The Single Convention on
1 Influence on domestic legislation 2 History 3 Medical and other drug uses 4 Penal provisions 5 Possession for personal use 6 Schedules of drugs 7 Power structure 8 Limitation of scope 9 Regulation of cannabis
9.1 Cultivation 9.2 Rescheduling proposals
10 List of controlled narcotic drugs
10.1 Statistics 10.2 Schedule I 10.3 Schedule II 10.4 Schedule III (light subset of Schedules I and II) 10.5 Schedule IV (stricter subset of Schedule I) 10.6 Scheduled elsewhere 10.7 Opioids not scheduled 10.8 See also
11 Related treaties
11.1 Predecessor treaties 11.2 Supplementary treaties
12 See also 13 Further reading 14 References 15 External links 16 Notes
Influence on domestic legislation
Since the Single Convention is not self-executing, Parties must pass
laws to carry out its provisions, and the UNODC works with countries'
legislatures to ensure compliance. As a result, most of the national
drug statutes in the UNODC's legal library share a high degree of
conformity with the Single Convention and its supplementary treaties,
Convention on Psychotropic Substances
Organic states group: As producers of the organic raw materials for
most of the global drug supply, these countries had been the
traditional focus of international drug control efforts. They were
open to socio-cultural drug use, having lived with it for centuries.
While India, Turkey,
These competing interests, after more than eight weeks of
negotiations, finally produced a compromise treaty. Several controls
were watered down; for instance, the proposed mandatory embargoes on
nations failing to comply with the treaty became recommendatory. The
1953 New York
The Single Convention was the first international treaty to prohibit cannabis.
The Single Convention entered into force on 13 December 1964, having
met Article 41's requirement of 40 ratifications. As of 1 January
2005, 180 states were Parties to the treaty. Others, such as
Cambodia, have committed to becoming Parties.
On 21 May 1971, the
UN Economic and Social Council
Under Article 37, "Any drugs, substances and equipment used in or intended for the commission of any of the offenses . . . shall be liable to seizure and confiscation."
The Single Convention repeatedly affirms the importance of medical use
of controlled substances. The Preamble notes that "the medical use of
narcotic drugs continues to be indispensable for the relief of pain
and suffering and that adequate provision must be made to ensure the
availability of narcotic drugs for such purposes". Articles 1, 2, 4,
9, 12, 19, and 49 contain provisions relating to "medical and
scientific" use of controlled substances. In almost all cases, parties
are permitted to allow dispensation and use of controlled substances
under a prescription, subject to record-keeping requirements and other
The Single Convention unambiguously condemns drug addiction, however,
stating that "addiction to narcotic drugs constitutes a serious evil
for the individual and is fraught with social and economic danger to
mankind". It takes a prohibitionist approach to the problem of drug
addiction, attempting to stop all non-medical, non-scientific use of
narcotic drugs. Article 4 requires nations to limit use and possession
of drugs to medicinal and scientific purposes. Article 49 allows
countries to phase out coca leaf chewing, opium smoking, and other
traditional drug uses gradually, but provides that "the use of
cannabis for other than medical and scientific purposes must be
discontinued as soon as possible."
The discontinuation of these prohibited uses is intended to be
achieved by cutting off supply. Rather than calling on nations to
prosecute drug users, the treaty focuses on traffickers and producers.
As of 2013, 234 substances are controlled under the Single
Article 36 requires Parties to adopt measures against "cultivation,
production, manufacture, extraction, preparation, possession,
offering, offering for sale, distribution, purchase, sale, delivery on
any terms whatsoever, brokerage, dispatch, dispatch in transit,
transport, importation and exportation of drugs contrary to the
provisions of this Convention," as well as "[i]ntentional
participation in, conspiracy to commit and attempts to commit, any of
such offences, and preparatory acts and financial operations in
connexion with the offences referred to in this article". Article 36
does not directly require criminalization of all the above; it states
only in the cases of (unspecified) serious offences that they "shall
be liable to adequate punishment particularly by imprisonment or other
penalties of deprivation of liberty."
The Article also provides for extradition of drug offenders, although
a Party has a right to refuse to extradite a suspect if "competent
authorities consider that the offense is not sufficiently serious." A
1971 amendment to the Article grants nations the discretion to
substitute "treatment, education, after-care, rehabilitation and
social reintegration" for criminal penalties if the offender is a drug
abuser. A loophole in the Single Convention is that it requires
Parties to place anti-drug laws on the books, but does not clearly
mandate their enforcement, except in the case of drug cultivation.
Drug enforcement varies widely between nations. Many European
countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, and, most famously,
the Netherlands, do not prosecute all petty drug offenses. Dutch
coffee shops are allowed to sell small amounts of cannabis to
consumers. However, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport's
report, Drugs Policy in the Netherlands, notes that large-scale
"[p]roduction and trafficking are dealt with severely under the
criminal law, in accordance with the UN Single Convention. Each year
the Public Prosecutions Department deals with an average of 10,000
cases involving infringements of the
Different nations have drawn different conclusions as to whether the treaty requires criminalization of drug possession for personal use.
It is unclear whether or not the treaty requires criminalization of
drug possession for personal use. The treaty's language is ambiguous,
and a ruling by the
International Court of Justice
It has generally been assumed that "possession" in Article 36 includes possession for use as well as possession for the purpose of trafficking. This is a reasonable inference from the terms of Article 4, which obliges the parties "to limit exclusively to medical and scientific purposes the production, manufacture, export, import, distribution of, trade in, use and possession of drugs." There is also Article 33, which provides that "The Parties shall not permit the possession of drugs except under legal authority." [...] On the face of Article 26 it would not be unreasonable to argue that what is contemplated is possession for the purpose of trafficking rather than possession for use, and that the requirements of the article are satisfied if the former kind of possession is made a penal offense. The prevailing view, however, is that the word "possession" in Article 36 includes simple possession for use.
However, LeDain himself concludes
The costs to a significant number of individuals, the majority of whom are young people, and to society generally, of a policy of prohibition of simple possession are not justified by the potential for harm of cannabis and the additional influence which such a policy is likely to have upon perception of harm, demand and availability. We, therefore, recommend the repeal of the prohibition against the simple possession of cannabis.
The Canadian Department of National Health and Welfare's 1979 report, The Single Convention and Its Implications for Canadian Cannabis Policy, counters with circumstantial evidence to the contrary:
The substantive argument in support of simple possession falling outside the scope of Article 36 is founded on the assumption that it is intended to insure a penal response to the problem of illicit trafficking rather than to punish drug users who do not participate in the traffic. (See United Nations, 1973:112; Noll, 1977:44–45) The Third Draft of the Single Convention, which served as the working document for the 1961 Plenipotentiary Conference, contained a paragraph identical to that which now appears as Article 36, subparagraph 1(a). This paragraph was included in a chapter entitled Measures Against Illicit Traffickers, but the format by which the Third Draft was divided into chapters was not transferred to the Single Convention, and this, apparently, is the sole reason why this chapter heading, along with all others, was deleted. (See United Nations, 1973:112) Article 36 is still located in that part of the Convention concerned with the illicit trade, sandwiched between Article 35 (Action Against the Illicit Traffic) and Article 37 (Seizure and Confiscation). In addition, it should be noted that the word "use," suggesting personal consumption rather than trafficking, appears in conjunction with "possession" in Article 4 (which pertains to non-penal "general obligations"), but not in the penal provisions of Article 36.
The Sackville Commission of South Australia concluded in 1978 that:
. . . the Convention does not require signatories to make either use or possession for personal use punishable offenses ... This is because ‘use’ is not specifically covered by Article 36 and the term ‘possession’ in that Article and elsewhere can be read as confined to possession for the purpose of dealing".
The American Shafer Commission reached a similar conclusion in 1972, finding "that the word 'possession' in Article 36 refers not to possession for personal use but to Possession as a link in illicit trafficking." The Canadian Department of National Health and Welfare report cites the Commentary itself in backing up its interpretation:
The official Commentary on the Single Convention on
The Bulletin on Narcotics attempted to tackle the question in 1977:
Since some confusion and misunderstanding had existed in the past and some instances still persist in respect of the legal position laid down in the international treaties concerning the relationship between penal sanctions and drug abuse, some clarifying remarks are called for. These were already offered at the XIth International Congress on Penal Law. 5 They were reiterated at the Fifth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders. 6 The international treaties in no way insist on harsh penal sanctions with regard to drug abuse, as is sometimes alleged by persons criticising the international drug control system; the treaties are much more subtle and flexible than sometimes interpreted. First of all, Article 4 of the Single Convention contains the general obligations for Parties to this Convention to "take such legislative and administrative measures as may be necessary, subject to the provisions of this Convention, to limit exclusively to medical and scientific purposes the production, manufacture, export, import, distribution of, trade in, use and possession of drugs." From the contents of this provision it is clear that use of drugs and their possession for personal consumption has also to be limited by legislation and administrative measures exclusively to medical and scientific purposes. Consequently, "legalization" of drugs in the sense of making them freely available for non-medical and non-scientific purposes-as it is sometimes demanded by public mass media and even experts in discussions on the subject-is without any doubt excluded and unacceptable under the present international drug control system as established by the international treaties. The question, however, remains whether Parties are obliged by the international treaties to apply penal sanctions for unauthorized use and unauthorized possession of drugs for personal consumption. It is on this point that confusion still exists and clarification is needed. It is a fact that "use" (or "personal consumption") is not enumerated amongst the punishable offences in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 36 of the Single Convention. Although, as mentioned above, Parties are required to limit the use of drugs exclusively to medical and scientific purposes, the Single Convention does not require them to attain the goal by providing penal sanctions for unauthorized "use" or "personal consumption" of drugs. Unauthorized "possession" of drugs is mentioned in paragraph 1 of Article 36, but from the context it is clear that, as stated in the Official Commentary by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, "possession" of drugs for personal consumption is not to be considered a "punishable offence" by a Party to the Single Convention. The whole international drug control system envisages in its penal provisions the illicit traffic in drugs; this also holds true for the 1972 Protocol Amending the Single Convention and for the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. As there is no obligation to provide penal sanctions for "use" in the sense of personal consumption and "possession" of drugs for personal consumption, any criticism levelled against the international drug control system by protagonists in favour of the so-called "liberalization" or decriminalization or "de-penalization" of use and possession of drugs for personal consumption is quite beside the point.
Schedules of drugs
The Single Convention's Schedules of drugs range from most restrictive
to least restrictive, in this order: Schedule IV, Schedule I, Schedule
II, Schedule III. The list of drugs initially controlled was annexed
to the treaty. Article 3 states that in order for a drug to be placed
in a Schedule, the
World Health Organization
Schedule I – The substance is liable to similar abuse and productive of similar ill effects as the drugs already in Schedule I or Schedule II, or is convertible into a drug. Schedule II – The substance is liable to similar abuse and productive of similar ill effects as the drugs already in Schedule I or Schedule II, or is convertible into a drug. Schedule III – The preparation, because of the substances which it contains, is not liable to abuse and cannot produce ill effects; and the drug therein is not readily recoverable. Schedule IV – The drug, which is already in Schedule I, is particularly liable to abuse and to produce ill effects, and such liability is not offset by substantial therapeutic advantages.
Schedule I, according to the Commentary, is the category of drugs whose control provisions "constitute the standard regime under the Single Convention." The principal features of that regime are:
Limitation to medical and scientific purposes of all phases of narcotics trade (manufacture, domestic trade, both wholesale and retail, and international trade) in, and of the possession and use of, drugs; Requirement of governmental authorization (licensing or state ownership) of participation in any phase of the narcotics trade and of a specific authorization (import and export authorization) of each individual international transaction; Obligation of all participants in the narcotics trade to keep detailed records of their transactions in drugs; Requirement of a medical prescription for the supply or dispensation of drugs to individuals; A system of limiting the quantities of drugs available, by manufacture or import or both, in each country and territory, to those needed for medical and scientific purposes.
Schedule II drugs are regulated only slightly less strictly than Schedule I drugs. The Commentary confirms, "Drugs in Schedule II are subject to the same measures of control as drugs in Schedule I, with only a few exceptions":
The drugs are not subject to the provisions of Article 30, paragraphs 2 and 5, as regards the retail trade. Governments are thus not bound to prevent the accumulation of drugs in Schedule II in the possession of retail distributors, in excess of the quantities required for the normal conduct of business. Medical prescriptions for the supply or dispensation of these drugs to individuals are not obligatory. Such drugs are also exempted from the provision – which in fact is no more than a suggestion – concerning the use of official prescription forms in the shape of counterfoil books issued by the competent governmental authorities or by authorized professional associations. Parties to the Single Convention need not require that the label under which a drug in Schedule II is offered for sale in the retail trade show the exact content by weight or percentage.
Schedule III "contains preparations which enjoy a privileged position under the Single Convention, i.e. are subject to a less strict regime than other Preparations," according to the Commentary. Specifically:
Government authorizations are not required for each import or export of preparations in Schedule III. The import certificate and export authorization system laid down in Article 31, paragraphs 4 to 15, which governs the international transactions in drugs and their preparations, does not apply to the preparations in Schedule III. The only estimates and statistical returns that a Party need furnish to the INCB in reference to Schedule III preparations are estimates of the quantities of drugs to be utilized for the compounding of preparations in Schedule III, and information on the amounts of drugs actually so used.
Schedule IV is the category of drugs, such as heroin, that are considered to have "particularly dangerous properties" in comparison to other drugs (ethanol is left unregulated). According to Article 2, "The drugs in Schedule IV shall also be included in Schedule I and subject to all measures of control applicable to drugs in the latter Schedule" as well as whatever "special measures of control"; each Party deems necessary. This is in contrast to the U.S. Controlled Substances Act, which has five Schedules ranging from Schedule I (most restrictive) to Schedule V (least restrictive), and the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, which has four Schedules ranging for Schedule I (most restrictive) to Schedule IV (least restrictive). Under certain circumstances, Parties are required to limit Schedule IV drugs to research purposes only:
(b) A Party shall, if in its opinion the prevailing conditions in its country render it the most appropriate means of protecting the public health and welfare, prohibit the production, manufacture, export and import of, trade in, possession or use of any such drug except for amounts which may be necessary for medical and scientific research only, including clinical trials therewith to be conducted under or subject to the direct supervision and control of the Party.
The Commentary explains two situations in which this provision would apply:
For a considerable period of time – and still at the time of writing – there has been no significant diversion of legally manufactured drugs from legal trade into illicit channels; but if a Government were unable to prevent such a diversion of drugs in Schedule IV, a situation would arise in which the measures of prohibition mentioned in subparagraph (b) would be "the most appropriate means of protecting the public health and welfare". Whether this was or was not the case would be left to the judgement of the Party concerned whose bona fide opinion on this matter could not be challenged by any other Party. Another situation in which measures of prohibition would be "appropriate" for the protection of public health and welfare might exist where the members of the medical profession administered or prescribed drugs in Schedule IV in an unduly extensive way, and other less radical measures, such as warnings by public authorities, professional associations or manufacturers, were ineffective. It may however be assumed that such a situation could rarely if ever arise.
The Commentary notes that "Whether the prohibition of drugs in
Schedule IV (cannabis and cannabis resin, desomorphine, heroin,
ketobemidone) should be mandatory or only recommended was a
controversial question at the
Plenipotentiary Conference." The
provision adopted represents "a compromise which leaves prohibition to
the judgement, though theoretically not to the discretion, of each
Party." The Parties are required to act in good faith in making this
decision, or else they will be in violation of the treaty.
The Single Convention gives the UN Economic and Social Council's
Consumed, within the limit of the relevant estimate, for medical and scientific purposes; Used, within the limit of the relevant estimate, for the manufacture of other drugs, of preparations in Schedule Ill, and of substances not covered by this Convention; Exported; Added to the stock for the purpose of bringing that stock up to the level specified in the relevant estimate; and Acquired within the limit of the relevant estimate for special purposes.
Article 21 bis, added to the treaty by a 1971 amendment, gives the INCB more enforcement power by allowing it to deduct from a nation's production quota of cannabis, opium, and coca the amounts it determines have been produced within that nation and introduced into the illicit traffic. This could happen as a result of failing to control either illicit production or diversion of licitly produced opium to illicit purposes. In this way, the INCB can essentially punish a narcotics-exporting nation that does not control its illicit traffic by imposing an economic sanction on its medicinal narcotics industry. The Single Convention exerts power even over those nations that have not ratified it. The International Narcotics Board states:
The fact that the system generally works well is mainly due to the estimates system that covers all countries whether or not parties to the Convention. Countries are under an obligation not to exceed the amounts of the estimates confirmed or established by the INCB.
Article 14 authorizes the INCB to recommend an embargo on imports and
exports of drugs from any noncompliant nations. The INCB can also
issue reports critical of noncompliant nations, and forward those
reports to all Parties. This happened when the United Kingdom
reclassified cannabis from Class B to class C, eliminating the threat
of arrest for possession. See
Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations
Since cannabis is a hallucinogen (although some dispute this), the
Commentary speculates that mescaline, psilocybin,
The substance has the capacity to produce "[a] state of dependence"
AND "[c]entral nervous system stimulation or depression, resulting in
hallucinations or disturbances in motor function or thinking or
behaviour or perception or mood"; or
The substance has the capacity to produce similar abuse and similar
ill effects as
The reason for sharply limiting the scope of Single Convention to a
few types of drugs while letting the Convention on Psychotropic Drugs
cover the rest was concern for the interests of industry. Professor
Cindy Fazey's The Mechanics and Dynamics of the UN System for
International Drug Control explains, "concerted efforts by drug
manufacturing nations and the pharmaceutical industry ensured that the
controls on psychotropics in the 1971 treaty were considerably looser
than those applied to organic drugs in the Single Convention."
A failed 24 March 2003
The 1971 Convention, which closely resembles the Single Convention, establishes an international control which is clearly less rigorous for the so-called 'psychotropic' substances, generally produced by the pharmaceutical industry. . . The parallel existence of the Single Convention and the 1971 Convention have led to certain illogical effects such as the fact that a plant (cannabis) containing at most 3% of a principal element is dealt with more severely than the pure substance at 100% (tetrahydrocannabinol or THC).
For this reason, the European Parliament, Transnational Radical Party,
and other organizations have proposed removing cannabis and other
drugs from the Single Convention and scheduling them under the
Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
Furthermore, the provisions of the Single Convention regarding the
national supply and demand of opium to make morphine contribute to the
global shortage of essential poppy-based pain relief medicines.
According to the Convention, governments can only request raw poppy
materials according to the amount of poppy-based medicines used in the
two preceding years. Consequently, in countries where
underprescription is chronic due to the high prices of morphine and
lack of availability and medical training in the prescription of
poppy-based drugs, it is impossible to demand enough raw poppy
materials from the INCB, as the Convention's regulating body, to meet
the country's pain relief needs. As such, 77% of the world's
poppy-based medicine supplies are used by only six countries (See:
Fischer, B J. Rehm, and T Culbert, “
Articles 23 and 28 of the Single Convention on
The Single Convention places the same restrictions on cannabis
cultivation that it does on opium cultivation. Article 23 and Article
28 require each Party to establish a government agency to control
cultivation. Cultivators must deliver their total crop to the agency,
which must purchase and take physical possession of them within four
months after the end of harvest. The agency then has the exclusive
right of "importing, exporting, wholesale trading and maintaining
stocks other than those held by manufacturers."
In the United States, the
National Institute on Drug Abuse
At the U.S.'s insistence, cannabis was placed under the heaviest
control regime in the Convention, Schedule IV. The argument for
placing cannabis in this category was that it was widely abused. The
The Commentary points out the theoretical possibility of removing cannabis from Schedule IV:
Those who question the particularly harmful character of cannabis and cannabis resin may hold that the Technical Committee of the Plenipotentiary Conference was under its own criteria not justified in placing these drugs in Schedule IV; but the approval of the Committee's action by the Plenipotentiary Conference places this inclusion beyond any legal doubt. Should the results of the intensive research which is at the time of this writing being undertaken on the effects of these two drugs so warrant, they could be deleted from Schedule IV, and these two drugs, as well as extracts and tinctures of cannabis, could be transferred from Schedule I to Schedule II.
Cindy Fazey, former Chief of Demand Reduction for the United Nations
Drug Control Programme, has pointed out that it would be nearly
impossible to loosen international cannabis regulations. Even if the
It is possible that the cannabis being used in Europe may not be the same species that is used in developing countries and that is causing untold health hazards to the young people who are finding themselves in hospitals for treatment. Therefore, the INCB's concern is that cannabis use should be restricted to medical and scientific purposes, if there are any. Countries who are party to the Single Convention need to respect the provisions of the conventions and restrict the use of drugs listed in Schedules I to IV to strictly medical and scientific purposes.
These schedules show that the main criterion for the classification of a substance is its medical use. In view of the principle according to which the only licit uses is those for medical or scientific purposes (art. 4), plants or substances deprived of this purpose are automatically considered as particularly dangerous. Such is the case for cannabis and cannabis resin which are classified with heroin in group IV for the sole reason that they lack therapeutic value. A reason which is in any event disputable, since cannabis could have numerous medical uses.
There have been several lawsuits over whether cannabis' Schedule IV status under the Single Convention requires total prohibition at the national level. In 1970, the U.S. Congress enacted the Controlled Substances Act to implement the UN treaty, placing marijuana into Schedule I on the advice of Assistant Secretary of Health Roger O. Egeberg. His letter to Harley O. Staggers, Chairman of the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, indicates that the classification was intended to be provisional:
Some question has been raised whether the use of the plant itself produces "severe psychological or physical dependence" as required by a schedule I or even schedule II criterion. Since there is still a considerable void in our knowledge of the plant and effects of the active drug contained in it, our recommendation is that marijuana be retained within schedule I at least until the completion of certain studies now underway to resolve the issue.
The reference to "certain studies" is to the then-forthcoming National
The Single Convention defines "cannabis" as the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant (excluding the seeds and leaves when not accompanied by the tops) from which the resin has not been extracted. (Art. 1, s-para. 1(b)) It is generally accepted that this definition permits the legalization of the leaves of the cannabis plant, provided that they are not accompanied by the flowering or fruiting tops. However, uncertainty arises by virtue of paragraph 3 of Article 28 which requires parties to the Convention to "adopt such measures as may be necessary to prevent the misuse of, and illicit traffic in, the leaves of the cannabis plant." In summary, it appears that parties are not obliged to prohibit the production, distribution and use of the leaves (since they are not drugs, as defined the Convention), although they must take necessary, although unspecified, measures to prevent their misuse and diversion to the illicit trade.
List of controlled narcotic drugs Source: INCB Yellow List (50th edition, December 2011) Statistics Contains 119 positions in Schedules I and II, generalization clauses (with 2 exclusions in Schedule I) and 2 specific generalizations in Schedule I. 17 positions from Schedule I are repeated in Schedule IV, and some preparations of Schedule I and Schedule II drugs are in Schedule III.
1 position for cannabis 3 positions for coca leaf, cocaine and ecgonine 2 natural opioids sources 4 natural opioids 26 semisynthetic opioids 4 positions for some morphine and codeine derivatives and metabolites 79 synthetic opioids
7 morphinan derivatives 13 fentanyl derivatives, including fentanyl itself 15 pethidines 8 prodines 1 position for ketobemidone 7 amidones 7 methadols 4 moramides 3 thiambutenes 3 phenalkoxams 3 ampromides 2 benzimidazoles 2 benzomorphans 2 pirinitramides 1 phenazepane 1 other synthetic opioid
Schedule I Contains 109 positions, generalization clause (with 2 exclusions) and 2 specific generalizations (1 for ecgonine and 1 for pentavalent nitrogen morphine derivatives).
1 position for cannabis 3 positions for coca leaf, cocaine and ecgonine 2 natural opioids sources 3 natural opioids 20 semisynthetic opioids 3 positions for some morphine derivatives 77 synthetic opioids
7 morphinan derivatives 13 fentanyl derivatives, including fentanyl itself 15 pethidines 8 prodines 1 position for ketobemidone 7 amidones 7 methadols 4 moramides 3 thiambutenes 2 phenalkoxams 2 ampromides 2 benzimidazoles 2 benzomorphans 2 pirinitramides 1 phenazepane 1 other synthetic opioid
cannabis — the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant (resin not extracted) cannabis resin — the separated resin, crude or purified, obtained from the cannabis plant extracts and tinctures of cannabis
coca leaf — the leaf of the coca bush (plant material), except a leaf from which all ecgonine, cocaine and any other ecgonine alkaloids have been removed cocaine (methyl ester of benzoylecgonine) — an alkaloid found in coca leaves or prepared by synthesis from ecgonine ecgonine, its esters and derivatives which are convertible to ecgonine and cocaine
Natural opioids sources:
opium — the coagulated juice of the opium poppy, plant species
Note on preparations: all preparations made direct from opium are considered to be opium (preparations), if the preparations are not made direct from opium itself but are obtained by a mixture of opium alkaloids (as is the case, for example, with pantopon, omnopon and papaveretum) they should be considered as morphine (preparations) Natural opioids:
oripavine morphine — the principal alkaloid of opium and of opium poppy thebaine — an alkaloid of opium; also found in Papaver bracteatum
acetorphine benzylmorphine codoxime desomorphine dihydroetorphine dihydromorphine drotebanol etorphine heroin hydrocodone hydromorphinol hydromorphone methyldesorphine methyldihydromorphine metopon myrophine nicomorphine oxycodone oxymorphone thebacon
Some morphine derivatives, including some natural metabolites of morphine and codeine:
morphine methobromide and other pentavalent nitrogen morphine derivatives, including in particular the genomorphine derivatives, one of which is genocodeine (codeine-N-oxide) genomorphine (morphine-N-oxide) normorphine
Synthetic opioids — morphinan derivatives:
levomethorphan levophenacylmorphan levorphanol norlevorphanol phenomorphan racemethorphan racemorphan
Synthetic opioids — fentanyl and derivatives:
acetyl-alpha-methylfentanyl alfentanil alpha-methylfentanyl alpha-methylthiofentanyl beta-hydroxyfentanyl beta-hydroxy-3-methylfentanyl fentanyl 3-methylfentanyl 3-methylthiofentanyl para-fluorofentanyl remifentanil sufentanil thiofentanyl
Synthetic 4-phenylpiperidine opioids — pethidines (meperidines):
anileridine benzethidine difenoxin diphenoxylate etoxeridine furethidine hydroxypethidine morpheridine pethidine pethidine intermediate A norpethidine (pethidine intermediate B) pethidinic acid (pethidine intermediate C) phenoperidine piminodine properidine
Synthetic 4-phenylpiperidine opioids — prodines:
allylprodine alphameprodine alphaprodine betameprodine betaprodine desmethylprodine (MPPP) PEPAP trimeperidine
Synthetic 4-phenylpiperidine opioids — ketobemidones:
Synthetic open chain opioids — amidones:
dipipanone isomethadone methadone methadone intermediate (4-cyano-2-dimethylamino-4,4-diphenylbutane) normethadone norpipanone phenadoxone
Synthetic open chain opioids — methadols:
acetylmethadol alphacetylmethadol alphamethadol betacetylmethadol betamethadol noracymethadol dimepheptanol
Synthetic open chain opioids — moramides:
dextromoramide levomoramide (scheduled despite being inactive isomer) racemoramide moramide intermediate (2-methyl-3-morpholino-1,1-diphenylpropane carboxylic acid)
Synthetic open chain opioids — thiambutenes:
diethylthiambutene dimethylthiambutene ethylmethylthiambutene
Synthetic open chain opioids — phenalkoxams:
dimenoxadol dioxaphetyl butyrate
Synthetic open chain opioids — ampromides:
Synthetic opioids — benzimidazoles:
Synthetic opioids — benzomorphans:
Synthetic opioids — pirinitramides:
Synthetic opioids — phenazepanes:
Other synthetic opioids:
the isomers, unless specifically excepted, of the drugs in this Schedule whenever the existence of such isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation; the esters and ethers, unless appearing in another Schedule, of the drugs in this Schedule whenever the existence of such esters or ethers is possible; the salts of the drugs listed in this Schedule, including the salts of esters, ethers and isomers as provided above whenever the existence of such salts is possible.
Isomers specifically excluded (both synthetic non-opioids being morphinan derivatives):
Schedule II Contains 10 positions and generalization clause.
1 for codeine 6 for semisynthetic opioids 1 for codeine metabolite 2 synthetic opioids
1 phenalkoxam 1 ampromide
codeine — alkaloid contained in opium and poppy straw
acetyldihydrocodeine dihydrocodeine ethylmorphine nicocodine nicodicodine pholcodine
Natural codeine metabolite:
Synthetic open chain opioids — phenalkoxams:
Synthetic open chain opioids — ampromides:
the isomers, unless specifically excepted, of the drugs in this schedule whenever the existence of such isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation; the salts of the drugs listed in this schedule, including the salts of the isomers as provided above whenever the existence of such salts is possible.
Schedule III (light subset of Schedules I and II) Preparations of narcotic drugs exempted from some provisions:
codeine, dihydrocodeine, ethylmorphine, nicocodine, nicodicodine, norcodeine, pholcodine
(when compounded with one or more other ingredients and containing not more than 100 milligrams of the drug per dosage unit and with a concentration of not more than 2.5 per cent in undivided preparations) propiram (containing not more than 100 milligrams of propiram per dosage unit and compounded with at least the same amount of methylcellulose) dextropropoxyphene (for oral use containing not more than 135 milligrams of dextropropoxyphene base per dosage unit or with a concentration of not more than 2.5 per cent in undivided preparations, provided that such preparations do not contain any substance controlled under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances) * cocaine (containing not more than 0.1 per cent of cocaine calculated as cocaine base)
opium or morphine (containing not more than 0.2 per cent of morphine calculated as anhydrous morphine base and compounded with one or more other ingredients and in such a way that the drug cannot be recovered by readily applicable means or in a yield which would constitute a risk to public health) difenoxin (containing, per dosage unit, not more than 0.5 milligram of difenoxin and a quantity of atropine sulfate equivalent
to at least 5 per cent of the dose of difenoxin) diphenoxylate (containing, per dosage unit, not more than 2.5 milligrams of diphenoxylate calculated as base and a quantity of atropine sulfate equivalent to at least 1 per cent of the dose of diphenoxylate) Pulvis ipecacuanhae et opii compositus (Dover's powder)
10 per cent opium in powder; 10 per cent ipecacuanha root (currently used to produce syrup of ipecac, an emetic), in powder well mixed with 80 per cent of any other powdered ingredient containing no drug. preparations conforming to any of the formulas listed in this Schedule and mixtures of such preparations with any
material which contains no drug.
Schedule IV (stricter subset of Schedule I) Contains 17 positions from Schedule I (see note on cannabis) and generalization clause.
1 for cannabis (see note) 4 semisynthetic opioids 12 synthetic opioids
9 fentanyl derivatives 2 prodines 1 for ketobemidone
cannabis — the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant (resin not extracted) cannabis resin — the separated resin, crude or purified, obtained from the cannabis plant
acetorphine desomorphine etorphine heroin
Synthetic opioids — fentanyl and derivatives:
acetyl-alpha-methylfentanyl alpha-methylfentanyl alpha-methylthiofentanyl beta-hydroxyfentanyl beta-hydroxy-3-methylfentanyl 3-methylfentanyl 3-methylthiofentanyl para-fluorofentanyl thiofentanyl
Synthetic 4-phenylpiperidine opioids — prodines:
desmethylprodine (MPPP) PEPAP
Synthetic 4-phenylpiperidine opioids — ketobemidones:
And the salts of the drugs listed in this schedule whenever the formation of such salts is possible. Scheduled elsewhere Cannabinoids (natural and synthetic) and opioids (synthetic and semisynthetic) are scheduled by Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Natural cannabinols (synthetic cannabinoids omitted):
tetrahydrocannabinol, the following isomers and their stereochemical variants:
7,8,9,10-tetrahydro-6,6,9-trimethyl-3-pentyl-6H-dibenzo[b,d]pyran-1-ol (9R,10aR)-8,9,10,10a-tetrahydro-6,6,9-trimethyl-3-pentyl-6H-dibenzo[b,d]pyran-1-ol (6aR,9R,10aR)-6a,9,10,10a-tetrahydro-6,6,9-trimethyl-3-pentyl-6H-dibenzo[b,d]pyran-1-ol (6aR,10aR)-6a,7,10,10a-tetrahydro-6,6,9-trimethyl-3-pentyl-6H-dibenzo[b,d]pyran-1-ol 6a,7,8,9-tetrahydro-6,6,9-trimethyl-3-pentyl-6H-dibenzo[b,d]pyran-1-ol (6aR,10aR)-6a,7,8,9,10,10a-hexahydro-6,6-dimethyl-9-methylene-3-pentyl-6H-dibenzo[b,d]pyran-1-ol
delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol — (6aR,10aR)-6a,7,8,10a-tetrahydro-6,6,9-trimethyl-3-pentyl-6H-dibenzo[b,d]pyran-1-ol, and its stereochemical variants (dronabinol is the international non-proprietary name, although it refers to only one of the stereochemical variants of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, namely (−)-trans-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol)
Semisynthetic agonist–antagonist opioids:
Synthetic agonist-antagonist opioids — benzomorphans:
Synthetic open chain opioids having also stimulant effects:
Opioids not scheduled Some opioids currently or formerly used in medicine are not scheduled by UN conventions, for example:
tramadol tapentadol nalbuphine (agonist-antagonist opioid) butorphanol (agonist-antagonist opioid)
There are of course many opioid designer drugs, not used in medicine. See also: Template:Opioids See also
List of UN-controlled psychotropic substances List of UN-controlled drug precursors
Related treaties Predecessor treaties Article 44 provided that the Single Convention's entry into force terminated several predecessor treaties, including:
Supplementary treaties The Single Convention is supplemented by two other major drug control treaties:
Convention on Psychotropic Substances
Mills, James H. (2016)
[url=https://dx.doi.org/10.3384/hygiea.1403-8668.1613195]The IHO as
actor : the case of cannabis and the Single Convention on
^ a b UNTC
^ "International Convention relating to Dangerous Drugs, and Protocol.
ATS 5 of 1928." Australasian Legal Information Institute, Australian
International Narcotics Control Board – official website
INCB – Single Convention on
1962/914(XXXIV)D. The Single Convention on
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