Synopsis: World Health Organization Recommends International Rescheduling of Cannabis
This week’s Hot Article, World Health Organization Recommends International Rescheduling of Cannabis, written by Zach Harris and published by Mary Jane Media, talks about how the medical branch of the United Nations is recommending that marijuana be removed from its status as a dangerous narcotic under international treaties.
A newly-published report that was originally scheduled to be presented in December of 2018, but was delayed, recommends that U.N. countries reschedule cannabis from its currently outlawed status under international treaties. The treaty, known as the 1961 International Drug Convention, classified marijuana and its concentrates as a Schedule IV drug. Unlike U.S. scheduling designations, Schedule IV drugs are the “most dangerous” under U.N. conventions.
World Health Organization Director, General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, recommended in January of 2019 in a letter to the U.N. Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, that whole-plant cannabis and cannabis concentrates be removed from Schedule IV status. Ghebreyesus cited that this recommendation comes from a panel of experts on drug dependence that had previously met in Geneva, Switzerland during November 2018.
Ghebreyesus’ letter recommends that “cannabis and cannabis resin… be deleted from Schedule IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961).” It also calls for THC and delta-9 THC to be rescheduled to Level I, the lowest level of the 1961 Convention. Ghebreyesus also called for CBD to be removed completely from listing under any international scheduling category. These latest recommendations could be presented at the U.N.’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs as soon as March of 2019.
While it is still unclear if the fifty-three members of the U.N. Narcotics Committee will accept these recommendations and overturn long-standing international treaties, the idea of international rescheduling is no longer as far-fetched as it once was. What is clear is that many countries, as well as their national and local governments, continue to push the issue of marijuana law reform forward at a staggeringly rapid pace. With significant reform consideration occurring internationally, the eyes of the world turn to the United States to see when and if any further federal rescheduling and legalization may occur there.