The United Nations is pledged to monitor the production and consumption of drugs among its member nations. Just like the United States federal government places marijuana in a schedule 1 category along with the most addictive and dangerous drugs, so does the United Nations say that marijuana is one of the most important drugs to monitor and therefore not acknowledge any legalization of cannabis.
This is the first part of a multi-part series discussing the international implications of evolving national marijuana policies in relation to international governing bodies like the United Nations. Other upcoming conversations will take a look at national options for overcoming international policy, enforcement options for international governing bodies, and projections of likely outcomes of continued marijuana evolution.
The United Nations was born in the mid 20th century out of the social and economic destruction that wreaked havoc on the world in the first half of the 1900’s. Two world wars, world-wide economic depressions, massive genocides, disease, and the extreme decrease in the global standard of living left people ready to surrender some of their national and cultural independence in the attempt to forge a new platform for conflict resolution and general cooperation.
Despite your current opinion on the UN, it did function for a few decades as a driving force of peace (at least preventing major power conflicts) along with economic and technological development around the world – and particularly for the west and its allies.
But somewhere along the line, as all bureaucracies tend to do, the United Nations started losing its effectiveness and overstepping its originally charted boundaries.
It is an individual’s self-determined right to pursue his own desires as long as they do not negatively affect another’s ability to pursue their own desires. This is the essence of liberty. We as individuals most often understand this to our core. As the systems put in place to maintain societal constructs get larger and have less responsibility to the individual, they move further away from this core concept of liberty.
Washington DC, corrupt as it may be, is at least somewhat accountable to our desire for liberty and personal pursuits to fulfill our desires. As our cultural acceptance and desire for legal access to marijuana has grown so has our local, state, and federal governments willingness to shift towards our common will.
The United Nations holds absolutely no accountability to individuals of any nation. While our collective voice jostles against unions, special interests, and lobbyists in DC and state houses; all of those platforms converge into one representative ‘vote’ for the United States at the United Nations. What I mean is let’s assume the will of the American people make up roughly 20% of what sways decisions in Washington. If that’s the case, the will of the American people sways roughly .001% of what sways decisions in Brussels, and that’s probably being very generous.