Prior to the legalization of marijuana in Mexico, Canada, or any other country, governments are first required to present their plans, which will include many drug treaties, to the United Nations General Assembly. A memo was sent to Justin Trudeau, Canada’s newly elected prime minister, and states that Canada will need to divulge a plan to legalize, manage and limit access to cannabis without going against any of the three treaties, which claim that the possession and development of marijuana for recreational reasons is illegal globally.

“As part of examining legalization of cannabis possession and production, Canada will need to explore how to inform the international community and will have to take the steps needed to adjust its obligations under these conventions,” the memo states.

Canada’s proposal will not just be required when the United Nation’s General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem gets together in the spring, but the memo also states that Trudeau’s legalization plan will need to be persuading enough to convince the rest of the world that this new movement is a great thing. Errol Mendes, international law expert and a professor at the University of Ottawa, states that as the Canadian government does have the right to tell “why it feels it has to do it,” the result will likely end up in cannabis taking “many years” to finally be legalized.

Here are the three treaties that would need to be altered before Canada or any other country could end prohibition: The Single Convention on Narcotic Drug of 1961; The Convention of Psychotropic Substances of 1971; The United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988. The briefing indicates that various countries would like to reform their respective drug laws.

“At the meeting, several South American countries as well as Mexico wish to discuss what they perceive as more effective policy approaches to respond to the current realities of the drug problem, which could include decriminalization/legalization of illicit drugs, harm reduction, and/or a call to renegotiate the international drug control conventions.”

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