Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs

Governments of opium-producing Parties are required to "purchase and take physical possession of such crops as soon as possible" after harvest to prevent diversion into the illicit market.
The Single Convention was the first international treaty to prohibit cannabis.
Under Article 37, "Any drugs, substances and equipment used in or intended for the commission of any of the offenses . . . shall be liable to seizure and confiscation."
Different nations have drawn different conclusions as to whether the treaty requires criminalization of drug possession for personal use.
Articles 23 and 28 of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs require cannabis-producing nations to have a government agency that controls cultivation.

International treaty that controls activities (production, supply, trade, use) of specific narcotic drugs and establishes a system of regulations (licenses, measures for treatment, research, etc.) for their medical and scientific uses.

- Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs
Governments of opium-producing Parties are required to "purchase and take physical possession of such crops as soon as possible" after harvest to prevent diversion into the illicit market.

139 related topics

Relevance

MDMA (Ecstasy) pills. The Convention allows only government-approved medical and scientific uses of this and other substances.

Convention on Psychotropic Substances

United Nations treaty designed to control psychoactive drugs such as amphetamine-type stimulants, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and psychedelics signed in Vienna, Austria on 21 February 1971.

United Nations treaty designed to control psychoactive drugs such as amphetamine-type stimulants, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and psychedelics signed in Vienna, Austria on 21 February 1971.

MDMA (Ecstasy) pills. The Convention allows only government-approved medical and scientific uses of this and other substances.
Despite its well-known presence in the rave scene, ketamine remains uncontrolled internationally due to its importance as an anesthetic in veterinary medicine.
Article 32 makes an exception for peyote and other wild psychotropic plants, to protect use in religious rituals in case such plants themselves were in the future added to Schedule I.
Psilocybin mushrooms are not controlled by the Convention, but the drugs contained in them are.
LSD and equipment used in its manufacture are subject to seizure under Article 22.
Crystal meth has emerged as a commonly abused drug, from the American and European rave scenes to East Asia.

The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 did not ban the many newly discovered psychotropics, since its scope was limited to drugs with cannabis, coca, and opium-like effects.

Heroin paraphernalia in a Jack Daniels tin

Heroin

Opioid used as a recreational drug for its euphoric effects.

Opioid used as a recreational drug for its euphoric effects.

Heroin paraphernalia in a Jack Daniels tin
Advertising sign from Bayer for use in US drug stores, dating from before the federal prohibition of Heroin in 1924
A 2010 study ranking various illegal and legal drugs based on statements by drug-harm experts. Heroin was found to be the second overall most dangerous drug.
Short-term effects of usage
Long-term effects of intravenous usage, including – and indeed primarily because of – the effects of the contaminants common in illegal heroin and contaminated needles.
Black tar heroin
Advertisement for Bayer Heroin
Bayer Heroin bottle
International drug routes
Afghanistan opium poppy cultivation, 1994–2016 (hectares)
Primary worldwide producers of heroin
Addiction experts in psychiatry, chemistry, pharmacology, forensic science, epidemiology, and the police and legal services engaged in delphic analysis regarding 20 popular recreational drugs. Heroin was ranked 1st in dependence, physical harm, and social harm.
Drug overdoses killed more than 70,200 in the US in 2017, with heroin involved in 15,482 of those deaths.<ref name=NIDA-deaths>{{cite web | url = http://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates | title = Overdose Death Rates | archive-url = https://web.archive.org/web/20151128091723/http://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates | archive-date=28 November 2015 | work = National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) }}</ref>
US yearly overdose deaths involving heroin.<ref name=NIDA-deaths/>
US yearly deaths from all opioid drugs. Included in this number are opioid analgesics, along with heroin and illicit .<ref name=NIDA-deaths/>

Internationally, heroin is controlled under Schedules I and IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and it is generally illegal to make, possess, or sell without a license.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

United Nations office that was established in 1997 as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention by combining the United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP) and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division in the United Nations Office at Vienna.

United Nations office that was established in 1997 as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention by combining the United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP) and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division in the United Nations Office at Vienna.

UNODC headquarters in Vienna
Yury Fedotov, former Director General of the United Nations Office in Vienna and former Executive Director UNODC, delivers his welcome address at the first day of the 57th IAEA General Conference. M-Building, IAEA Headquarters, Vienna, Austria. 16 September 2013.
Timeline of the three drug-related treaties

These are: The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol ; the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 and the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.

Parties to the convention

United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances

One of three major drug control treaties currently in force.

One of three major drug control treaties currently in force.

Parties to the convention
A cache of precursor chemicals near a South American cocaine processing lab.
The International Narcotics Control Board interprets the 1988 Convention as requiring Parties to criminalize simple drug possession.

It provides additional legal mechanisms for enforcing the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

Cocaine

Tropane alkaloid and stimulant drug obtained primarily from the leaves of two coca species native to South America, Erythroxylum coca and Erythroxylum novogranatense.

Tropane alkaloid and stimulant drug obtained primarily from the leaves of two coca species native to South America, Erythroxylum coca and Erythroxylum novogranatense.

Cocaine hydrochloride
Lines of cocaine prepared for snorting
A 2010 study ranking various illegal and legal drugs based on statements by drug-harm experts. Crack cocaine and cocaine was found to be the third and fifth overall most dangerous drugs respectively.
Side effects of chronic cocaine use
A pile of cocaine hydrochloride
A piece of compressed cocaine powder
A woman smoking crack cocaine
"Rocks" of crack cocaine
Biological source of cocaine molecule in the context of the tropane class of molecules. The biological source of each tropane alkaloid is indicated by species, and below that a phylogenetic map is provided.
Biosynthesis of N-methyl-pyrrolinium cation
Biosynthesis of cocaine
Robinson biosynthesis of tropane
Reduction of tropinone
Coca leaf in Bolivia
"Cocaine toothache drops", 1885 advertisement of cocaine for dental pain in children
Advertisement in the January 1896 issue of McClure's Magazine for Burnett's Cocaine "for the hair".
Pope Leo XIII purportedly carried a hip flask of the coca-treated Vin Mariani with him, and awarded a Vatican gold medal to Angelo Mariani.
In this 1904 advice column from the Tacoma Times, "Madame Falloppe" recommended that cold sores be treated with a solution of borax, cocaine, and morphine.
Women purchase cocaine capsules in Berlin, 1929
D.C. Mayor Marion Barry captured on a surveillance camera smoking crack cocaine during a sting operation by the FBI and D.C. Police.
Drug overdoses killed more than 70,200 Americans in 2017, with cocaine overdoses making up 13,942 of those deaths.
United States CBP police inspect a seized shipment of cocaine
The U.S. Coast Guard in Miami offloading confiscated cocaine
Cocaine smuggled in a charango, 2008
Cocaine adulterated with fruit flavoring
Opioid involvement in cocaine overdose deaths. The green line is cocaine and any opioid (top line in 2017). The gray line is cocaine without any opioids (bottom line in 2017). The yellow line is cocaine and other (middle line in 2017).<ref name=NIDA-deaths>{{cite web | url = https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates | title = Overdose Death Rates | archive-url = https://web.archive.org/web/20151128091723/https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates| archive-date=28 November 2015 | work =  By National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) }}</ref>
Delphic analysis regarding 20 popular recreational drugs based on expert opinion. Cocaine was ranked the 2nd in dependence and physical harm and 3rd in social harm.<ref name="Lancet">{{cite journal|vauthors = Nutt D, King LA, Saulsbury W, Blakemore C|title = Development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse|journal = Lancet|volume = 369|issue = 9566|pages = 1047–53|date = March 2007|pmid = 17382831|doi = 10.1016/S0140-6736(07)60464-4|s2cid = 5903121|author-link4 = Colin Blakemore|author-link1 = David Nutt }}</ref>

Since 1961, the international Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs has required countries to make recreational use of cocaine a crime.

A view of Geneva by Frances Elizabeth Wynne, 4 August 1858

Convention for Limiting the Manufacture and Regulating the Distribution of Narcotic Drugs

Drug control treaty promulgated in Geneva on 13 July 1931 that entered into force on 9 July 1933.

Drug control treaty promulgated in Geneva on 13 July 1931 that entered into force on 9 July 1933.

A view of Geneva by Frances Elizabeth Wynne, 4 August 1858

In 1968, the Convention was superseded by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as it entered into force.

Heroin, a powerful opioid and narcotic

Narcotic

The term narcotic (, from ancient Greek ναρκῶ narkō, "to make numb") originally referred medically to any psychoactive compound with numbing or paralyzing properties.

The term narcotic (, from ancient Greek ναρκῶ narkō, "to make numb") originally referred medically to any psychoactive compound with numbing or paralyzing properties.

Heroin, a powerful opioid and narcotic

The Single Convention codified all existing multilateral treaties on drug control and extended the existing control systems to include the cultivation of plants that were grown as the raw material of narcotic drugs.

The Moroccan-American Treaty of Peace and Friendship, sealed by Sultan Mohammed III.

International Narcotics Control Board

Independent treaty body, one of the four treaty-mandated bodies under international drug control law (alongside the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, UNODC on behalf of the Secretary-General, and the WHO).

Independent treaty body, one of the four treaty-mandated bodies under international drug control law (alongside the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, UNODC on behalf of the Secretary-General, and the WHO).

The Moroccan-American Treaty of Peace and Friendship, sealed by Sultan Mohammed III.

The functions of both bodies were merged into the current INCB in 1961 with the adoption of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, but the INCB only started its work in 1968 when the Single Convention entered into force.

Headquarters in Geneva

World Health Organization

Specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health.

Specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health.

Headquarters in Geneva
Headquarters in Geneva
Alexey Yablokov (left) and Vassili Nesterenko (farthest right) protesting in front of the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland in 2008.
Demonstration on Chernobyl disaster day near WHO in Geneva
Three former directors of the Global Smallpox Eradication Programme read the news that smallpox had been globally eradicated, 1980
Countries by World Health Organization membership status
Stairwell, 1969
Internal courtyard, 1969
Reflecting pool, 1969
Exterior, 1969
From Southwest, 2013
Entrance hall, 2013
Main conference room, 2013

WHO is mandated under two of the international drug control conventions (Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961 and Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971) to carry out scientific assessments of substances for international drug control.

Cannabis

Genus of flowering plants in the family Cannabaceae.

Genus of flowering plants in the family Cannabaceae.

Cannabis growing as weeds at the foot of Dhaulagiri, Nepal.
A thicket of wild cannabis in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Cannabis female flower with visible trichomes
Male Cannabis flower buds
Underside of Cannabis sativa leaf, showing diagnostic venation
Top of Cannabis plant in vegetative growth stage
Relative size of varieties of Cannabis
Cannabis ruderalis
Comparison of physical harm and dependence regarding various drugs
A dried bud, typical of what is sold for recreational use
Commercial cannabis extract
Cannabis sativa stem longitudinal section
Cannabis Museum in Amsterdam
Cannabis leaf pictured in the coat of arms of Kanepi Parish
A male hemp plant
Dense raceme of female flowers typical of drug-type varieties of Cannabis
Root system side view
Root system top view
Micrograph C. sativa (left), C. indica (right)

To satisfy the UN Narcotics Convention, some cannabis strains have been bred to produce minimal levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive constituent.