The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for the elimination of marijuana (as well as cannabis resin) from Schedule IV, the most restrictive category of the 1961 drug convention. In this category are substances that are they are considered particularly harmful and with limited medical benefits.
According to a WHO document that has not yet been formally published but has been accessed by Forbes, the organization also wants delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its isomers to be completely eliminated from a 1971 drug treaty separately. and be added to Schedule I of the 1961 convention.
WHO is also moving to make it clear that cannabidiol and CBD preparations containing no more than 0.2% THC “are not under international control.” The CBD had not been previously programmed, but the new recommendation makes it even clearer.
Likewise, cannabis extracts and tinctures would be eliminated from Schedule I of the 1961 treaty according to the recommendations. In addition, compound pharmaceutical preparations containing THC would be included in Schedule III of that convention.
However, the practical effects of the changes would be somewhat limited, since they would not even allow countries to legalize marijuana and would continue to strictly comply with international treaties. Even so, the political implications are hard to exaggerate.
Taken together, the recommendations, if adopted, would represent formal recognition that the world’s government agencies have been wrong about marijuana damage and therapeutic benefits. The new position of WHO comes at a time when a growing number of countries are moving to reform their cannabis policies.
Therefore, a change in the UN could encourage other nations to reduce or revoke their prohibition laws, although legalization for non-medical or non-scientific reasons would still technically violate global conventions.
“The cannabis placement in the 1961 treaty, in the absence of scientific evidence, was a terrible injustice,” Michael Krawitz, a veteran of the US Air Force, told Forbes. UU and defender of legalization that has promoted international reforms.
Initially, the WHO recommendations were expected to be published at a meeting in Vienna in December, but the announcement was delayed. The proposals will then be presented to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, possibly in March, where 53 member countries will have the opportunity to vote on their acceptance or rejection.
It is expected that several countries that have historically opposed drug policy reforms, such as Russia and China, oppose the change in the classification of cannabis. While other nations such as Canada and Uruguay, which have legalized marijuana, support the reform. The mid-point will have the European and South American nations that only allow medicinal cannabis.
The new WHO cannabis reprogramming recommendations are presented in the form of a letter dated January 24 sent by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, general director of the organization, to the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.
It is estimated that 24 million people, or 7.2% of European adults, used cannabis in the last year. Around the world, 192 million people trade in various markets, from countries with a prohibition heavily sanctioned to legalized sale. But cannabis policies are changing rapidly around the world: recreational use is now legalized in Uruguay, Canada and several states in the United States; while medical use is allowed in many more countries, such as the United Kingdom.