VIENNA, 1 August 2013 - The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has noted with concern a draft law under consideration in Uruguay which, if adopted, would permit the sale of cannabis herb for non-medical use. Such a law would be in complete contravention to the provisions of the international drug control treaties, in particular the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, to which Uruguay is a party.
In line with its mandate, INCB has always aimed at maintaining a dialogue with the Government of Uruguay on this issue, including proposing a mission to the country at the highest-level. The Board regrets that the Government of Uruguay refused to receive an INCB mission before the draft law was submitted to Parliament for deliberation.
INCB urges the Uruguayan authorities to ensure that the country remains fully compliant with international law which limits the use of narcotic drugs, including cannabis, exclusively to medical and scientific purposes. Importantly, the draft legislation, if adopted, might have serious consequences for the health and welfare of the population and for the prevention of cannabis abuse among the youth. The Board calls upon the authorities of Uruguay to carefully consider all possible repercussions before taking a decision.
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Statement attributable to the UNODC Spokesperson on the Uruguay bill on regulation of the cannabis market available here