For information only - not an official document

21 June 2018

Statement attributable to the UNODC Spokesperson on Canada's Cannabis Act

VIENNA, 21 June (UN Information Service) - United Nations Member States only recently unanimously adopted a guidance document on drug policy at the 2016 General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the world drug problem.

The outcome document aims to advance balanced, people-centred and holistic approaches to drug challenges, by implementing the UNGASS recommendations and helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. It importantly reiterates commitment toward the goals and objectives of the three drug control conventions, including the promotion of health and welfare of humankind.

In this light, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) regrets the Canadian legislature's decision to legalize cannabis for non-medical use. As noted by the International Narcotics Control Board in its statement of 21 June, this decision contravenes the provisions of the drug control conventions, and undermines the international legal drug control framework and respect for the rules-based international order.

Canada has long been an active and constructive partner in multilateral efforts to counter the world drug problem. However, as agreed by all Member States including Canada, national action to address the world drug problem should be taken in line with the three international drug control treaties, and not external to it.

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For further information, please contact:

Sonya Yee
Speechwriter and Spokesperson, UNODC
Telephone: (+43 1) 26060-4990
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-4990
Email: sonya.yee[at]