World Health Organization Recommends Reclassifying Cannabis
If the recommendations are adopted, nations would no longer be able to use international treaties as a reason for continuing cannabis prohibition.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for the removal of the cannabis plant and its resins as a controlled substance from international treaties to which nations are beholden, according to Americans for Safe Access.
Specifically, the WHO has called for cannabis to be removed from its position as Schedule IV — the highest restriction possible — under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961.
The move is significant because, if the recommendations are adopted, no nation would be able to call international treaties a reason for continuing the prohibition of cannabis. Furthermore, the WHO’s recommendations would see governments obligated to ensure the availability of cannabis for medical purposes, such as herbal pain relief.
“We are extremely pleased that the World Health Organization has finally recognized the therapeutic potential of cannabis and its derivatives as a safe and effective medicine. With an international rescheduling or descheduling of cannabis, the U.S. government can no longer use the excuse that cannabis has no medical value.” — Steph Sherer, president and founder of Americans for Safe Access, in a statement
The recommendations will now be put to a vote during the next 60-second session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, planned for March 2019 in Vienna, Austria.
“It is gratifying that the World Health Organization has recognized the scientific fact that cannabis and its derivatives have demonstrable therapeutic properties and can be the base for safe and effective medicines,” said cannabinoid researcher Dr. Ethan Russo of the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute. “It is now incumbent upon governments of the USA and other nations to eliminate the barriers to research on cannabis and allow its free commerce across state lines and international frontiers.”