        Holland has been under constant attack from the EU/US/UN
        because of it’s liberal pot policies
        but it always finds a way to get out of banning pot

  • Tchoutoye

    Politicians like to refer to the treaties as if they are absolute, but the treaties themselves have clauses stating they only apply as long as they don’t contravene the laws and constitutions of signatory states. Not being a lawyer myself, which takes precedent under what circumstance is murky territory for me.

  • Tchoutoye

    Politicians like to refer to the treaties as if they are absolute, but the treaties themselves have clauses stating they only apply as long as they don’t contravene the laws and constitutions of signatory states. Not being a lawyer myself, which takes precedent under what circumstance is murky territory for me.

    • eric82

      I’m unaware of any treaty that has such a codicil.

      Treaties into which the U.S. enters have the same status as laws enacted by Congress. Under the constitution’s Supremacy Clause, “Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be supreme Law of the Land.”

      Again, I 100% support marijuana legalization. However, it seems the UN has a mechanically correct point.

      • lazy_friend

        Yeah I think we get the point. But it seems like everyone is too stoned to give a fuck.

      • lazy_friend

        Yeah I think we get the point. But it seems like everyone is too stoned to give a fuck.

        • wcarver

          I’m stoned and I give a fuck. Eric82 is right, our treaties do have the same force of law as those promulgated by Congress. The only entity that has benefited from that particular UN treaty would be the drug cartels

          • lazy_friend

            yeah whats your point, what are you going to do about it? im not the bad guy here. save your breath. UN is going to need to enforce such laws

      • WhoCares

        Tchoutoye is right. Perhaps you should read the treaty and see. Did you know that the latest worldwide-anti-drug treaty mandates member nations to lock up anyone who publicly advocates drug use? Are you still in favor of your hyopthetical technicality if it eliminates free speech?

        The controlled substance treaties are, in actuality, a joke. Mostly due to the fact that the US is ignoring treaties of far higher importance, relating to war and torture. If it is time to suddenly stick to international treaties, then ask yourself: why this one, and not the other ones? Something very sick and twisted is happening up top in the bureaucracy.

        • eric82

          Sure. Just re-read the relevant treaty a moment ago (http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/illicit-trafficking.html). As I said, there is nothing in there about local laws of contracting states preempting the treaty provisions like Tchoutoye claimed. If there is, I invite you to copy and paste the text and article number here. (I’m not going to hold my breath.)

          The solution, therefore, is to not enter into treaties of this nature in the first place. As opposed to signing them and then, in a dumb and uninformed manner, declare they have “clauses stating they only apply as long as they don’t contravene the laws and constitutions of signatory states” [sic] when they don’t.

        • eric82

          Sure. Just re-read the relevant treaty a moment ago (http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/illicit-trafficking.html). As I said, there is nothing in there about local laws of contracting states preempting the treaty provisions like Tchoutoye claimed. If there is, I invite you to copy and paste the text and article number here. (I’m not going to hold my breath.)

          The solution, therefore, is to not enter into treaties of this nature in the first place. As opposed to signing them and then, in a dumb and uninformed manner, declare they have “clauses stating they only apply as long as they don’t contravene the laws and constitutions of signatory states” [sic] when they don’t.

  • MoralDrift

    The UN has no legitimacy anymore….not that it really ever did.

  • Juan

    Feds and the UN are a buncha rat bastards. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. You know they wanna crack down hard on any legalization attempts, if nothing else, just because it undermines their authority.
    It has alswyas struck me that the gov is essentially a criminal gang. So they behave just like any other mafia. They cannot tolerate for one of the people under their control get out of line. This is perceived as a threat to their power. It gives the other suckers ideas that may be contrary to the interests of the gang. Therefore all oppositoin must swiftly and publicly neutralized. So that may be partially motivating the desire by the Feds to crack down.
    On the other hand, they cannot appear to be too heavy handed, because that might stir up public sentiment against the gov and in favor of “states rights.” I don’t think they have decided how they are going to respond yet. Even though they don’t even try that hard anymore to hide their abuses, It’ll still be interesting to keep an eye on the propaganda as this plays out.

    • InfvoCuernos

      They are a criminal gang, and its worse than just trying to exert control- they are actually in the drug business and depend on that criminal enterprise in part to fund black operations outside of any public (or secret for that matter) review. Its been proven over and over that various US agencies including the CIA have been involved in the manufacture, importation and distribution of illegal drugs worldwide and into the US. When you look at it from that point of view-of course Govt. wants to keep pot illegal. Proponents of legalization cite the tax revenue that could be made but the Fed always denies this should be considered because they are making way too much money from it being illegal. It would drastically cut the CIA’s profits if it were to become legal-and it would kill their secret slush fund because legal import would leave all sorts of paperwork that they don’t want. What other reason could -not one but the last three!- presidents that admitted to using this drug possibly have for keeping it illegal?

      • Geoff Henry

        Perfectly acurate infvo.

      • Juan

        Of course, besides legalization being a threat to their power, it would also cut into their profits. Like any other criminal cartel, the last thing they want is legalization.
        Let’s also not forget that this thing we call “the government” is not a monolithic beast. There are factions and various individuals with their own agendas working to further their own ends, just like you have in any large organization.

      • Juan

        Of course, besides legalization being a threat to their power, it would also cut into their profits. Like any other criminal cartel, the last thing they want is legalization.
        Let’s also not forget that this thing we call “the government” is not a monolithic beast. There are factions and various individuals with their own agendas working to further their own ends, just like you have in any large organization.

        • InfvoCuernos

          You are correct: there are as many agendas as there are people in the government. Everyone is out for numero uno, and numero uno is never “We the People”.

        • wcarver

          As the British bank recently found guilty of laundering money for drug cartels – they got a fine and a sternly worded letter. That’ll teach em

          • Juan

            Right, they’ll never launder money again. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge;)
            “Rule of law” is a fucking joke, man. If you are a poor schmuck in the wrong place at the wrong time and you happen to run afoul of the piggies and the punishment industry they serve, your entire life could be destroyed over almost nothing by comparison to what the big boys get away with. “Crime” only pays if you’re a big player in the military industrial complex, then it’s open season on the rest of humanity. Then you can commit any crime or atrocity you like with total impunity.

  • https://twitter.com/posthumanistic/ Posthuman

    Yay world government…

  • https://twitter.com/posthumanistic/ Posthuman

    Yay world government…

  • Calypso_1

    Perhaps AG Holder will issue a hypothetical opinion about drone strikes on INCB HQ in Vienna.

  • Calypso_1

    Perhaps AG Holder will issue a hypothetical opinion about drone strikes on INCB HQ in Vienna.

  • geminihigh

    Maybe the UN should focus on keeping their delegates alcohol-free first…

  • geminihigh

    Maybe the UN should focus on keeping their delegates alcohol-free first…

  • Ugly Guy

    It’s this simple: marijuana criminalization is evil. Resisting evil trumps all else. Hit the UN with sanctions.

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