Exactly a year ago, Canada became the first G7 country to legalize recreational hemp. How did the Russian authorities react to the reform of Canadian law, and is Russia planning to follow the example of North Americans?
Russia condemned the lifting of the ban on cannabis
In October of this year, the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations published on Twitter two posts on the issue of legalizing hemp. The first says that Russia stands for a world without drugs and does not support a policy of tolerance for illicit substances. According to officials, the legalization of narcotic substances is a gross violation of international law.
The second entry states that lifted the ban on recreational cannabis have ignored UN anti-drug conventions. According to representatives of the Russian Federation, the creation of a regulated market for recreational hemp has led to an increase in the number of cases of abuse of marijuana, while the illicit drug trade is booming, despite competition from licensed sellers. In conclusion, Russian officials ask the question: “So what was the real goal of legalization?”
Canada prevents Russia from fighting against drugs
Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, said: “There is a real threat that some countries will follow Canada’s example and legalize hemp. This will destroy the international legal framework and prevent us from waging a war against drugs.”
The international consortium on drug policy believes that the war against drugs has long been time to end, as it does not bring results. The organization’s report states that over the past decade, UN members have not been able to reduce the volume of trade in illicit substances. Between 2009 and 2017, chemists developed over 800 new psychoactive substances and sold them legally.
How did foreigners react to criticism from Russia?
Washington Office spokesman John Walsh, who monitors the global drug policy, said: “Russia has reasons to blame countries like Canada for violating international law. Russian officials are delighted with what they can say about Canada’s failure to comply “But I don’t think that empty threats from the Russian Federation will prevent other countries from moving forward.”
According to political scientists, Russia pursues certain goals, criticizing Canada for the legalization of cannabis. In particular, the Russian authorities want to show the world the real violators (in their opinion) of the international regime in order to divert attention from their illegal actions, for example, the annexation of Crimea.
Twitter users noted that representatives of Russia did not provide specific statistics on the increase in the number of drug addicts and the volume of marijuana trade on the black market. Therefore, the statement that the lifting of the ban on recreational hemp led to negative consequences is unfounded.
In response to the message that the Russian Federation is promoting the idea of a world without drugs, foreigners drew attention to the problem of alcoholism in Russia. According to official figures, in 2016, 223,000 Russians died from alcoholic beverages, our country ranked third in the world (after China and India) in terms of this indicator. In addition, people noted the medicinal potential of cannabinoids and suggested that the Russian government consider the idea of legalizing medical cannabis and hold a referendum on this issue.