ONU globally decriminalize Cannabis
There is a piece of news that you will not find in the newspapers and on the main TV News, but that could represent the cornerstone for an epoch-making change of approach to the theme of Cannabis at a global level.
The member Countries of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs got from the World Health Organization Expert Committee on Drugs Dependences the new guide lines about Cannabis, which at first were waited for the month of December.
Recommendations contained into the report could have an historical importance with significant implications for the whole Cannabis spinneret.
The Commission asks for the complete removal of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its isomers from another agreement of 1971, to be inserted in the List I of the same agreement of 1961, according to what emerged from a WHO document that has not been formally published yet, but that would have been circulated by people involved in the cannabis reform.
The World Health Organization (WHO) calls for the entire Cannabis plant, together with the Cannabis resin, to be removed from Table IV, which is the most restrictive of the 1961 Unica Convention on Narcotic Drugs (table in which Cannabis is classified together with heroin, Ed.).
Cannabis and resin would therefore remain in List I of the 1961 Convention, whereas they currently have a dual designation in Lists I & IV, the IV designated for those substances considered as particularly harmful and with limited medical benefits.
Cannabis extracts and dyes would be removed from Table I of the 1961 Convention and classified under Table III of the same Convention.
WHO is also operating to clarify that cannabidiol CBD and preparations containig THC lower than 0.2% would not be at all under international control. It has been preventively agreed that CBD would not be classified into the international conventions, but the new racommendations explain this fact.
In general, indeed, these recommendations, if accepted, would represent a formal acknowledgement that the politics adopted by governments about the damages and therapeutic benefits of Cannabis are errors carried out for decades. The new position of WHO comes in a historical moment where an increasing number of Countries are moving to reform their politics about Cannabis. As such, a changing position of WHO could encourage more and more Countries to modify their prohibitionist laws, although legalization for non-medical and non-scientific purposes could be, technically, still a violation of the global conventions.
The practical effects of these changes could be limited, it means that, by the way, they will not allow Countries to legalize Cannabis in compliance with the signed international agreements, but their political implications would be objectively difficult to underestimate.
“The Cannabis classification in the 1961 convention, in absence of scientific evidences, has been a dreadful injustice.”. This was a declaration by Michael Krawitz, veteran of the USA Air Force and activist in Cannabis legalization, involved into the promotion of international reforms. “Today WHO took a huge step towards to fix this injustice…now it’s time for all of us to support the position taken by WHO and to make sure that politics will not take the upper hand on science.”.
The publication of WHO recommendations was awaited for the Vienna appointment in December, but the announcement was postponed for unknown reasons. The proposals will be presented to the UN Commission on Narcotics, perhaps as early as March, where 53 member Countries will have the opportunity to vote if accept or reject them.
Some Countries which are historically opposed to drug policy reforms, such as Russia and China, are expected to vote against the reclassification of cannabis.
Other Nations such as Canada and Uruguay, which have legalized Cannabis in contravention of current agreements, as well as several states in Europe and Latin America that allow therapeutic Cannabis, are expected to support the initiative.
It is not clear how the United States will vote; while on the one hand they have historically pressed for other Countries not to reform their laws on Hemp, the reality of legalization in different states of the USA has made it difficult to maintain this type of line in recent years.
The new WHO recommendations on the reclassification of cannabis come in the form of a letter, dated January 24th, signed by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is the general director of the organization, and addressed to the General Secretary of the United Nations; Antonio Guterres.
Guterres has previously held the role of Prime Minister of Portugal, the latter adopted the now infamous policy of decriminalizing drug possession, an action claimed with pride by him during a declaration before the United Nations Commission for Narcotics. Last year.