World Health Organizations suggests reclassification of cannabis under international treaties

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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The World Health Organization (WHO) wants to remove whole-plant cannabis and its key derivatives such as cannabis resin from Schedule IV of a 1961 drug convention signed by many countries from all across the globe.

This drug category is the harshest placement for such a medicinal plant.

Global health experts at the United Nations (UN) have recommended that cannabis be formally rescheduled under worldwide drug treaties. The information was gleaned from a document created by WHO. Although it has not officially been released, pro-pot activists managed to get their hands on it and start circulating it around the web.

If WHO’s recommendations are put into action, it would confirm that global governing bodies have been wrong about the cannabis plant for decades; wrongfully thinking that it had no recognized therapeutic potential and that it was a harmful substance.

What are the details of WHO’s recommendation?

After the news broke about the leaked WHO document, cannabis stock investors saw big jumps in their investments.

Based on the reported details of WHO’s recommendation, cannabis and resin will stay in Schedule I of the 1961 treaty. Currently, the substances are dual-designated in Schedules I and IV. The latter is where substances are placed when they are deemed to be harmful with limited medical benefits.

WHO also plans to clarify the scheduling of Cannabidiol and CBD-focused preparations, which should contain no more than 0.2 percent of the psychoactive cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The body claims that they are currently “not under international control.”

Prior to the WHO’s recommendations on cannabis scheduling under international drug treaties, CBD had not been scheduled. The latest recommendation will clarify this.

Under the rumored details of the WHO’s cannabis recommendations, extracts and tinctures will be eliminated from Schedule I of the 1961 treaty. Furthermore, THC-containing compounded pharmaceutical preparations would be slotted into Schedule III of that convention.

“The placement of cannabis in the 1961 treaty, in the absence of scientific evidence, was a terrible injustice,” said U.S. Air Force veteran and cannabis legalization advocate who has long urged for international cannabis reforms, Michael Krawitz, adding that “the World Health Organization has gone a long way towards setting the record straight.”

Krawitz thinks that everyone needs to show their advocacy for the body’s recommendations to “ensure politics don’t trump science.”

WHO cannabis drug treaty recommendations to be voted on next month

Initially, WHO’s cannabis recommendations were supposed to be released at a Vienna meeting back in December. However, for reasons that are not clear, the announcement was put on the back-burner.

The new date on which WHO’s cannabis proposals will be submitted before the UN’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs is not certain, but it is anticipated to be sometime around March. Once submitted, votes can be accepted or rejected by 53 member nations.