Narcotic drugs

The Council on Ethics of the AP Funds recommends, with the guidance of the UN conventions on drugs, the exclusion of companies that manufacture drug-classified preparations and products for pleasure or religious use. Sweden has signed the UN conventions on drugs.

UN conventions on narcotic drugs

A number of UN conventions (such as the 1961 General Drugs Convention and the 1988 Drugs Crime Convention) regulate the use and production of narcotic drugs that are addictive and thus risk leading to abuse or addiction and damage to health. The World Health Organization (WHO) has been given responsibility for classifying which narcotic drugs are covered by the conventions. The WHO regularly convenes a Scientific Committee to propose changes to the classification of narcotic drugs when prompted by scientific evidence. The WHO classifies cannabis as one of the narcotic drugs that requires the strongest control. This means that countries that comply with UN conventions should treat cannabis as a dangerous substance. The UN conventions on drugs mean that no one is free to buy and sell drug-classified preparations or use them freely for non-medical use as a stimulant or for religious use.

Medical use is allowed

The conventions thus limit the use and production of narcotic drugs, such as those containing cannabis or cannabis extracts, to medical and scientific purposes. This means that research with drug-classified preparations can be permitted and that doctors may prescribe certain drug-classified preparations. Examples of such preparations are morphine for pain relief and amphetamine for the treatment of ADHD. The United Nations Narcotics Control Board (INCB) monitors that medicines may become available worldwide when they are judged to have an effect on care and treatment. INCB approves cannabis for medical use. The Swedish Medicines Products Agency has approved drugs that contain a further development of cannabis plant parts. The Medical Products Agency allows patients, after completing a license application, to use cannabis as a medicine and then in accordance with the provisions of the drug legislation.

The Council on Ethics therefore considers that pharmaceutical companies are permitted to produce and sell narcotic drugs in accordance with UN conventions.

The position of the Council on Ethics

The Council on Ethics deems that a company has violated the UN conventions on narcotics if it:

  • manufactures drug-classified preparations as stimulants or for religious use
  • manufactures products that include drug-classified preparations, such as various beverages or sweets that contain cannabis in various forms.

The Council on Ethics therefore recommends that the AP Funds exclude companies that make such products.