As the world continues to witness the undisputed benefits of cannabis, the United Nations is aligning with the compelling evidence and vast scientific research that is continually singing praises to and for the cannabis plant, today the body of nations loosened its grasp on the plant as they moved cannabis from a list of the most dangerous drugs and substances in the world.
In a historic vote set in Vienna, the reconvened UN 63rd session presented a virtual opportunity for the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) to discuss six recommendations with regard to the cannabis plant and its correlation with the rest of humanity. The convening of the fifty-three member nations of the United Nations drug policy-making body met to discuss a number of recommendations with regard to the cannabis plant.
These were the recommendations and these were the outcomes.
REJECTED: Add THC and dronabinol (synthetic or plant-derived THC medication) to Schedule I of the 1961 Convention and, if approved, delete them from Schedule II of the 1971 Convention.
REJECTED: If the second recommendation is adopted, add tetrahydrocannabinol to Schedule I of the 1961 Convention and, if approved, delete it from Schedule I of the 1971 Convention.
REJECTED: Delete “extracts and tinctures of cannabis” from Schedule I of the 1961 Convention.
REJECTED: Add footnote to clarify that CBD products containing no more than 0.2 percent THC are not subject to international control.
REJECTED: Add “preparations containing dronabinol” to Schedule III of the 1961 Convention.
APPROVED: Remove marijuana from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention.
The approval of the removal of cannabis from Schedule IV emanated from the approval of Recommendation 5.1 which was aimed at removing cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule 4 of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The voting sailed through with a slim margin as fifty-three of the member states voted 27-25 with an abstention from Ukraine. South Africa and Morocco are the only two African countries out of the eleven countries that voted in favor of Recommendation 5.1.
“Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is reserved for controlled substances with limited or no therapeutic benefit. By reclassifying cannabis, the UN finally acknowledges the therapeutic value of cannabis, thus strengthening the international imperative for ensuring access to cannabis-based medicines.”
The big win is for the cannabis plant, as the reclassification of the plant now opens more doors for research and interaction between the cannabis plant and the masses. The five rejections, however, present with the hard reality in how long the journey ahead is with regard to relaying of cannabis truths and more importantly freeing the plant from false persecution. Our eyes peak at the incline that is the rejection of cannabis by the greater majority of the African states that took part in the voting today. Well, at this moment we will celebrate all the milestones along the ride as we blaze away and continue sharing the cannabis journey.