Convention for Limiting the Manufacture and Regulating the Distribution of Narcotic Drugs

The Convention for Limiting the Manufacture and Regulating the Distribution of Narcotic Drugs was a drug control treaty promulgated in Geneva on 13 July 1931 that entered into force on 9 July 1933.

1931 Limitation Convention
Convention for Limiting the Manufacture and Regulating the Distribution of Narcotic Drugs
Signed13 July 1931
Effective9 July 1933
ConditionRatifications or accessions of twenty-five Members of the League of Nations or non-member States, including any four of the following: France, Germany, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States of America.
DepositaryLeague of Nations


The conference was held in Geneva on or about 27 May 1931.[1][2]

After World War II, the 1931 convention's scope was broadened considerably by the 1948 Protocol Bringing under International Control Drugs outside the Scope of the Convention of 13 July 1931 for Limiting the Manufacture and Regulating the Distribution of Narcotic Drugs. In 1968, the Convention was superseded by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as it entered into force.



It established two groups of drugs.

Group I consisted of:

Group II consisted of:

  • Methylmorphine (codeine), ethylmorphine and their salts.

Group I was subject to stricter regulations than Group II. For instance, in estimating the amount of drugs needed for medical and scientific needs, the margin allowed for demand fluctuations was wider for Group II drugs than for Group I drugs. Also, in certain reports, a summary statement would be sufficient for matters related to Group II drugs. The establishment of these rudimentary groups foreshadowed the development of the drug scheduling system that exists today. Both the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances have schedules of controlled substances. The 1988 United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances has two tables of controlled precursor chemicals.

Drug Supervisory BodyEdit

The Drug Supervisory Body (sometimes called "Opium Supersiory Body", and in French "Organe de Contrôle") was established under the 1931 Convention to compile estimates of the amount of drugs to be consumed, manufactured, converted, exported, imported, or used by each country.[3]

One member of the Body was nominated by the Office international d'hygiène publique (general health advisory council of the League of Nations' Health Organization).[4][5]

The Body should not be confused with the Permanent Central Opium Board established under the 1925 Opium Convention, although both the Body and the Board were merged onto the International Narcotics Control Board when the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs entered into force in 1968.


  1. ^ Pub.Res. 71–130, 46 Stat. 1516, enacted 3 March 1931
  2. ^ Pub.Res. 71–136, 46 Stat. 1628, enacted 4 March 1931
  3. ^ Krishnamoorthy, E. S. (1962). "Comparative analysis of the Permanent Central Opium Board and Drug Supervisory Body and their functions, on the one hand, and of the future International Control Board and its functions, on the other" Bulletin on Narcotics". United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Archived from the original on 28 February 2022. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  4. ^ Office international d'Hygiène publique (1933). Vingt-cinq ans d'activité de l'Office international d'Hygiène publique (1909-1933) (PDF) (in French). Paris: Office international d'hygiène publique.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  5. ^ "Cannabis amnesia – Indian hemp parley at the Office International d'Hygiène Publique in 1935 [preprint]". doi:10.22541/au.165237542.24089054/v1 (inactive 31 December 2022). Retrieved 3 December 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of December 2022 (link)

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