International Drug Trade
While the impact that the international drug trade is felt worldwide, Mexico, who is caught in the middle of it, is firmly against the global black market that cultivates, manufactures, and distributes illegal substances. Since the Hague International Opium Convention of 1912, which contained many elements of drug control, and inspired many nations to create their forms of drug control. There have been many conferences since then on the same topic of drug control, but the rates of drug usage are now on a much larger scale. The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 consolidated previously established treaties and added more synthetic opioids to the list of prohibited drugs that should not be produced or supplied. This convention broadened the scope of the convention to include cannabis and similar drugs. With over 90% of the countries in the United Nations being state parties, it is evident that the problem is not about how many articles are existing, but how many require an action of countries and cause change.
Mexico is a country that is often regarded as a supplier of illegal substances and is the leading supplier in the North and South American drug market, along with Colombia being the second- largest supplier. According to the World Drug Report of 2008, Mexico is where the majority of cannabis seizures in North America took place. To help demonstrate the magnitude of this, the consumer market for cannabis dwarfs those for other drug groups, according to the UNODC. While the usage of cannabis in 2006 in most other nations and areas either stabilized or declined, the usage in Mexico has increased. The Mexican president has recently declared that “a prohibitionist strategy is unsustainable”, as it causes violence and health harms, and criminalizes people who use drugs. The plan is to negotiate with the United States to end the war on drugs and redirect the resources into treatment programs. In the future, Mexico is going to decriminalize drugs and fund treatment for addicts, as a war on drugs can not be won.
More countries need to decriminalize drugs and offer treatment for addicts. In many countries, drugs are produced by parties not affiliated with the government, such as the cartels of Mexico. With decriminalization, drugs can be regulated with ease, which will make the drugs much safer and it will also bring down cartels as their income slows. Decriminalization is replacing existing laws that previously required penalty for drug-related offenses with a new system that seeks to address drugs as a health issue rather than a criminal justice issue. Mexico believes that the main topic of the committee should be the regulation of drugs and how every nation should at a minimum open up rehabilitation centers. After all, the goal should be to cause fewer overdose deaths than before, and these progressive and modern approaches will reduce harm and be better then the war on drugs approach.
- Gabe Howald