Over recent years, cannabis and derivatives of cannabis are not legal. This is according to Schedule IV of the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. This schedule consists of drugs that can potentially abuse or harm individuals. It also involves that have an extremely limited medical use, such as fentanyl and heroin. In January of 2019, the World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence made a list of recommendations. These recommendations known as WHO cannabis recommendations were six. The recommendations had to be voted on by the UN for subsequent adoption. After several delays the vote was unsuccessful. Recently, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs convened for their 63rd session to vote on the recommendations.
WHO cannabis recommendations you should know
The first of the WHO cannabis recommendations, 5.1 comes with the highest popularity. This recommendation has high consequences for international control of cannabis 5.1. The recommendation is to:
“Delete cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the 1961 Convention”
The vote passed with a majority of 27 votes for and 25 against with 1 abstention. Therefore, cannabis won’t be a Schedule IV drug.
This result of this vote portrays cannabis and its derivatives as schedule I rather than schedule I and IV. This is good for cannabis enthusiasts worldwide as they take a step closer to freedom. Cannabis not being a schedule IV means that the UN and the WHO believe that cannabis is not “liable to produce ill-effects”. Also, in contrast to other schedule IV drugs, cannabis offers significant therapeutic value.
Since cannabis remains in Schedule I, it’s still subject to strict international control. Therefore, the instant legal actions for the regulation of cannabis come with limits. However, according to the US representative at the vote Ethan Glick:
“This action will potentially facilitate global research into the medicinal value of cannabis. It will also improve research on the public health effects of cannabis. Furthermore, the cannabis industry will draw additional investigators to the field deterred by the Schedule IV status.”
Another of the WHO cannabis Recommendations was 5.5 had a majority of 43 votes against, 6 for, and 4 abstentions. This means the UN won’t “Include a footnote on CBD preparations to Schedule I of the 1961 Convention to read: Preparations with high CBD with less than 0.2 percent of THC are not under international control”. Therefore, CBD will maintain some legal ambiguity under the UN conventions. So far nations against the bill were not against CBD being liberal. These nations didn’t like a specific recommendation. Some nations acknowledge negative votes due to the absence of clear language in these recommendations”.
Other WHO cannabis Recommendations
Four recommendations did not receive appreciation. These recommendations were a reject by the majority of the 53 member states who voted.
According to another WHO cannabis Recommendations, 5.2.1 THC will become a Schedule I drug. It also entails the rearrangement of international controls without the loss of restrictions on cannabis use. Recommendation 5.2.1 was negatively voted by a majority of 28 votes against and 23 against. Therefore, THC is still a schedule IV drug rather than a Schedule I of the 1961 Convention.
Also, the rejection of recommendation 5.2.1 means recommendations 5.2.1, 5.3.1, 5.3.2, and 5.6 became an automatic reject.
Recommendation 5.4 was to “Delete extracts and tinctures of cannabis from Schedule I of the 1961 Convention”. However, this recommendation was a reject with 27 votes against and 24 votes in favor.