UN Removes Cannabis From List of World’s Most Dangerous Drugs

UN Removes Cannabis From List of World’s Most Dangerous Drugs

In December of 2020, the United Nations Commission for Narcotic Drugs took a significant step forward in cannabis policy by voting to remove it from Schedule IV as defined by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. This is a big step forward on how the world’s perspective of Marijuana is changing. Individual countries have been changing their views towards Marijuana over the past 5 years and now this new acceptance is gaining momentum worldwide.

The 1961 convention classified cannabis as a Schedule IV drug along with heroin and a collection of other opioids. Schedule IV is a subcategory within Schedule I for drugs deemed particularly dangerous. This schedule should not be confused with the categories currently spelled out by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which lists cannabis as a Schedule I drug along with heroin, LSD, peyote, and several others.

In both instances, the schedule in which cannabis finds itself is stricter than you might expect. The convention states that cannabis is so liable to abuse that any therapeutic value it may hold isn’t worth the risk. The DEA says that, not only does cannabis have a high potential for abuse, it currently lacks any acceptable medical use.

With the recent FDA approval of Epidiolex, an oral CBD solution meant to treat two rare forms of epilepsy, and the fact that medical marijuana is legal in 36 states, it’s clear that those categories are no longer suitable for cannabis.

What the Future Holds

While this is exciting news for the future of both medical and recreational cannabis, you won’t see any immediate policy changes. Of the 53 member countries comprising the U.N. panel, 27 voted in favor of the change, 25 voted against it, and Ukraine abstained. Each member country still regulates its laws relating to cannabis without international input, and cannabis will continue to be strictly controlled in most of them. However, the vote points toward a favorable shift in opinion among experts.

One of the most notable votes to approve the change came from the United States, where laws regulating the use and sale of cannabis have traditionally been left to individual states to implement. By voting to change cannabis’s classification, the U.S. may be indicating that the laws surrounding its use will be relaxed further in years to come as more research is conducted.

Today, Cannabis is still considered a Schedule I drug under the 1961 convention. However, we’re expecting to see a surge in medical research followed by policy reform and perhaps further categorization changes. Make sure to check back on our blog where we are continually providing updates on cannabis’s rapidly changing legal status and health benefits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *