Article 12

AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE 22 OF THE SINGLE CONVENTION

Article 22 of the Single Convention shall be amended to read as follows:

"1. Whenever the prevailing conditions in the country or a territory of a Party render the prohibition of the cultivation of the opium poppy, the coca bush or the cannabis plant the most suitable measure, in its opinion, for protecting the public health and welfare and preventing the diversion of drugs into the illicit traffic, the Party concerned shall prohibit cultivation.

"2. A Party prohibiting cultivation of the opium poppy or the cannabis plant shall take appropriate measures to seize any plants illicitly cultivated and destroy them, except for small quantities required by the Party for scientific and research purposes. "

Commentary

1. The 1972 Protocol amends article 22 by adding a second paragraph, and consequently the number 1 at the beginning of the formerly sole paragraph.

2.   It will be noted that paragraph 2 applies only to illicitly cultivated opium poppies and cannabis plants. Parties to the unamended or amended Single Convention are under article 26, paragraph 2 of that treaty required to destroy illegally cultivated coca bushes.'

3. Article 22., paragraph 2 applies to all cases in which the cultivation is prohibited for any reason, and not only to those cases in which that measure is taken under paragraph 1 of that article, no matter whether the ban is effected by the text of a law or by a policy of refusing required licences.

4.   It was suggested at the 1972 Conference that paragraph 2 only make explicit an obligation of the Parties which is already implied in the unamended text of article 22. 2 It is however submitted that the unamended text of article 22 already implies an obligation to destroy illegally cultivated plants only for those Parties which prohibit the cultivation of the opium poppy or cannabis plant for the reasons stated in that provision. 3

5. Parties to the amended Single Convention are under paragraph 2 not bound to destroy legally cultivated opium poppies used for illegal production of opium, or legally cultivated cannabis plants used for the illegal production of cannabis or cannabis resin. This would in particular be the case of opium poppies planted for other purposes than the production of opium (seeds or decorative purposes) or of cannabis plants grown for industrial purposes (fibre and seed) or horticultural purposes 4

6.   The obligation under paragraph 2 to destroy illegally cultivated plants does not include an obligation to destroy products illegally obtained from such plants such as opium, poppy straw, cannabis and cannabis resin.

7.   The Parties are required to implement paragraph 2 by the taking of "appropriate measures", i.e., they are bound to take such measures as may be necessary, but only to the extent that they appear to be practical and can reasonably be expected of them under their special conditions.

1 And "so far as possible" to "enforce the uprooting of all coca bushes which grow wild".

2 1972 Records, vol. 11, paragraph 25 of the summary records of the fourteenth meeting of Committee 11 (p. 213).

3 This would apply also to the coca bush except for the more far-reaching special provision of article 26, para. 2.

4 Article 23, para. 1 and article 28, para. 2.