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Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971

  • By: Andrew Ninnemann, Gregory L. Stuart & Shawna M. Andersen
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

The Convention on Psychotropic Substances is a United Nations (UN) treaty that vastly extended international control of drugs to include sedatives, stimulants, and psychedelics. During the 1960s, the use and abuse of such licit and illicit drugs was on the rise. Of particular concern was the psychedelic substance lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), with a large number of purported negative health problems affecting its users. The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, a UN treaty that had been created to control the abuse of cannabis, coca, and opium plants, was insufficient in limiting the availability of psychotropic substances in the 1960s. At that time, a number of individual governments enacted legislation restricting the use of psychedelics and amphetamines for approved medical or scientific purposes; however, ...

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