A Swansea University professor has attended a United Nations session on the regulation of cannabis.

Professor Dave Bewley-Taylor is co-author of a report launched at the UN General Assembly’s special session on the world drug problem.

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The report suggests options for governments that have established, or are seeking to establish, regulated cannabis markets and want to reconcile domestic policy aims with their international legal obligations.

Dave Bewley Taylor June 2016Director of the Global Drug Policy Observatory, Professor Bewley-Taylor (pictured left) urged the international community to stop ignoring the “elephant in the room” and regulate cannabis in ways that uphold and modernise international law.

“There is an urgent need to consider options on how to deal with this without mutilating international law,” said Professor Bewley-Taylor

The report, launched in New York in April, has since been circulated in three languages to many nations affected by international drug prohibition laws. 

Its authors, from the US, Mexico, the Netherlands, Canada and the UK,  say that “principled non-compliance” with UN drug treaty provisions would open the door to needed reforms.

They believe the problem is “antiquated” drug treaties that block countries trying to legally regulate cannabis. Overcoming that hurdle, the report argues, does not require a global consensus  to re-write UN treaties but can be achieved by procedures available to individual countries

Tensions between cannabis regulation and treaty non-compliance are likely to spread quickly in coming years. Canada plans to begin regulating cannabis in early 2017 and Mexico, may be forced to follow if the US border state of California votes for such a move in November.

GDPO Briefing Doc June 16‌Read Cannabis Regulation and the UN Drug Treaties: Strategies for Reform here:  http://tinyurl.com/zlwcjja

 For more information contact:

Martin Horton-Eddison
PhD Candidate and Research Assistant
Global Drug Policy Observatory
Swansea University

Steve Rolles, Transform
steve@tdpf.org.uk / +44-798-0213943

The Global Drug Policy Observatory, based at Swansea University, promotes evidence and human rights-based drug policy by monitoring and analysing developments at national and international levels. Engaging with diverse audiences, the initiative aims to help improve the debate among opinion formers, policy makers and law enforcement agencies. It also researches the implications of existing and emerging policies. www.swansea.ac.uk/gdpo