The government should not be allowed to tell individuals what they can smoke.
Advocates of treating marijuana more like alcohol gained another ally recently: the United Nations.
The U.N. would claim otherwise. In fact, the U.N.’s International Narcotics Control Board would hotly deny it. The agency’s latest report laments the legalization of pot in Colorado and Washington, declaring the approval of recreational marijuana use “in contravention to” the 1961 U.N. Convention on Narcotics.
Raymond Yans, the head of the INCB, has gone further — arguing that ballot measures legalizing recreational, and even medical, marijuana “undermine the humanitarian aims of the drug control system and are a threat to public health and well-being.” Echoing America’s domestic drug warriors, Yans called medical marijuana “a back door to legalization for recreational use.”
Here in the U.S., United Nations disapproval can only help the cause of legalization where it needs help the most: on the right. According to a December poll by Gallup, Democrats favor legalization 61-38. Independents are about evenly split. But Republicans favor continued prohibition, by a 2-1 margin.
CONTINUED at Reason. Written by A. Barton Hinkle.