The WHO Wants to Reschedule Cannabis – but What About the UN?

united nations cannabis who

During the World Health Organization’s (WHO) role throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it became well-known amongst the masses. After speaking on public health and the political controversy surrounding the pandemic, the WHO says it wants to reschedule cannabis.

But what role does the WHO play in rescheduling cannabis anyway?

The WHO actually has a significant impact on the control of cannabis on a global basis through the United Nations (UN). Back in January 2019, the WHO expressed its interest in rescheduling cannabis and to clarify how the world expects the treatment of cannabinoids. This, of course, includes CBD.

However, the UN has still not taken action on the WHO’s recommendation. This has most people wondering whether global cannabis policy reform is just on the horizon.

The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 is the international treaty that prohibits the production and supply of certain drugs and of drugs with comparable effects. The exception is if this is under governmental license for certain purposes – for instance, medical research and treatment.

This treaty categorizes cannabis with cocaine and heroin. The problem here is that the category is for dangerous substances that have no medical benefits and a high chance of abuse.

Since the UN Convention does not highlight the difference between cannabis and hemp or showcase the legal distinctions that the United States has made, the need for some change is apparent.

Since the Single Convention isn’t self-executing, signatory countries need to pass domestic legislation to fulfill their treaty obligations. With this being the case, the U.S passed the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in 1971. Cannabis has not been included in the CSA.

The WHO’s power to recategorize cannabis comes into play because the UN made the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) to monitor and amend substance categorizations. The CND implements recommendations made by the WHO as it schedules plants or substances.

The big question here is, “Will the UN agree to reschedule cannabis?”

And, “What could this mean for the potential globalization of cannabis?”

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