A United Nations-based drug agency urged the U.S. government on Tuesday to challenge the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Colorado and Washington, saying the state laws violate international drug treaties.
The International Narcotics Control Board made its appeal in an annual drug report. It called on the U.S. government to act to “ensure full compliance with the international drug control treaties on its entire territory.”
“The entire international system is based on countries respecting the rules, and there’s a broad fabric of international treaties that are part and parcel to that,” added David Johnson, U.S. delegate to the Vienna-based board.
Last fall, Washington and Colorado became the first states to pass laws legalizing marijuana. Pot remains illegal under federal law.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said last week he was in the last stages of reviewing the Colorado and Washington state laws. He was examining policy options and international implications of the issue.
The federal government could sue the states over legalization or decide not to mount a court challenge.
The International Narcotics Control Board is the independent monitoring body for the implementation of United Nations drug control conventions. Its head, Raymond Yans, called on Holder to challenge the state laws soon after voters approved the measures.
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