Legalization of Marijuana on a Global Level

By May 3, 2014Marijuana Laws


On a global level, marijuana has always been considered a drug. Sure, there was a time when hemp was used to make cars but in recent history it has been on the list of prohibited substances of most governments. Even though people have been using it for decades, people have fought over it as well. It has been the reason behind many drug wars, incarcerations, arrests and in some countries – even death penalties. As with any prohibition, the more you ban something the more people want to buy it. That’s why the war on drugs never really worked, because the demand was too high and the market was ever expanding. Every time the authorities tried to suppress it, the cartels found more innovative ways to smuggle their drugs. It was like a virus and with each new vaccine – it only became more immune.

Majority Supports Marijuana

Today is an entirely different story, the majority of Americans support marijuana legalization, Colorado, Washington, Netherlands and Uruguay have legalized marijuana, the Czech Republic decriminalized it and even Croatia decriminalized small quantities of the drug. At the time this article is being written the International Narcotics Control Board is accusing states that promote marijuana consumption of violating drug treaties while at the same time they claim prohibition is aiding paramilitary groups. Columbia and Mexico are perfect examples of countries that witnessed the terrible effects of drug wars and now the Global Commission on Drug Policy is saying that drug wars are futile and even the Organization of American states is rethinking its drug policy approach. The question is: is pot smoking a human right? Well, if alcohol and tobacco are human rights then surely pot smoking must be as well, right?

Global Revision

2016 will be a big year for marijuana reform because that’s when the UN is supposed to reconsider its global drug policy. Whether anything significant will change it remains to be seen. Currently, decriminalization is either up for a vote or being considered in countries such as Mexico, Belize, Chile, Morocco and even Jamaica. Examining whether smoking pot is a human right means stepping into very shady territory because it’s one thing to have the right to freedom and entirely another to get blasted beyond all recognition. However, this year’s Human Rights Watch’ report states that criminalizing drugs violates human rights because you’re not exactly harming anyone other than, possibly, yourself. If you harm anyone else while high then we have a problem. But in the meantime, feel free to sit on that couch and smoke a joint. Criminalization has also abated drug wars, expanded drug markets and bred life into violence and corruption. Those are just some of the basic problems criminalization has brought to the table. Either way, we’ll have to wait for 2016 to see if anything will change.


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