Agenda 420: The UN Plots Against US Marijuana Legalization

November 27th, 2012

Activists concerned with preserving US sovereignty often expose scenarios in which the United Nations attempts to wrestle authority away from legitimate democratic institutions. For example, Tea Partiers often cite Agenda 21 as an illegitimate attempt by the UN to impose environmental regulations at the international level. Since no US citizen can vote in any election to determine who makes decisions at the UN, it is not a democratic institution which responds to voters in any way.

However, powers are often granted to international bodies such as the UN through the passage of treaties, thus secretly and quietly transferring authority away from voter-approved checks-and-balances. After citizens in Washington and Colorado recently voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use, is reporting that UN officials responded by declaring that the federal government must continue to enforce marijuana prohibition in those states pursuant to international treaties on drug control. Let’s examine this extraordinary power grab by the United Nations.

What Level of Government Holds Jurisdiction over Drug Issues?

The vast majority of criminal laws are determined at the state level. Under the Constitution, the federal government can criminalize a small handful of offenses such as piracy, treason, and counterfeiting. However, the 10th amendment reserves all powers not listed in Article 1, Section 8 for the states and the people. Clearly, drug criminalization or legalization is supposed to be determined at the state level. This means the federal government never had the authority to give away this power to the UN or any other international organization in the first place.

The United Nations created an organization called the International Narcotics Control Board which is charged with enforcing its unlawful international conventions on drug criminalization. The president of that organization recently stated that, by legalizing marijuana, Colorado and Washington “are in violation of the international drug control treaties, and pose a great threat to public health and the well-being of society far beyond those states.” He said this despite no scientific evidence that marijuana is harmful and without consideration to the fact that voters in Washington and Colorado have a right to make their own decisions on these issues.

The UN: Incrementally Overriding Self-Governance, One Step at a Time

It’s no secret that the original founders of the United Nations sought a worldwide system of government uniting all nations. However, international government is not a concept which jives well with democratic institutions. Representative governments respond best to local communities and fall short when governing massive geographical areas filled with people from drastically different cultures and economies.

For example, look at the issues of gay marriage and marijuana legalization. It’s clear that future generations will live in a world in which gay couples can marry and marijuana is legal. Many state governments have already legalized one or the other. The federal government still opposes both. Some states made history on these issues first, and the federal government lags behind. The United Nations is even further entrenched in its political circumstances as it represents countless nations all over the world, some of which are ruled by dictators. Should voters in Washington have to convince officials in China of their own right to legalize marijuana in their own state? It could take centuries to change laws if we have to get international compromise each and every time. This is why international government doesn’t work, and why the US has no business granting any authority to the United Nations.

Special note: the effort by the United Nations to stop marijuana legalization in the US is not actually called “Agenda 420.” I facetiously coined that moniker myself as a parody of Agenda 21.

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About the Author: Barry Donegan

Barry Donegan is a singer for the experimental mathcore band Look What I Did, a writer, a self-described "veteran lifer in the counterculture", a political activist/consultant, and a believer in the non-aggression principle.