The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs ( UNCND) was due to hold an important vote this week to recognize, among other things, the medical use of cannabis, a change that would be historic. This vote will not take place on the date and postponed until 4 December.
In a document , the UNCND recalls its mandate to vote on the classification recommendations… Bearing in mind their complexity, in order to clarify the implications and consequences of these recommendation . As well as their rationale; and decides to vote during the intersessional period of the 63rd session. Scheduled to take place in December 2020, in order to preserve the integrity of the international classification system.
The more than fifty UNCND member states will, therefore, meet this week in Vienna, Austria, for the 63rd session. Where a handful of cannabis-related changes to the drug treaties will be discussed but not put to a vote. Ranging from the reclassification of cannabis and cannabis resin to the addition of a footnote. To notify those preparations containing (CBD) with less than 0.2% THC are not subject to classification.
In January 2019, the (WHO) recommended the reclassification of cannabis so that its medical uses are recognizable.
Cannabis & WHO
Today, cannabis and cannabis resin included in annex IV and annex I to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961. Schedule IV is the most restrictive, covering substances with little or no medical value. Specifically, the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence recommended cannabis and cannabis resin delete from Schedule IV and included only in Schedule I.
The WHO committee also made other recommendations, including on cannabidiol preparations”. By 2018, the WHO was already issuing a notice of the deregulation of the CBD. Today, this recommendation aims to give concrete expression to this position by adding a note under the entry for cannabis and cannabis resins in Annex I stating that “preparations containing mainly cannabidiol and not more than 0.2% delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol are not under international control.
Steve Rolles of the Transform Drug Policy Foundation tweeted: There has been significant debate among the Member States . Particularly regarding the removal of cannabis from Annex IV, which would officially recognize medical uses. Adding that if the “situation seems confused and politically messy – it’s because it is.
Last Thursday, at the launch of the 2019 annual report of the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). INCB President Cornelis de Jonckheere suggested that the times and evidence of the effectiveness of cannabis have changed since 1961.
He stated as follows: Next week, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs will discuss the classification of cannabis . And this is an opportunity for countries and the Member States to review the relevance of the classification of cannabis as it was in 1961.
We are almost 60 years later, so the medical evidence has evolved . Therefore it will be on the agenda based on the scientific assessment of the World Health Organization.
Although the U.S. position Is not yet public. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opened a public comment period last year to gather input before sharing the U.S. position on the WHO recommendations with the United Nations. The UNCND Monitor, however, gives us an indication of what recommendations the US may make.