There is a crack in everything — that’s how the light gets in
Leonard Cohen, Anthem
In an era often characterized as one of growing convergence of the laws
governing criminal activities in different countries, the issue-area of cannabis
policy undergoes processes of fragmentation and polarization. Some countries
continue to criminalize all forms of medical and recreational uses of
cannabis. Others have sought to “separate the market” for cannabis from
that of other drugs by decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of
marijuana, authorizing its use for medical purposes, and establishing
administrative measures for taxing and regulating the commercial sale of the
drug. This Article explores the causes and consequences of the decline of the
transnational legal order of cannabis prohibition. It shows how the erosion
of the regulatory capacities of this transnational legal order reflects deepseated
political conflicts over the legitimacy of prohibition norms in this field.
It analyzes the ways in which conflicting regulatory approaches become
institutionalized as a consequence of the structural mismatch between the
actors framing the meaning of cannabis prohibition norms at the
international level and the actors implementing these norms in national and
local contexts. Finally, the Article shows how this transnational legal order
has created path-dependent trajectories of legal change that continue to shape
domestic drug policies.
"The Strange Career of the Transnational Legal Order of Cannabis Prohibition,"
UC Irvine Journal of International, Transnational, and Comparative Law: Vol. 4, 78.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.uci.edu/ucijil/vol4/iss1/6