2020 continues to get better for the cannabis industry. On Wednesday, a United Nations committee voted to reclassify cannabis in a historic decision. The committee was presented with scientific data courtesy of the World Health Organization (WHO), to invalidate decades of misinformation. Cannabis for medical purposes will be removed from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, meaning it will no longer be displayed alongside highly addictive opioids such as heroin.
To put the change into perspective, the UN previously convened in 1961 and subsequently 1972 to address cannabis, amongst other substances.
Recognizing that addiction to narcotic drugs constitutes a serious evil for the individual and is fraught with social and economic danger to mankind, Conscious of their duty to prevent and combat this evil, Considering that effective measures against abuse of narcotic drugs require co-ordinated and universal action.
Preamble, Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, as amended by the 1972 protocol amending the Single Convetion on Narcotic Drugs, 1961.
These decisions were made in times when it was thought that those who fell victim to addiction were evil. This was before the conception of the idea that addicts are people caught in a cycle of suffering. To say that these changes were overdue was an understatement.
While the change may not necessarily indicate any shifts in foreign policy surrounding cannabis in the short-term, many countries look to the United Nations for guidance. The recognition from the UN that international law is out of date could sway the perspectives of political leaders across the globe and muster in much-needed change.
Do you think the United Nations are on the right track with this decision? Let us know in the comments below!