The three major international drug control treaties are?
The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol (UN, 1961), Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 (UN, 1971), United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 (UN, 1988). These conventions seek to combat the drug trafficking and drug abuse while ensuring that there is availability of narcotic/psychotropic drugs for medical and scientific use.
Outlining the Burning Situation:
Today, there are between 149 and 271 million people worldwide who have used illicit substances at least once in a year and global lifetime figures are higher than a billion. (UNODC). Reports (livescience, 2012) claim that drug abuse alone kills more than 250,000 people other than drug violence. Meanwhile, there has been an infringement of human rights and high incarceration rates due to the increasing stringency of drug policies. Without a domestic action, the longer United Nations takes to reach consensus on the issue of “War on Drugs” and modify the conventions according to the present scenarios/local conditions of various countries, the longer the people are exposed to violations of their human rights.
There were recent events such as the Uruguay’s move to legalize Cannabis and both Peru and Switzerland decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. It begs the question- are policy makers ready to revisit the global drug policy? With many countries slowly opting for change in their national policies, battle – lines have been clearly drawn between proposers and detractors of legalization/ decriminalization of soft drugs and for a reform in the 53 year old drug policy convention. This deadlock in the recent meetings just shows the reality that a common global policy for 184 nations (Collections, 2014) is an unrealistic and unsuccessful one.
By the means of the following analysis the aim of this policy brief is to compare different policy options, several issues and to show that it is in the interest of the main purpose of the convention: for the well being of the society and to discourage the illicit drug trafficking and consumption.
Analysis of policy options:
Although, an international drug convention policy is necessary for “Ever growing international “menace like drugs; however, unless revised, it is problematic for the following reasons.
• The Single Convention created more prohibitive zero- tolerance control system and was extremely influential in standardizing national drug control policies
• The 1971 UN convention on Psychotropic drugs designed in response to increasing concern over the diversifying pattern and expansion of drug use imposed a weaker control structure.
• The 1988 UN Convention represented a significant escalation in the war on drugs approach.
1. Public health and well being:
Though the international conventions emphasized its priority on public health, but...