UN Starts Reviewing the Status of Marijuana under International Law

UN starts reviewing the status of Marijuana under international Law

The United Nations has announced that it will be launching its first ever in-depth review to see if marijuana is reasonably classified under international drug treaties.

According to the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO), cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in the cannabis plant has high potency for medicinal use, and it should not be regulated under the global agreements.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote in a letter saying that “The Committee should not put pure CBD within the International Drug Control Conventions,” At the end of the Committee, it was concluded that there is adequate proof to proceed to a Critical Review of marijuana, hashish, cannabis extracts, and THC.

A more detailed review on marijuana is set to take place in November, and proceeds from the outcome of an initial pre-review carried out by experts in World Health Organization’s Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) in June.

According to an explanatory document which came with the new letter, “the ECDD’s assessment process will begin with a pre-review, which will decide if there’s sufficient scientific information to continue to the next step known as the critical review.” “This first assessment is also a chance to recognize gaps in the available scientific data. A critical review is performed when there is enough scientific evidence to permit the ECDD to recommend that the drug should be placed under international control.”

The review comprises of a detailed examination of the chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, epidemiology and medicinal use of the substances.

If the U.N ultimately changes the status of marijuana under international law, it will prompt a review on U.S. scheduling, in accordance to provisions of the Controlled Substances Act.

Michael Krawitz, a Veteran fighting for Medical Cannabis Access, told marijuana moment that he is very grateful that the World Health Organization has acknowledged the challenge of rescheduling cannabis since after the 1962 Single Convention treaty. He also said that the placement of Cannabis in the agreement was done without any scientific evidence and has offered the basis for a legal campaign against drugs by the USA for many years. Since access to medicinal marijuana has been based on scientific evidence, any rational evaluation of the evidence makes the witness realize that cannabis indeed has proven therapeutic value and, in contrast to other medicines, has less harmful side effects.

Experts from the UN have come up with the following:

According to an annex attached to Ghebreyesus’s letter, “There are few or no case reports of abuse or addiction concerning the utilization of pure CBD. No general wellbeing issues are linked with the use of CBD.”

“There is no Cannabidiol (CBD) in the schedules of the United Nations International Drug Control Conventions of 1961, 1971 or 1988. CBD does not lead to similar abuse and similar harmful-effects as substances in the 1961 or 1971 Conventions such as cannabis or THC. The Committee also suggested that CBD infused products should not be scheduled.”

Concerning the full marijuana plant and resin, ECDD’s pre-review discovered that while “negative effects” are possible and considering that cannabis can be addictive, its present classification in global treaties “don’t seem to be consistent with the criteria.”

According to the document, many nations have legalized the cannabis use for the treatment of medical conditions including back pain, sleep disorders, depression, post-injury pain, and multiple sclerosis. The proof showed to the Committee didn’t demonstrate how the cannabis plant and cannabis resin could lead to ill-effects similar to these other drugs that are in Schedule IV of the 1961 Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The addition of cannabis and cannabis resin in Schedule IV doesn’t seem to be consistent with the criteria for Schedule IV.”

“The Committee finally decided that there is enough proof to continue the critical review of the cannabis plant and cannabis resin at upcoming ECDD gathering and carry out further research on the suitability of their present scheduling within the 1961 Convention.”

Considering the extracts and tinctures of cannabis, the committee also discovered health issues linked with consumption, but said: “there is little or no proof of a withdrawal syndrome upon abrupt cessation.”

The committee also analyzed THC and isomers of THC and suggested that they will be subject to critical reviews in November.

Ghebreyesus’s letter is addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who will be the overall recipient of the World Health Organization’s suggestions on cannabis and related extracts and compounds following the review.

Guterres is the former prime minister of Portugal, and he was in charge when all drugs were decriminalized in the nation. When the critical reviews are concluded, that organization will decide whether to change the status of cannabis under the international treaties.

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