CANBERRA, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- A move by the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government to legalise cannabis in Canberra has drawn a sharp response from the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) which says such a move could contravene international law.
The UN narcotics agency has written to the federal government asking for clarification over the ACT's cannabis laws, citing concerns they breached at least three international conventions on illicit drug control to which Australia was a signatory.
According to The Australian on Monday, the INCB letter suggested that the ACT government's laws, which were passed last month, appeared in legal breach of the 1961 convention on narcotics drugs.
"The board has noted with concern recent reports regarding the legalisation of cannabis possession, use and cultivation in small amounts in the Australian Capital Territory, effective 31 January, 2020," the letter read.
"As the information does not stem from official sources, the board would appreciate receiving confirmation regarding the accuracy of these reports from your government.
"The board wishes to recall that cultivation, production and distribution of cannabis for non-medical purposes is inconsistent with the provisions of the 1961 convention as amended, in particular article 4(c), which requires state parties to limit the use of narcotic drugs exclusively to medical and scientific purposes."
In September, the ACT passed legislation to become the first Australian jurisdiction to legalize the use, possession and growing of limited amounts of cannabis.