Evolution in 1950 of National Legislations on Narcotics
Scope of Control
Prohibition of Non-Medical Use of Opium
Production of Raw Materials
Pages: 26 to 27
Creation Date: 1952/01/01
Pursuant to a resolution of the Economic and Social Council, dated 28 March 1947, the Secretary-General regularly submits to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs a statement on the national laws and regulations relating to the control of narcotic drugs which have been received by the Secretariat during the year.
During 19501 the Secretary-General was informed of ten important laws promulgated during the period 1947-1950 Five of them are concerned exclusively with the suppression of the non-medical use of opium These laws were issued in Burma, the Indian provinces of Assam, Orissa and Punjab, and the United Kingdom Colony of North Borneo. New laws covering the entire narcotics administration were enacted in Iran, in Yugoslavia and in the United Kingdom Colony of Mauritius Laws dealing primarily with raw materials were passed in Peru and Turkey Furthermore, much of the new legislation in many countries was concerned with placing synthetic drugs under the existing national controls.
For the period between June 1950 and June 1951, the following changes took place in the field of international control regarding signatures, ratifications, adherence to or acceptance of international instruments:
Ecuador (8 June 1951), Haiti (31 May 1951), and Iraq (14 September 1950) became Parties to the Protocol of 11 December 1946, amending the agreements, conventions and protocols on narcotic drugs concluded at The Hague on 23 January 1912, at Geneva on 11 February 1925, 19 February 1925 and 13 July 1931, at Bangkok on 27 November 1931 and at Geneva on 26 June 1936
India (10 November 1950), Indonesia (21 February 1951), the Netherlands (26 September 1950), Turkey (14 July 1950), and the United States of America including all territories for the foreign relations of which it is responsible (11 August 1950), became Parties to the Protocol of 19 November 1948 bringing under international control drugs outside the scope of the Convention of 13 July 1931 for. Limiting the Manufacture and Regulating the Distribution of Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the Protocol signed at Lake Success on 11 December 1946.1
See document E/NL 1950/Summary.
The Secretary-General received notification that the functions and obligations under the 1912, 1925, and 1931 Conventions, under the Agreements of 1925, and 1931, and under the 1948 Protocol, regarding Laos and Vietnam, were transferred from the Government of France to the Governments of Laos and Vietnam respectively The Government of France informed the Secretary-General that, as of 1 January 1950, it would no longer furnish separate documents for Algeria, Guiana, Réunion, Guadeloupe and Martinique concerning the implementation of the international conventions, as these territories had become departments of France and therefore integral parts of the French Republic. The Allied High Commission for Germany was reported to have suggested to the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany that, as a condition precedent to assuming responsibility for the control of narcotic drugs, the Government expressly confirm Germany's adherence to the 1912, 1925 and 1931 Conventions and adhere to the 1936 Convention and to the 1946 and 1948 Protocols
The Government of the Republic of Indonesia stated that, in accordance with the agreements concluded at The Hague in 1949, the international obligations regarding narcotic drugs which had been undertaken by the Netherlands would also be carried out by Indonesia.
The Government of the Netherlands reported that it was preparing to ratify the 1936 Convention
At the level of regional co-operation, Benelux's Permanent Committee on Public Health established a Narcotics Sub-Committee, which is to harmonize the application of the narcotics laws in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg
While the basic purpose of all narcotic control is the restriction of narcotic drugs to medical and scientific use, certain variations appear in the measures taken by governments to attain that purpose In Colombia, licences issued for the import, manufacture and sale of drugs are to be reviewed for the primary purpose of protecting public health. In Iran, the Ministry of Hygiene may, with the approval of the Council of Ministers, include in the list of narcotic drugs any product which it seems fit to restrict in the interest of health or morale. In the Indian province of Mysore, licences for import, export, sale, etc, of intoxicating drugs may be issued only for "medicinal, scientific, industrial or like purposes". The Yugoslav control régime was established to "protect the health of the nation and to prevent the unlawful use of narcotic drugs and raw materials", manufacture and preparation are restricted to medical and scientific purposes and imports to medical and scientific requirements.
Of the five laws prohibiting the non-medical use of opium communicated to the Secretary-General during 1950, two authorize the issue of smoking licences to existing addicts.
Regarding the production of raw materials, it is particularly interesting to note the establishment of a Coca Monopoly in Peru, which is to control the sowing, cultivation, harvesting, distribution, consumption and export of coca ; the introduction of a zoning system for the production of opium in Turkey and, in a somewhat different form, in Yugoslavia. The Turkish and Yugoslav laws establish government monopolies, not for the cultivation of the raw materials, but rather for the purchase of the crops. The cultivators in designated areas are free to grow or not, provided they comply with certain requirements.
Among the principal provisions dealing with manufacture reported to the Secretary-General, were those adopted in Iran in 1947, providing for the centralization of all manufacture in the capital, and those passed in Yugoslavia in 1950, according to which the manufacture of narcotic drugs is the task of State enterprises under the Federal Government and forms part of the general economic plan. An interesting subsidiary regulation passed in Japan in 1949 institutes a system of special identification marks for all narcotics on the market
In France, in accordance with the Decree of 19 November 1948, Orders establishing the limits for the manufacture of narcotic substances are issued annually The Order for 1950, like the one for 1949, authorized the production of morphine, diacetylmorphine, methylmorphine, ethylmorphine, dihydrohydroxycodeinone, dihydrocodeinone, dihydromorphinone, cocaine, their respective salts, and of one synthetic drug, namely pethidine
Turkey and Yugoslavia reported the introduction of state monopolies for the domestic trade in certain narcotic raw materials. In each case the conversion of these materials, too, is a state monopoly Peru created a monopoly which controls the distribution, consumption and export of coca. Iran requires pharmacists to submit all requests for narcotic drugs to the Ministry of Hygiene, and medical practitioner's need special licences by that Ministry before they may obtain narcotic drugs The Mauritius Ordinance of 1950, while controlling all transfers by the usual licensing provisions, actually imposes a somewhat similar system, as all drugs imported must be stored at the government store and may be withdrawn only by permission of the Director of Medical Services Apart from efforts to perfect the licensing systems controlling the movement of narcotic drugs, the following measures were reported the use of official forms for medical prescriptions of narcotic drugs was reported by Argentina, Brazil, and by the United States of America for the state of California.
In Australia and New Zealand amendments were passed legalizing the keeping of drugs in airplanes for emergency purposes. In the Indian province of Mysore, advertisements of narcotic products were restricted to medical literature. In the United States, the use of cannabis sativa for manufacturing fibre was placed under the control of the Commissioner of Narcotic Drugs
Measures intended to improve the existing machinery of records, reports and governmental inspection, penal sanctions which various countries enacted for the suppression of the illicit traffic in narcotic drugs, measures relating to the administrative organization of the control of narcotic drugs at the national level, are dealt with in other chapters of the statement of the Secretary-General.