Comments and statements by Foreign Ministry Spokesman

22 June 201820:25

Comment by the Information and Press Department on Canada’s steps to legalise cannabis for recreational use

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On June 19, the Canadian Senate passed Bill C-45 on legalising the recreational use of cannabis. The law is expected to take effect in 2-3 months.

In this way 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, inclusing with regards to Canada’s liberal drug initiatives, that the fundamental principle of these conventions does not provide for any exceptions or “flexible interpretation.”

It is important that the UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Problem of Drugs, which took place on April 21, 2016, made it clear in its final document, for which the Canadian delegation also voted, that the three anti-drug Conventions are “the cornerstone of the international drug control system.”

Russia strictly abides by these principles and intends to consistently introduce them in practice within the boundaries of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs and other relevant international venues. We hope that our view will be shared by other countries that make a real contribution to the struggle against the global drug evil and that they will not promote its legalisation.

We expect Canada’s partners in the G7 to respond to its “high-handedness” because this alliance has repeatedly declared its adherence to the domination of international law in relations between states.

Evidently, the “drug liberalisation” carried out by the Canadian authorities will become a serious obstacle on the way to the strategic goal set by the world community – building a drug-free society.






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