WHO Is Talking About Rescheduling Cannabis

By Benjie Cooper

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The World Health Organization (WHO) began the 40th Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) Monday at their headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Utilizing data compiled earlier this year, a pre-review of the uses and safety of cannabis is on the ECDD’s agenda this week along with a goal of helping determine what the plant’s proper international classification should be.

Medicinal cannabis patients and advocacy groups from Mexico, France, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, the Netherlands, and the United States traveled to the meeting to speak to world leaders about a scheduling change for marijuana.

Members of the International Medical Cannabis Patients Coalition (IMCPC) along with individuals from Americans for Safe Access (ASA) testified at the meeting, urging the committee to change their outdated cannabis policies.

“The current international policies on cannabis are outdated and are having a detrimental impact on patients in the United States and worldwide,” said ASA executive director Steph Sherer. “Furthermore, these policies do not reflect the reality of over thirty countries globally that have passed medical cannabis laws.”

WHO scheduling for cannabis stems from a report written by the League of Nations Health Committee in 1935.

“The reports posted by WHO are supportive of nations considering rescheduling or de-scheduling CBS, pure-THC, cannabis, and cannabis extracts,” said ASA Chief Science Officer, Jahan Marcu. “Hopefully, the work of the WHO will allow international leaders to expand access with policy recommendations and changes with reports showing that the public health risk of cannabis and its extracts are minimal.”

The Committee, which began on Monday, June 4, will conclude on Thursday, June 7.