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Religious Tolerance logo

Cannabis, marijuana, pot...

Cannabis laws and regulations:
international, U.S. and Canada

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International status of cannabis:

The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961) is the "... international treaty against illicit manufacture and trafficking of narcotic drugs." It include cannabis. 1

Article 2 of the convention states that countries that are party to the convention shall:

"... if in its opinion the prevailing conditions in its country render it the most appropriate means of protecting the public health and welfare, prohibit the production, manufacture, export and import of, trade in, possession or use of any such drug except for amounts which may be necessary for medical and scientific research only, including clinical trials therewith to be conducted under or subject to the direct supervision and control of the Party." 2

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Cannabis laws in the U.S.:

According to Wikipedia:

bulletThere are 11 states have laws in place that allow the medical use of marijuana. In addition, Maryland has a law on the books that makes the possession of medical cannabis subject only to a fine of up to $100.00.
bulletEleven states have decriminalization laws.
bulletHowever a U.S. Supreme Court decision, Gonzales v. Raich, in 2005-JUN ruled that Congress has the right to outlaw the use of medical marijuana. Thus even if an individual is in a state that allows the use of marijuana under some circumstances, users are still subject to federal prosecution. 2

     States with medical cannabis laws
     States with decriminalization laws

 States with both

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has concluded that:

bulletMarijuana is a dangerous, addictive drug that poses significant health threats to users.
bulletMarijuana has no medical value that can't be met more effectively by legal drugs.
bulletMarijuana users are far more likely to use other drugs like cocaine and heroin than non-marijuana users.
bulletDrug legalizers use "medical marijuana" as red herring in effort to advocate broader legalization of drug use. 3

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Cannabis laws in Canada:

Although Marijuana remains a controlled substance in Canada,  "Health Canada grants access to marihuana for medical use to those who are suffering from grave and debilitating illnesses." 4 These include relief of certain symptoms of multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, spinal cord disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, severe forms of arthritis and epilepsy. Additional disorders and diseases are considered for individual patients "if a specialist confirms the diagnosis and that conventional treatments have failed or judged inappropriate to relieve symptoms of the medical condition." A patient can apply for permission to grow marijuana for personal use or to have someone grow it for them. 5

In 2005-APR, Health Canada approved the use of Sativex under prescription use for the relief of neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis, Additional approval for the relief of pain caused by cancer is expected late in 2007. Sativex contains two active ingredients: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). It is derived from the cannabis plant. 6

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs," Wikipedia, updated 2007-AUG-15, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/
  2. "Legal and medical status of cannabis," Wikipedia, updated 2007-AUR-27, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/
  3. "Exposing the Myth of Smoked Medical Marijuana: Marijuana: The Facts," U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, undated, at: http://www.usdoj.gov/
  4. "About Medical Marihuana," Health Canada, at: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/
  5. "FAQ - Medical Use of Marihuana," Health Canada, at: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/
  6. "Sativex," Wikipedia, updated  2007-SEP-04, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/

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Site navigation:

Home page > Morality / ethics menu > Marijuana availability > here

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Health information provided in this section is intended for general information only. It should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your personal health professional for advice relating to a medical problem.

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Copyright © 2007 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2007-SEP-07
Latest update: 2007-SEP-07
Author: B.A. Robinson

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