420 with CNW — UN Votes to Remove Marijuana from Schedule IV Drug Classification

December 7, 2020 16:25:19

The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs held a vote last week that focused on a few WHO recommendations associated with marijuana. One of these recommended that medical marijuana be taken off the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961) Schedule IV list. The list contains other drugs such as fentanyl, cocaine and heroin.

The FDA has a similar drug schedule that classifies various drugs into different groups based on their risk of harm or abuse. These classifications were released under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 that was passed when the war on drugs was at its peak. In this schedule, cannabis, MDMA, LSD and heroin are classified as Schedule 1 drugs. Schedule 1 drugs are illegal for use in medical practices and, in addition to having no counterbalancing benefit, have a high risk associated with them.

The “New York Times” stated that while the vote may not have any impact on international marijuana laws at the moment, it does present opportunities for reforms, through the use of set international agreements as guidelines.

We can clearly see that the world has changed when we compare the current view on marijuana with the view on marijuana a few decades ago. Having the UN acknowledge the medical advantages of marijuana and strike the drug from the list will make it easier for the drug to be studied and used for medical applications and research. Additionally, the strategic vote could help move along legalizations in different nations across the globe.

Last year, the World Health Organization suggested this modification to be made, with many countries in Western Europe and the United State. backing the proposition. Other countries, such as Russia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Egypt and China, opposed this recommendation. Another initiative that proposed marijuana byproducts such as THC o be added to the Schedule 1 lower level group, did not make it through because of inadequate support.

The commission, which is made up of 53 members, agreed to this change in a vote that closed at 27 to 25. This move now excludes cannabis resin and cannabis from the Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 Schedule IV list. The WHO committee that offered these recommendations to the Narcotic Drugs Commission explained that while marijuana caused dependence and could lead to adverse effects, it also alleviated symptoms of various ailments, including multiple sclerosis and epilepsy, in addition to decreasing nausea and pain. Furthermore, the drug isn’t linked to a risk of death, unlike other drugs such as opioids.

In jurisdictions where cannabis is legal, business is booming. For instance, Pure Extracts Technologies Inc. (CSE: PULL) has excelled as a plant extracts company in Canada as it offers cannabis extraction services to other licensed firms within and outside Canada.

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