An upcoming vote seeking to loosen international restrictions on cannabis has the U.S. federal government worried as it could reinforce marijuana legalization efforts. Media outlets obtained a government document that was released last year by the United Nations’ (UN) World Health Organization (WHO). The report was discussing a series of marijuana policy recommendations in the U.S. The policies discussed include the removal of marijuana from Schedule 1 of controlled substances under an international treaty as well as rescheduling some cannabinoids.
Last year, the UN’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs was expected to vote on WHO’s reclassification recommendations and decide if they should move forward with them. The UN’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs comprises of 53 member nations. The vote, which may take place early next month, was delayed to give members additional time to consider the proposal.
Although the document recognizes that removing marijuana from Schedule IV of the 1962 convention could be beneficial to the advancement of information through research about the therapeutic potential and any associated harms caused by marijuana, it also expresses its fear about unintentional consequences such as giving people hope that the action would act as a gateway to legalization.
The document further states that there is a likelihood that the civil society, social media, and the general public would perceive the removal of marijuana from Schedule IV as the initial step towards the national legalization of weed.
As per the1961 international treaty, Schedule IV is the most stringent controlled category, while in the U.S., marijuana falls under Schedule 1, the country’s most strict controlled category.
The U.S. is still worried about the topics proposed by the UN Commission despite the potential benefits discussed in its rescheduling recommendation.
A U.S. Air force veteran and an advocate of marijuana legalization Michael Krawitz said that the government’s explanation about the risks to general public perception is frustrating because all the recommendations presented by WHO would not allow member countries to legalize marijuana. Krawitz has spent several years working to change international drug pacts.
Krawitz further said that even if all the recommendations presented were approved, those recommendations would not take them a step closer to legalization. He noted that the changes are about correcting an issue with international drug treaties by removing some of the misleading information that was recorded about marijuana, not legalization.
Krawitz further said that the approval of these recommendations would help patients as well as ease the government workload because less documentation would need to be filled; thus, the bureaucratic burden of dealing with marijuana would be lessened. It would also authorize more research to be carried out and the provision of insurance coverage for medical marijuana products.
The authenticity of the government document isn’t easy to verify as it was not obtained from a government source, and the State Department did not issue a response to these reports. Experts think that cannabis companies like MCTC Holdings Inc. (OTC: MCTC) will be shaking their heads in wonder at how the federal government is always afraid of its own shadow whenever matters connected to pot arise!
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