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UN makes public the list of voters on WHO Cannabis Scheduling recommendations

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In March 2020 the United Nations might terminate half-Century of Treaty ban on Cannabis medicines. The process that started in 2016 will finish with a vote planned in March 2020. The list of the 53 countries that will take part in this historic votation has been made public today, and provides some surprises.

WHO has been undergoing a silent but powerful process among the last couple of years: an unprecedented scientific assessment of Cannabis, cannabinoids and Cannabis derivatives. Their results are groundbreaking, establish some truth about the often exaggerated harms linked to Cannabis use, and call for fully health-oriented public policies on the matter.

Beside assessing the drug and updating knowledge, the WHO’s review outcome embeds in the broader United Nations drug control system: the evidence-based recommendations of the WHO also constitute the (only) official mechanism to modify the scheduling of a drug within the drug control Treaties – these famous Treaty Schedules, often blamed for being a tight node of global prohibition (in particular the Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic drugs, in which is placed Cannabis).

However, WHO’s honest and positive recommendations do not enter into force by themselves: they have to be endorsed by the United Nations. This happens via a vote undertaken by the UN functional commission in charge of drug-related matters, composed of 53 countries: the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND).

The CND is expected to vote during its 63 rd session in March 2020, under an agenda item entitled “Changes in the scope of control of substances”.

UN makes public the list of voters on WHO Cannabis Scheduling recommendations

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