D.C. Marijuana Legalization Could Put U.S. in Violation of Anti-Drug Treaties

Allowing marijuana legalization in the District leaves the United States vulnerable to charges it is violating international treaties aimed at stemming the drug trade, the nonpartisan research arm of Congress concluded in an analysis that could strengthen the resolve of lawmakers on Capitol Hill to overturn the measure.

Though four states have voted to legalize the drug, a report issued this week by the Congressional Research Service suggests that implementation of the District’s Initiative 71 could be considered the most direct affront to international agreements because Congress has oversight of local D.C. laws and the ability to overturn them.

The analysis addresses questions by the United Nations-backed International Narcotics Control Board on whether the city’s marijuana law would undermine the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which pledged international cooperation to limit the spread of illegal substances.

“This line of reasoning suggests that if Initiative 71 is permitted to take effect, this inaction by the federal government may strengthen the Board’s argument that the United States has not fulfilled its commitments under the Single Convention,” the report stated.

Last week, Reuters quoted Yury Fedotov, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, as saying legalization in some states was inconsistent with international treaties.

“I don’t see how [the new laws]can be compatible with existing conventions,” the news agency quoted Mr. Fedotov as saying.

– Read the entire article at The Washington Times.