Upcoming UN summit could lead to international cannabis rescheduling

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The World Health Organization is preparing to address marijuana with the UN

While the U.S. is said to be contemplating changes to federal laws governing marijuana, a separate action is being seen in the United Nations (UN). After getting underway on December 5, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) is being held in Vienna and the World Health Organization (WHO) is preparing to submit its cannabis findings to the world.

The WHO has been preparing its report on cannabis and is ready to present its findings. The organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence conducted two meetings this year – one in June and the other last month – to discuss cannabis and has already shown significant support for the natural plant’s rescheduling and declassification as an illegal substance.

It has been reported that the WHO might recommend that cannabis be rescheduled or completely descheduled during the meeting of the CND. The organization can only make the recommendation; ultimately the UN will make the final decision. That decision is expected to come in March of next year.

Depending on how the vote goes, the impact of a positive response to marijuana would have immediate, global effects. Michael Krawitz, the executive director for the Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access, explains, “The immediate results of a softening of the status of cannabis within the international drug control conventions could include easier international trade, better access for patients, increased research and clarity that CBD isn’t a controlled substance at all.”

He added that this is a historic moment because, for the first time ever, “the status of cannabis within the international drug control conventions could be modified by a simple majority when member states vote what to do with the WHO recommendations.”