Russia’s Foreign Ministry said that the Canadian parliament’s decision to legalize the recreational use of cannabis is a “gross and deliberate violation by the country of its international legal obligations”.
The Russian foreign policy department drew attention to the fact that Canada has signed a number of conventions which obligate its member states to restrict the use of drugs exclusively to medicinal and scientific purposes. The obligations are not open to alternative interpretations, the Russian department says.
“We hope that Canada’s partners in the Group of Seven will react to its arrogation, because this association has repeatedly stated that it commits to the supremacy of international law in international relations,” the Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized.
“The drug liberalization carried out by the Canadian authorities will become a serious obstacle to promoting the establishment of a strategic goal by the world community – to build a drug-free society,” the statement continues.
The Senate of Canada voted in favor of the legalization of cannabis on June 19. The law, which will come into force in two months time, makes it legal to grow up to four cannabis plants at one’s home, and to buy cannabis from online stores.
The MPs who voted in favor of the law believe that the decriminalization of cannabis will help to resolve the problem of the black market and of youth being attracted to illicit activity. The precise scheme for authorizing cannabis sales will be determined by the start of autumn. At present, it is only known that no more than 30 grams of the drug can be bought at a time.
Canadian legislators estimate that the black market for marijuana accounts for roughly $7 billion per year, most of the buying which is done by teenagers.
Critics point out that there is no guarantee that the legalization will actually undermine the black market. Chances are that the demand for cannabis in the country will only grow.