The decision by some U.S. states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana violates international law, the U.N. anti-narcotics chief said Wednesday.
Yury Fedotov, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has vowed to fight state-by-state legalization in Washington next week, Reuters reported.
“I don’t see how (the new laws) can be compatible with existing conventions,” the Russian diplomat said.
Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, told Fox News that Mr. Fedotov is technically right but has no leg to stand on.
“It doesn’t make any difference,” he said. “Fedotov is going through the motions. … but the decision’s already been made.”
Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, but the Obama administration has said it was giving individual states leeway to carry out their own laws. Residents of Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C., voted Nov. 4 to allow for the recreational use of marijuana, following the path already paved by Washington state and Colorado. Pro-legalization advocates have now set their sights on California and Massachusetts to join the legalization movement.