Рефераты. Drug abuse: Tendencies and ways to overcome it

General acts of international law lay the legal foundation for cooperation

among nations, in actions against international crimes and crimes of

international character, the dissemination of narcotics among others. One

of these acts is the UN Charter. Its Preamble urges all UN members to join

in a common effort to maintain international peace and security. The UN

Charter stresses the need to use international machinery for promoting the

nations' economic and social progress and sets the goal "to practice

international cooperation in resolving international problems of economic,

social, cultural and humanitarian nature and in encouraging and promoting

respect for human rights and basic freedoms for all regardless of race,

sex, language and religion"

The UN Charter (part 2 art. 2) also calls on nations to strictly and

unswervingly observe international commitments that they have taken upon

themselves voluntarily and among them, as the Preamble points out, to the

commitments stemming from treaties, agreements and other sources of

international law.

One of the major historically evolved principles of international law

states that international agreements must be observed. Stemming from this

principle is a member nation's duty to cooperate in combating crime,

international crimes and crimes of international character, including the

dissemination of and trade with narcotics.

These crimes have certain particularities. This has a bearing on the

question of accountability if such crimes are committed. According to I.I.

Karpets, there is a need to single out crimes covered by conventions or

other signed and ratified international agreements, especially, if national

legislation have been brought in accord with them. The existence of both is

a good reason for making those guilty of committing these crimes to be held

accountable. A failure to do so must be qualified as a violation of both

international law and national legislation.

In case there are no coordinated norms of accountability, the involved

countries should proceed from the general principles that had developed

among nations and resolve questions of cooperation against crime on that

basis. Specifically, they may determine the forms of this cooperation, its

confines, the need to institute criminal proceedings in view of the

committed crimes of international character, etc.

Special Acts of International Law:

Special norms of international law dealing with measures to combat drug

abuse have been taking shape gradually. The history of their development is

uneven- from establishing international control over the lawful

distribution and use of drugs to introducing control over illegal drug


It is not accidental that crimes bearing on drug abuse are qualified as

crimes of international character. This can be attributed to a number of


As an age-old phenomenon, drug addiction has spread over large

territories. As it kept crossing national borders, whole areas appeared

that specialized in growing and processing drug-bearing plants,

manufacturing and distributing narcotics. Recently, areas where drug money

can be laundered at a profit have emerged. In short, drug addiction has

become widespread practically on all the continents. Drug abuse has

acquired a transnational nature. At the turn of last century it had already

been clear that drug addiction endangered not only the lives of individuals

and social groups but also the economic advancement of many countries, as

it is bound to inflict considerable damage on agriculture and trade and

undermine whole industries. (chemical, pharmaceutical or pharmacological).

Measures that various governments tried to employ within their

countries in the hope to "curb" drug addiction, so to speak, and ban, say,

in Turkey or China, the non-medicinal use of drugs, failed to bring any

positive results.

On top of that, programs against drug addiction required additional

financial resources for treatment and social rehabilitation of addicts,

medical personnel, curative medicines, and preventive measures by law

enforcement agencies. Many countries lacked such financial resources. So,

actions against drug abuse began crossing national boundaries. The

awareness of a possible proliferation of drugs raised concern of the world

public opinion and governments of many countries began pressing for the

intensification of the rule of law on the international scene.

Consequently, an objective need arose to work out and put into practice

joint inter-governmental agreements, adopt effective legal norms that would

regulate international cooperation, enable countries to employ coordinated

measures against drugs as a whole and its specific manifestations and to

establish, as a result, both a domestic and international control over the

use of narcotics and their consumption.

The first experiment of international control over narcotics and of

measures against drug addiction at the international level dates back to

the Shanghai Opium Commission held between February 5th and 26th 1909 in

the city of Shanghai.

Shanghai Opium Commission of 1909:

This commission consisted of the representatives from 13 countries:

Russia, the USA, Austria-Hungary, Germany, Britain, France, China, Italy,

Japan, Netherlands, Persia, Portugal and Siam.

The commission attempted to work out measures that would block the

illegal flow of drugs from the regions of Asia to European countries and

the United States. It also discussed questions related to opium smoking and

to international trade in opium derivatives.

In the long run, however, no constructive measures were produced.

Documents issued by the commission contained no specific bans even on opium

smoking. Members of the commission thought it was sufficient to only speak

about its regulation and gradual restriction.

Nevertheless, the work of the Shanghai opium commission of 1909 played

a significant role. Officially it marked the beginning of actions against

drug addiction at the international level and to the launching of a system

of international control over the spread of drugs. It also mapped out

directions for the future international legislation in resolving problems

reviewed in Shanghai.

A further advancement in combating drugs was made in the Hague at the

International Opium Conference held from December 1st 1911 to January 23d

1912. Representatives of 12 countries took part in it (the same as in

Shanghai excluding Austria-Hungary). The conference prepared and adopted

the first convention on drugs (known as the Hague Convention). As a follow

up to the Shanghai Commission, in terms of ideas, the conference proclaimed

the timeliness of actions against narcotics as a whole and its specific


The Hague Convention of 1912:

The Hague convention of 1912 was the first to define the specific types of

drugs, which were put under international control. They were raw opium,

smoke opium, medicinal opium, morphine, cocaine and a few others. The

contracting parties took pledges of both domestic and international nature

upon themselves to adopt national laws establishing control over the

production and distribution of raw opium, and at barring its illegal

imports and exports without permits granted by specially authorized

persons; to take steps towards gradually halting the production, domestic

trade and use of smoke opium and introducing a ban on its imports and

exports; to use narcotic substances (medicinal opium, morphine and cocaine)

only for medicinal and "other reasonable purposes"; to ensure a legal

regulation of the production of morphine, cocaine, medicinal opium, heroin

and their derivatives and also of trade in these narcotic substances; to

adopt appropriate laws (if they are not adopted yet) or change existing

laws concerning the responsibility and punishment of persons guilty of acts

involving the illegal possession of drugs.

The provision concerning the legal regulation of the production of

morphine and its derivatives and trade in them (cocaine, medicinal opium

and heroin) was an important step. It was an attempt to use preventive

measures such as foreseeing the establishment of international control over

narcotic substances, which could appear in the future without their prior

concrete mentioning in the Convention's text.

The significant feature about the Convention was that it not only

proclaimed the need for cooperation among countries in establishing control

over the use of narcotics but also outlined what needed to be accomplished.

One of these accomplishments was the duty of countries to exchange, via the

Dutch government, texts of legal acts and statistics on drugs.

The 1912 Hague Convention, however, failed to bring practical results,

largely because of World War I, which began soon after the passing of the

Convention. It was put into force only with the signing of the Versailles

and other peace treaties which specified that their ratification was

tantamount to the ratification of the 1912 Hague Convention on drugs.

International documents approved following the Hague Convention just

filled in the gaps and developed its provisions. The need for such

documents was prompted by the continuous expansion of drug addiction, and

of the illegal trade and smuggling of various narcotics. These documents

are kept within the demands of the present problems that had been approved

at the international level. They had defined more precisely and expanded

the range of questions pertaining to the regulation of the issue on the

basis of international law. They also involved more and more countries

concerned about combating narcotics.

The growing threat from narcotics was evident from a series of

international acts on drugs. Apart from that, however, the passing of these

acts marked an important stage in international relations. They affirmed

the principle that international law was bound to help organize and ensure

control over drugs. The case in point was the Agreement banning the

production, domestic trade and use of refined opium. It was signed on

February 11th 1925 at the Geneva Opium conference.

Following the signing of the Versailles Peace Treaty and the founding

of the League of Nations this conference was the first to discuss the issue

of narcotics.

Its official program envisaged the development of measures to implement

the decisions of the 1912 Hague Convention to limit and eliminate the

production, domestic trade and use of smoke opium. But according to

juridical literature, the Conference in reality expressed the latent

interests of the colonial powers- the signatories of the above mentioned


The Geneva Conference of 1925 Agreement of February 11th, 1925:

The Agreement provided for the establishment of monopoly associations

on the territories and domains controlled by these powers to deal with the

opium turnover, for handing over the production of smoke opium to the state

monopoly, as well as conducting anti-opium propaganda.

The general control over the implementation of the Agreement's

provisions concerning the trade in opium was placed upon the League of

Nations- an international body set up in accordance with the Versailles

peace treaty.

One of the provisions of this Agreement stipulated the need to study

the state of control over smoke opium in the Far East. This study was

carried out, practically for the first time in world practice, by a Special

Commission appointed by the League of Nations Assembly in 1928.

The results of the study were examined in Bangkok and paved the way for

the signing of the Bangkok Agreement of November 27th 1931, which banned

opium smoking. The Agreement entered into force only in April 1937.

The Bangkok Agreement of 1931:

The Bangkok Agreement added some new provisions to the Geneva Agreement of

11th February 1925. These new provisions made retail trade in opium

possible only by government institutions; established criminal offence for

persons under 21 years of age who visited opium dens; legally regulated the

sale of smoke opium for cash and so on and so forth.

However, prior to the Bangkok Agreement, in view of the deterioration

of the drug situation in the world in the postwar period, the second Geneva

Opium Conference passed an Opium Convention that was signed in Geneva on

19th February 1925 and entered into force in September 1928.

The Opium Convention of 1925:

It underlined that there was no way to end drug abuse and drug

smuggling unless the production of those drugs was reduced considerably and

a more stringent control over their international trade was introduced than

the one stipulated by the 1912 Hague convention.

For this end, the 1925 Convention stipulated some legal and

organizational measures against drug abuse both at the international and

domestic levels.

This Convention confirmed the principles of the 1912 Hague Convention

and, what is more, it firmly established that drugs could be produced only

for the legal purposes of states, having defined what these legal purposes

were. Of principal importance was the decision to put several more kinds of

raw materials which drugs could be produced from (coca leaves, raw cocaine,

and cannabis) on the list of the controlled substances (in addition to the

ones named by the 1912 Hague Convention). Moreover, the Convention was

applicable to any substance, which, in accordance with the conclusion drawn

by an authorized body, could cause the same harmful consequences as the

substances listed in the Convention.

To exercise domestic control over narcotic substances the parties to

the Convention agreed to the following pledges: to pass national laws that

would ensure the control over the production, dissemination and exportation

of raw opium and to systematically revise and toughen those to the extent

that the articles of the Convention would require; to limit the use,

production, importation, sale, distribution, export, and application of

narcotics exclusively to medical and scientific purposes; to exercise

control over the activities of persons who were allowed to produce, import,

export, sell, distribute and use drugs and also to exercise control over

premises where these persons work with drugs or traded in them; to curtail

the number of ports, cities and other populated centers where the

importation and exportation of narcotics would be permitted and to pass

through and adopt domestic legislation that would envisage punitive

measures for the violations of the Convention's provisions.

To exercise international control over narcotic substances the

Convention stipulated adoption of the following measures: to introduce a

system of evaluation and estimation of a country's domestic need in

narcotics for medical, scientific and other purposes in the up-coming year;

to hand in statistics connected with drugs (in a special form and at

definite periods of time); to establish control over international trade in

drugs and to also establish firm rules for the importation and exportation

of drugs (to import and export narcotics only if there is a special written

permission, as outlined by the Convention; to regulate the order of transit

shipments and the storage of drugs at stores of third countries to prevent

their possible leakage from the legal circulation during their shipments

and storage); to establish control over the compliance with all commitments

taken by the countries- parties to the Convention; to place the exercise of

that control on a newly organized international body called the Permanent

Central Committee (later its official name changed several times, although

most of the time, it was known as "The Permanent Central Committee on

Narcotic Substances").

The Convention also stressed the need for cooperation between countries

in preventing the use of narcotic substances for purposes other than

designated. It stipulated that the exchange of information about laws and

decisions on the implementation of the proclaimed principles (using the

services of Secretary General) would be a concrete form of this


To put it in a nutshell, the Convention defined the content and forms

of realization of international control over narcotics. It introduced a

system of licensing and recording foreign trade operations of drugs and

obliged the member countries to submit detailed statistics about such


The convention on the limitation of production and the regulation of

the distribution of narcotic substances signed on July 13th 1931 in Geneva

proved to be another link in the international control system.

The Convention of 1931:

That Convention meant to introduce amendments to the two already

existing conventions in force, those of 1912 and of 1925. It contained the

following additions: uniform definition of notions, through the control

over drugs. Alternative versions of such notions as "production",

"refining", "processing", "storage reserves", "state storage reserves",

"import-export" and others were removed. For the first time, a list of

medicines containing drugs was established and production, processing, use,

exportation and importation of them would now be controlled. The system of

evaluating and estimating the overall demand for drugs in all countries

regardless of their membership in the given Convention was perfected.

Accountability for the commitments of member governments was enhanced. A

special agency, the Control Commission, was set up to study data from

governments about the quantity of narcotics and accounts about their

receipt and use. In case the Commission found any deviations or the demand

for drugs was too large in its judgment, the Commission had the right to

Страницы: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

2012 © Все права защищены
При использовании материалов активная ссылка на источник обязательна.