"Drug abuse and its prevention" as seen by the international legal profession
"I. NATURE AND TRENDS OF DRUG ABUSE
"II. LEGISLATION AIMED AT CONTROLLING DRUG ABUSE
"III. LAW ENFORCEMENT
"IV. TREATMENT AND REHABILITATION OF DRUG OFFENDERS
"V. INTERNATIONAL DRUG CONTROL
Author: Alfons NOLL
Pages: 37 to 47
Creation Date: 1975/01/01
Report on the XIth International Congress on Penal Law, Budapest, 9-15 September 1974LL.M. Alfons NOLL Secretary of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs
Many nations are experiencing a constantly changing drug sub-culture characterized by an increasing abuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, with all the evil which it entails. In this situation the International Association of Penal Law (AIDP) decided to devote Section II of its XIth International Congress on Penal Law to the topic of "Drug Abuse and its Prevention". The author participated in the work of this Section and of its Resolutions Committee as an Observer for the United Nations Division of Narcotic Drugs.
In view of its international membership, its expertise and its consultative status with the United Nations, the Association considered itself well equipped to undertake a comparative study of drug abuse, drug traffic and drug regulations. The primary purpose of the Association was "the development of a thorough understanding of the world-wide drug problem and of the nationally and internationally developed mechanics of its control on any level, national or regional or global".
A word on the background to the work of the Congress may be in place. National sections were provided with a standard questionnaire - an innovation for the Association - the structure of which was also to be followed in the narrative part of national reports. By adopting this reporting system AIDP followed the model form for national reports to be submitted by Governments to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs under article 18 of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961. The Congress welcomed this "classified/systematized approach to report-writing for international comparison" which ensures inclusion of all data with comments and discussions on particular points, and ultimately permits of a comparison of national experiences for the final general report; it even recommended "that in the future all Congress topics of the AIDP be prepared in this fashion to ensure world-wide comparability of information for maximally efficient problem-solving in line with the most advanced thinking of the social behavioural sciences and in furtherance of the interest of crime prevention and criminal justice".
Although the questionnaire method has indeed proved to be useful for writing national reports, as the result of the Congress demonstrates, one comment is called for: the questionnaire for "Drug abuse and prevention" had been elaborated without any prior consultation between AIDP and the competent bodies of the United Nations. It is suggested that for future questionnaires in similar cases there should be close prior co-operation between the AIDP and the competent international organs and bodies. This would obviate the inclusion of information already available or of questions to which the answer is already well known or published in readily accessible documents and could be beneficial to the structure and the contents of any questionnaire.
In response to AIDP's request for national and individual reports on the basis of the questionnaire, scholars from sixteen nations submitted twenty-two papers. In August 1973 AIDP convened a pre-congress Colloquium in New York which was organized by the Criminal Law Education and Research Center of New York University, and to which national reporters, a number of experts from the social and behavioural sciences, education and government, together with twenty American professors of criminal law, were invited. The Colloquium considered the world-wide dimensions of the drug problem and reached a number of conclusions.
In the general report submitted to the Congress the Reporter General, Professor G. O. W. Mueller, USA, also followed the outline of the questionnaire, which comprises six different chapters: nature and trends of drug abuse; legislation aimed at controlling drug abuse; law enforcement; treatment and rehabilitation of drug offenders; international drug control; and concluding questions. Under each chapter the Reporter General presented ( a) a "Summary of the National Reports"; ( b) the "Conclusions of the Colloquium'' and ( c) the "Reporter's Discussion Proposals and Comments". It should be stressed that at the opening of its deliberations Section II, on the proposal of the Reporter General, decided that only the "Reporter's Discussion Proposals and Comments" should de discussed and approved, amended or disapproved by the Congress.
As the present paper is limited to the proceedings, discussions and results of the Congress, no references or comments are included regarding the summaries of the national reports, the conclusions of the Colloquium or the "general observations on the dimensions of the problem and national reports" presented by the Deputy Reporter General, Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni, USA. One exception, however, is made: it concerns chapter V on "International Drug Control", which Section II preferred to consider on the basis of the conclusions of the Colloquium rather than of the proposal submitted by the Deputy Reporter General. The complete text of the Preamble and all the Resolutions adopted on the various chapters are reproduced below, 1 together with some comments, inter alia indicating to what extent Section II, its Resolutions Committee and the General Assembly approved, amended, or dissented from, the "Reporter's discussion proposals and comments".
"1. Experience with the research behind this general report, and work with the national reporters at the colloquium and the work of the Congress have convinced the General Assembly that in so far as the profession of criminal justice policy-makers and professors is concerned, the area of drug abuse prevention has gone largely by default and has been dealt with in many nations on an ad hoc basis, mostly with inadequate scientific preparation.
"Be it resolved, that the criminal justice policy-makers from all parts of the world assembled in the AIDP, vigorously assert their duty and obligation to play a leading role in the solution of the national and international drug abuse problem, so as to assure an efficient, humane and professional solution of these problems. To this effect, all members of the AIDP Congress pledge their best efforts vis-a-vis their own governments as well as vis-a-vis national and international organizations concerned with the issues.
"The following recommendations and options form a first and necessarily incomplete contribution toward this task."
1 In the form published by the AIDP in the booklet "AIDP-XI-74 - Eleventh International Congress on Penal Law, Resolutions".
In adopting the preambular paragraphs, the Congress followed integrally the Reporter General's proposals submitted under chapter VI of the questionnaire dealing with "concluding questions".
"1. Legislative or extra-legislative social problem solving requires broad-based factual knowledge. As regards problems of world-wide and even epidemic dimensions, a world-wide knowledge base is necessary. Thus, be it resolved, that all nations take immediate steps to assure maximum compliance with the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs reporting requirements.
"2. While duplication of costly research should be avoided, in view of the fact that relatively little is known about the causes of substance (including alcohol and drug) abuse, be it resolved that studies in causation should be undertaken and the results widely disseminated.
"3. Much harm having been created by imperfect classification systems and terminology in the area of drug abuse prevention, a new conceptualization and classification system seems necessary. For the preparation of and the discussions during the Congress the following terminology proved itself useful.
"( a) The term 'substance use' indicates the area under consideration.
"( b) Substance use may be of two distinct types:
Use of (legal and illegal) substances which leads or significantly contributes to a major social dysfunctioning.
Use which does not satisfy those conditions.
"( c) The term abuse should be restricted to use which satisfies the conditions mentioned under ( b) 1."
With regard to the first two paragraphs above, the Congress again followed the Reporter General's proposals. It may be noted with appreciation that in paragraph 1 the Congress invites all nations to take immediate steps to comply, to the maximum extent possible, with the reporting requirements of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs. There was an extensive debate concerning classification systems and terminology used at international and national levels. The Congress agreed that the terminology as reproduced in sub-paragraphs ( a) to ( c) of paragraph 3 above had proved useful for the preparation of and the discussion during the Congress. However, it rejected the more detailed system developed by the Colloquium in New York which the Reporter General had recommended as "possibly even an ultimate basis for reconsideration of the conceptualization and classification of international narcotics conventions."
The Congress preferred the terms "substance use" and "substance abuse" to the terms "drug use" and "drug abuse". The distinction between two types of "substance use", which is primarily based on the criterion of leading or significantly contributing to a major social dysfunctioning, is quite interesting and will certainly lend itself to further discussions on the crucial problem of the definition of drug or substance use/abuse. In the terminology used by the Congress "substance abuse" means "use of (legal and illegal) substances which leads or significantly contributes to a major social dysfunctioning". However, the specification added by the Reporter General that this term should also include "toxic substances like alcohol which in some societies play a socio-cultural role similar to that played by drugs in other societies" was not adopted by the Congress. Two further proposals submitted by the Reporter General, in accordance with the conclusions of the Colloquium, were rejected by the Congress.
It is regrettable that the proposal "Treatment (in the ordinary sense of that term) for substance use cannot be applied to persons who function satisfactorily" was not incorporated in paragraph 3 of resolution I.
The discussion and the results achieved by the Congress in this respect, however, clearly show that any attempt to revise the present system of concepts, classifications and terminology should not be made solely by one, namely the legal, profession, but call for an inter- or multi-disciplinary approach on the part of all professions concerned with today's drug abuse problem.
"1. The national reports having revealed a wide disparity among punishments imposable for different drug offenses, and it being doubtful whether cultural differences are accountable for these wide national differences, it appears necessary to review the statutory sanction schemes in all countries. A distinction should be made in legislation between legal intervention against illicit producers, manufacturers and traffickers on the one side, and possessors-consumers on the other side, allowing for flexible application of such legislation. By stigmatizing substance abusers as criminal or deviant, it is possible that more social problems are created than solved.
"Therefore be it resolved that
"(A) all national drug laws be reviewed and modified accordingly;
"(B) the possibility of decriminalizing or depenalizing certain forms of conduct with regard to drugs be [considered]. The experience of dealing with alcohol should be taken into consideration.
"2. Whatever drug legislation may exist or be developed in any given country, the social policy issues of such legislation are extremely sensitive and the range of benefit and detriment deriving from such legislation is very significant. Be it resolved, that every nation create a governmental office charged with the task of constantly monitoring the effectiveness of such legislation and of the institutions created under such legislation, and of recommending amendments whenever needed."
The discussion in Section II on this topic was particularly lively and led to some essential modifications of the text originally proposed by the Reporter General. The need to review national legislation on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances was discussed at length and generally recognized, as the text adopted in paragraph 1 of the above resolution reflects. In connexion with the last sentence in paragraph 1 of resolution II, the Reporter General had pointed out that social problems could especially be created "by invoking the functioning of a costly governmental enforcement and treatment apparatus and by creating sub-cultures which are frequently anti-social in nature and productive of further law violations" This reference, partly based on the cost-benefit idea, was eventually dropped, whereas a plea for more flexible legislation was introduced in this paragraph which requests legislators to distinguish between legal interventions directed against illicit producers, manufacturers and traffickers and those concerning possessors-consumers.
One of the most controversial issues was raised in connexion with paragraph 1(B) of resolution II. The Reporter General had proposed "that the possibility of decriminalizing and de-controlling certain drugs (e.g. cannabis) to the same extent as alcohol be recommended". Such a recommendation appeared to be unacceptable to the Congress; it was pointed out, inter alia, that no reference to any specific drug such as cannabis should be made because the same recommendation might be considered applicable to other substances and that it was hardly justifiable for the Congress to plead for a total de-control of certain drugs that are under national and international control according to the provisions of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961. Reference was made to paragraph ( c) of article 4 of the Single Convention - to which ninety States are Parties - according to which "the Parties shall take such legislative measures as may be necessary, subject to the provisions of this Convention, to limit exclusively to medical and scientific purposes the production, manufacture, export, import, distribution of, trade in, use and possession of drugs". The Congress did, however, feel it appropriate and even desirable to consider "the possibility of decriminalizing or de-penalizing certain forms of conduct with regard to drugs". It will certainly need to be specified what "forms of conduct with regard to drugs" are comprised therein. During the discussion of this item in Section II emphasis was laid on possession and use of drugs, taking into account the provisions of article 36 of the Single Convention. The Congress endorsed the petition brought forward by the Reporter General and other participants that the experience gained in dealing with alcoholism should be taken into consideration when reconsidering, at the national level, the question of whether or not "certain forms of conduct with regard to drugs" should be de-criminalized or depenalized.
It is of great interest to note that the Congress, in paragraph 2 of resolution II, recommended that every nation should establish a central governmental office with the task of monitoring the effectiveness of existing legislation and institutions and suggesting changes whenever required. In adopting this recommendation the Congress acted within the spirit embodied in international Conventions which, e.g., stipulate that "the Parties shall maintain a special administration for the purpose of applying the provisions of this Convention" (article 17 of the Single Convention; cf. also article 6 of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances). Such "special administration" appearing on the international scene under various names, mostly known as a "central narcotics bureau", should, in addition to the above-mentioned functions, ( a) on the national level, co-ordinate the activities carried out by the various government agencies in the field of drug control, and ( b) on the international level, co-operate with corresponding administrations and the competent international organizations.
Whereas the Congress followed all the Reporter General's proposals with regard to paragraph 2 of resolution II, it did not adopt his suggestion partly due to lack of time that the Congress should determine "without calling into question the basic rationales of the doctrines of exculpation by reason of mental illness, on the one hand, and of intoxication on the other, which of these two doctrines or possibly which amalgamation or unification thereof would be the most appropriate to use in the case of offenders who offend under the influence of narcotics", or, if no uniform answer could be found, decide what distinguishing features should be taken into consideration.
"1. As the example of a variety of nations indicates (e.g., France, U.S.A., Bulgaria), efficient law enforcement is closely linked to the training of law enforcement officers assigned to the task. Consequently, it is resolved, that national and international training programs for drug law enforcement officers, and other personnel working in the field of drug abuse be created and used to the widest possible extent.
"2. Efficiency in drug law enforcement is not tantamount to solving the world's substance abuse problems. At this moment, there are no agreed-upon criteria of 'success' in solving the drug abuse problem. Success in one respect may mean failure in another. Consequently, it is proposed that national efforts be directed at the establishment of success criteria and that these criteria be directed to the maximum prevention of dysfunctioning of human beings as a result of drug abuse and at the minimum expenditure of national resources, including law enforcement, to achieve this end.
"3. By all available criteria, prevention of substance abuse with regard to any substances which may be deemed particularly detrimental, can better be achieved by production and manufacture and distribution control. Consequently, it is proposed that the related legislation especially with respect to amphetamines and other psychotropic substances, be strengthened in all nations."
With only a few amendments the Congress adopted the text of this resolution more or less in the form the Reporter General had proposed. In the deliberations, however, the point was stressed that training programmes at the national and international level should not only be provided for drug law enforcement officers but also for any "other personnel working in the field of drug abuse" (see paragraph 1 of resolution III), namely officers in the various government agencies in charge of drugs control or of the prevention of drug abuse, like pharmacists, doctors, jurists, social workers, teachers etc.
The call for establishing so-called "success criteria" which the Reporter General had suggested was generally accepted by the Congress (see paragraph 3 of resolution III) without any further discussion in detail, though it might appear to be very difficult to determine such criteria which will certainly vary not only from country to country but also within a given country.
The majority of the speakers in Section II held that the prevention of substance abuse could be better achieved by controlling production, manufacture and distribution than by taking harsh law enforcement measures and penal sanctions against possessors-consumers of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. Accordingly, the Congress adopted in paragraph 3 of resolution III a plea for strengthening in all national legislations the control measures concerning production, manufacture and distribution in particular of psychotropic substances.
"1. For drug addict offenders treatment and rehabilitation are far more significant than punishment. Consequently, governments are urged either as an alternative to punishment or in connection with punishment to provide rehabilitative conditions for drug abusers having committed an offense. However rehabilitative conditions should be imposed only where necessary to terminate the dysfunctioning of the offender, in order to protect society from the dangers which may emanate from dysfunctioning drug offenders.
"2. Treatment régimes frequently rest on a misunderstanding of the problem and of the individual involved and endeavor to achieve unnecessary and unattainable aims. For many substance abusers, no more than normal rehabilitative efforts, but no medical treatment, are indicated. All treatment programs for substance abusers ought to be vigorously reviewed as to aim, method, and success rate.
"3. Experience demonstrates that only a wide range of treatment approaches can hope to reach all the underlying problems of the wide variety of substance abusers. Governments ought to be encouraged to experiment with the multimodality treatment approach to a more efficient prevention of substance abuse.
"4. Substance abuse is largely a social and occasionally a mental health problem. To the largest extent possible, responsibility for organization of treatment services for substance abusers ought to be transferred from the Departments or Ministries of Justice to the Departments or Ministries of Health and Welfare.
"5. Substance abuse education among youth has frequently been counter-productive to the desired end of prevention. Greatest care must be exercised in the design and execution of drug abuse education programs.
"6. Be it resolved, that on the basis of world-wide collective experience, it should be the effort of all systems to help drug abusers to solve their problems and to protect the general public against the dangers emanating from drug abuse. This requires considerable community involvement."
The Congress agreed with the Reporter General that, in the field of treatment and rehabilitation of drug offenders, considerable efforts had to be made in order to solve satisfactorily the various problems involved. In addition to what had been proposed by the Reporter General, the Congress urged Governments to provide, either as an alternative to, or in connexion with, punishment, rehabilitative conditions for drug abusers having committed an offence. In doing so, it emphasized the principle already established in article 22, para. 1 ( b) of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and in article 14 of the 1972 Protocol amending article 36, para. 1 ( b) of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961.
It was generally understood that for drug addict offenders treatment and rehabilitation would be much more important and useful than penal measures. It was, however, equally evident that a distinction would have to be made between "drug addict offenders" and "substance abusers" not being addicts. For the latter, only normal rehabilitative efforts, but no medical treatment, were considered necessary. The need for thorough review of the whole complex of treatment and rehabilitation of drug offenders and of its reorganization at the national level was generally recognized (see paras. 2-4 of resolution IV).
As expressed in paragraph 5 of resolution IV, the Congress warned all Governments to be most cautious when designing and executing educational programmes concerning drug abuse in order to avoid counter-productive effects which, according to experiences in several countries, had been noted in the past.
On the basic assumption that "substance abuse is largely a social and occasionally a mental health problem" (see para. 4 of resolution IV), the Congress called for both ( a) help to be given to drug abusers in order to enable them to solve their problems, and ( b) protection of the general public against dangers stemming from "drug abuse" (see para. 6 of resolution IV), or, as it should read, according to the Congress's own terminology, from "substance abuse" (see para. 3 of resolution I above).
What has been said above under I on the revision of the present system of concept, classifications and terminology is equally true with regard to resolution IV. Some of its assumptions and conclusions might meet criticism from the medical profession dealing with the treatment and rehabilitation of drug offenders. In this field, too, it is essential to take into consideration all scientific data available from all professions involved, as only an inter- or multi-disciplinary approach can lead to better solutions.
"1. All regions of the world are affected in some way by production, manufacture, trade, traffic or consumption of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as well as by some secondary aspects of related problems.
"2. The drug problem is of world-wide concern and requires urgently increased co-operation between all States and relevant international organizations and agencies.
"3. Co-operation among States should be manifested initially by:
"( a) Ratification of, or accession to, the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961, and the 1972 Protocol amending this Convention;
"( b) Ratification of, or accession to, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances;
"( c) Increased collaboration on the international, regional and bilateral level in programs dealing with law enforcement, judicial functions, scientific research, treatment-rehabilitation and any other appropriate measures to prevent drug abuse.
"4. The emphasis of international and national drug control schemes shall be altered from purely repressive to more socially oriented.
"5. In view of the various efforts made by the UN organization, its specialized agencies and other international organs and organizations, emphasis should be put on efficient co-ordination which should be ensured by the United Nations, with the view of ultimately achieving effective international control of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, other international control schemes-besides strengthening the existing system should be considered. This could be done by e.g. a direct international control scheme. Another field of consideration is the integration of international drug control measures into broader systems of social and human protection.
"6. The United Nations, international agencies and concerned organizations should develop more studies especially about psychotropic substances and their effect to alert the public at large and governments of the potential dangers involved in such substances and of the urgent need for putting them under efficient and constantly up-dated control.
"7. All States are urged to provide more data and exchange of information as to all aspects of the problem of drugs so that the control systems can be scientifically and factually based.
"8. The United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control (UNFDAC) should devote resources for evaluating intervention programs. Therefore it is recommended that UNFDAC be given increased resources, inter alia for this purpose."
For a better understanding and evaluation of resolution V as adopted by the Congress, it is necessary to refer to chapter V ("International Drug Control") of the General Report submitted jointly by the Reporter General and the Deputy Reporter General. Its contents are predominantly based on the research work carried out by the Deputy Reporter General, Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni, USA.
The General Report, submitted in writing for the Congress's deliberations, qualified the present international control system as an "indirect control scheme" because it is "predicated on the voluntary assumption by States of treaty obligations which are then implemented by each national system". It concluded that, "judging by the increased rate of drug dependence everywhere in the world, the present system has proved to be ineffective", and that it "must give way to a direct international control system".
Accordingly, the General Report proposed a new international scheme "predicated on the theory of direct control by an independent international organization". Although it is impossible to describe fully the essentials of this proposal, the operative principles and the functional outline of operation of this direct control scheme should be briefly mentioned.
According to the proposal in the General Report, the direct control scheme should comprise the following operative principles: "establishment of a specialized UN Agency to deal exclusively with this matter; abolition of all forms of cultivation, manufacturing, sale and distribution of any of the following, except under the terms of this Agency's authority: ( a) prohibition of opium and its derivative morphine, produced from the opium poppy, and cocaine, produced from the coca bush, ( b) world-wide monopoly of the international Agency for the cultivation and manufacture of substances for item ( a) as needed for medical and scientific purposes; and development within the Agency of an international control and sanctions scheme through a multilateral treaty".
With regard to the functional outline of operation of the direct control scheme, the General Report provided that the UN Agency be named the "International Narcotics Control Agency" and consist of twelve members elected for a term of four years each by the UN General Assembly, with a thirteenth member appointed by the Secretary-General to act as chairman. The Agency should have six functional boards to be chaired by one of the members of the Agency serving for a two-years term. The functional boards should be: ( a) Central Board for the production and distribution; ( b) Central Drug Control Board as the enforcement arm in the direct control scheme; ( c) Arbitration Board for the resolution of drug-related disputes; ( d) Clearing House Commission; ( e) Central Board for the Treatment and Study of Drug Dependence; and ( f) Central Legislative Board.
However, in introducing the General Report on this item and opening the debate in Section II, the Deputy Reporter General pointed out that the new direct international control scheme, as proposed in the General Report, would not necessarily have to be considered as the only subject of discussion in Section II; this proposal could very well be regarded as only one possible solution for the revision of the international drug control scheme. Following the interventions by some participants, Section II then decided not to take the "proposed international scheme" in the General Report as basis for its deliberations but to refer rather to the conclusions of the Colloquium in New York, which later, subject to some amendments, formed the basis of resolution V of the Congress on "international drug control".
Recognizing that all regions of the world are in one way or the other affected by either primary or secondary aspects of the drug problem, the Congress stressed the urgent need for increased co-operation at the international, regional and bilateral level, both between States themselves and between States and relevant international organizations and agencies (see paras. 1, 2 and 3 (c) of resolution V).
It should be noted that at the same time the Congress realized the need for better co-ordination of all the efforts undertaken in this field and therefore emphasized that "efficient co-ordination should be ensured by the United Nations" (see first sentence of para. 5 of resolution V). By pointing to this need for efficient co-ordination and entrusting the United Nations with the role of co-ordination, the Congress acted entirely in line with resolution 1777 (LIV) of the Economic and Social Council on "Co-ordination of activities of international organs and organizations in the struggle against the abuse of drugs" which has entrusted the Secretary-General with this problem. A proposal of the Colloquium in New York to contemplate a central UN administrative agency for this co-ordination has, however, not been adopted.
In para. 3 of resolution V, the Congress agreed that "co-operation amongst States should be manifested initially by the ratification of, or accession to, the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, the 1972 Protocol amending this Convention, and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances". It thus followed the conclusions reached at the New York Colloquium and thereby decided to stick to the present international drug control scheme - which is closely linked with these three most recent treaties - rather than to change the international drug control system towards a "direct control scheme".
Following the discussions in Section II and the recommendations of its Resolutions Committee, the Congress, however, agreed that, besides strengthening the existing system, other international control schemes should be considered with a view to ultimately achieving effective international control of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. It thus took a rather moderate view and agreed that the possibility of a "direct international control scheme" should also be included in the search for an improved international control scheme and that the integration of international drug control measures into broader systems of social and human protection should also be taken into consideration (see sentences 2, 3 and 4 of para. 5 of resolution V).
There was general agreement that in both international and national drug control schemes the emphasis should be shifted from a purely repressive to a more socially oriented one (see para. 4 of resolution V). Two petitions brought forward by the Colloquium in New York that "alternative models should be sought which do not stigmatize users as 'criminals' or 'sick' in order to maximize their ability to function in the social context" and that "optional protocols should be proposed to allow States desirous of adopting such alternative models to do so" were rejected.
With regard to the possibility of "an optional protocol", another recommendation made by the Colloquium in New York was eventually rejected. The Colloquium in New York "recognizing cultural divergencies among the signatories and potential signatories of the 1961 Single Convention and the 1972 amending Protocol,.... recommended that an optional protocol be drafted allowing a desirous State to make a reservation as to the de-criminalization of some of the Cannabis sativa substances". Although some of the speakers in Section II expressed their sympathy for such an optional protocol, the majority was not in favour of proposing such a solution in its resolution V.
It is to be noted with interest that the Congress urged the United Nations, international agencies and all organizations concerned with the drug problem to develop more studies, especially on psychotropic substances and their effects, in order to alert the public at large and Governments to the potential dangers involved in such substances, and to the urgent need for putting them under efficient and constantly up-dated control (see para. 6 of resolution V). There was generally great concern with regard to psychotropic substances and their potential abuse. In line with the resolution adopted by the Congress, one of the first steps to ensure efficient control of psychotropic substances at the international level would necessarily be the entry into force of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and it is to be hoped that the appeal of the Conference in this respect will bring this about. Following the conclusions of the Colloquium, the Congress also called for exact scientific and factual data on all aspects of the drug problem in order to ensure a reliable basis for appropriate international and national drug control systems; accordingly it urged all States to provide more data and exchange relevant information (see para. 7 of resolution V).
The United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control will doubtless note with appreciation that, in the last paragraph of resolution V, the Congress finally recommended increased contributions to the Fund, to be used, inter alia, for evaluation of intervention programmes (see para. 8 of resolution V).
Summarizing the contents of the various paragraphs of resolution V, it can fairly be concluded that the Budapest Congress of the AIDP, while contributing a number of suggestions for improving the international and national drug control schemes, largely supported the idea of making such improvements within, and not outside, the existing international drug control system which is basically determined by the international Conventions on the subject. This approach is all the more convincing as the establishment of the "direct international control scheme" proposed in the General Report-even if considered desirable-would encounter so many political objections and numerous administrative and other difficulties that it appears, for the time being, to be quite unrealistic, if not utopian. The weakness of this proposal is based on the somewhat summary and surprising rejection of the present international drug control system for the sole reason that we are presently facing an "increased rate of drug dependence everywhere in the world" and that this increase is due to the ineffect iveness of the present international scheme. This somewhat simplified view fails to do justice to the present international drug control system itself, and does not answer a number of questions, such as: Is the present system itself misconceived and thus the cause of the increase in drug dependence; and, Is this increase due to an insufficient implementation of the requirements of the international drug control system at the national level? Whatever character the international drug control system might have - whether "indirect" or "direct" - it could not prove to be efficient without its proper and concomitant implementation by the competent authorities at the national level throughout the world. It therefore appears that it was wise to adopt the more balanced and probably more efficient view - to which no thought was given in the proposal submitted in the General Report - that necessary improvements and even drastic changes in basic concepts should be sought within the present control system - by means of thorough and continuous revision at the national and international levels, rather than through the introduction of a totally new concept.
In conclusion, it may be stated that the international legal profession, on the occasion of the XIth Congress of the AIDP, made a considerable effort to develop a thorough and better understanding of the drug problem and its national and international control. It contributed, within the framework of the existing international control system, a number of interesting and progressive ideas which should be taken into consideration both at the national and international levels. The hope may, therefore, be expressed that the various national sections of the International Association of Penal Law, as well as their individual members, in close and necessary collaboration with members of other professions concerned with the drug problem, make "their best efforts vis-a-vis their own governments, as well as vis-a-vis national and international organizations concerned with the issues", as it is stated in the Preamble adopted by the Congress, "so as to assure an efficient, humane and professional solution of these problems".