- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The United Nations has issued the United States a stern warning against a state trend to legalize marijuana, for recreational or medical use: Doing so violates international law.

The International Narcotics Control Board, the global body in charge of overseeing drug treaties, issued a warning about the “unprecedented surge” in “legal highs” — those that stem from medically approved marijuana use — and said immediate action is needed to stop the trade, The Guardian reported. The group also warned the U.S. government to crack down on medicinal marijuana laws.

“In some U.S. states, they are being operated in a way that is completely inappropriate and outside of the [treaties],” INCB said, in its just-released report.

The INCB, an offshoot of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, had especial criticism for Colorado and Washington, where marijuana can be used for recreation.

“They also undermine the humanitarian aims of the drug control system and are a threat to public health and wellbeing,” said Raymond Yans, INCB president, The Guardian reports.

Eighteen U.S. states have medical marijuana laws, The Guardian says.

Those laws are little more than “a back-door to legalization for recreational use,” Mr. Yans said.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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