According to a leaked letter written by the World Health Organization’s Director General (Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus) to the UN Secretary-General, marijuana should be rescheduled from the most restrictive categories to less strict categories in all international treaties.
The recommendations in this letter were scheduled to be released publicly last year in December but this didn’t happen for unknown reasons.
According to the recommendations of the expert committee that studied the matter, whole-plant marijuana and marijuana resin should be removed from schedule IV (the most restrictive category) and left in schedule I.
The World health Organization also wants to be categorical and state that any cannabis products that contain less than 0.2 percent THC content aren’t subjected to any international controls. Previously, CBD didn’t appear anywhere in the international treaties that categorize different substances, so it was unclear what the position of the international body was on this substance. The letter now puts this matter to rest.
These recommendations will go to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs where 53 nations will cast a vote either to adopt the recommendations or reject them. Several countries, such as China and Russia, are expected to vote against the recommendations due to those countries’ history of being unwilling to see reforms in drugs laws.
However, other countries, such as Uruguay and Canada are certainly going to vote for reclassification, as will other European and South American countries where medical cannabis is legal.
It is harder to predict which way the U.S. vote will go. President Trump is quoted to have said that his administration respects the right of U.S. states to enact and implement their own marijuana laws, but the federal government has been reluctant to reform its own cannabis laws. One will therefore just have to wait and see how the U.S. representative at the UN votes when these recommendations are tabled.
While the recommendations contained in that WHO letter will not create any major legal shockwaves, they do have potentially serious political implications.
For starters, the rescheduling recommendations are a tacit admission that the UN and other world bodies made a grave error to classify marijuana as a substance that has no medicinal value. This decision seems to have been based on political considerations rather than being rooted in scientific data.
Secondly, the recommendations will embolden many countries to pass their own marijuana laws, as has been the case in the dozens of countries around the world that have legalized medical cannabis despite the current classification of marijuana as a substance with no known medical value.
Cannabis Strategic Ventures, Inc. (OTC: NUGS), Canopy Rivers Inc. (TSX.V: RIV) (OTC: CNPOF) and the cannabis industry in its entirety are waiting with bated breath to see how events will unfold worldwide once the recommendations of the UN are passed.
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