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Cannabis Reform, 'Medical and Scientific Purposes' and the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
Stockholm University, Faculty of Law, Department of Law. University of Essex, UK.
Number of Authors: 22018 (English)In: International Community Law Review, ISSN 1871-9740, E-ISSN 1871-9732, Vol. 20, no 5, p. 436-455Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Treaty interpretation has long been a subject of interest for international legal scholars. However, it is only recently that advocates for drug policy reform have taken up these questions. This article examines the proposition put forward by several authors that a legally regulated market in cannabis may be permissible under the international drug control treaties if considered as a policy 'experiment'. These authors contend that such measures conform to the general obligation of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs to limit uses of cannabis 'strictly to medical and scientific purposes. Reviewing this position using the formal methods set out in Articles 31 and 32 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, we conclude the interpretation proposed is untenable. While we share with these authors the objective of wider drug policy reform, we find the arguments supporting this position weak, and based on absent, flawed or incomplete interpretive methodology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 20, no 5, p. 436-455
Keywords [en]
Cannabis, international drug control, Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, treaty interpretation, medical and scientific purposes
National Category
Law
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-162742DOI: 10.1163/18719732-12341384ISI: 000448370000003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-162742DiVA, id: diva2:1269413
Available from: 2018-12-10 Created: 2018-12-10 Last updated: 2018-12-10Bibliographically approved

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