The World Health Organization (WHO) has finally recognized cannabis as a medicine and has formally proposed that legislators take a “more rational” approach to drug laws.
The WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) has proposed that cannabis be rescheduled in light of recent scientific findings that show a wide range of medical uses for the plant. The panel also proposed that non-psychoactive cannabis products like CBD should be entirely removed from international drug controls.
Last November, the committee had their first formal discussion about cannabis laws since the International Drug Control Conventions in 1961. According to a 2019 press release that summarized the meeting:
“The Committee recognized the public health harms presented by these substances, as well as their potential for therapeutic and scientific use. As a result, the Committee recommended a more rational system of international control surrounding cannabis and cannabis-related substances that would prevent drug-related harms whilst ensuring that cannabis-derived pharmaceutical preparations are available for medical use.”
This recommendation does not automatically mean that the laws will change everywhere immediately, but these decisions are often very good indications of the policy that many lawmakers will follow.
Ethan Russo of the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute told Newsweek that cannabis advocates see this as a major win in the fight for legalization.
“These recommendations are of monumental importance as they may lead to the overcoming of barriers to research, enhance access of patients to cannabis-based medicine, and allow free commerce of cannabis products internationally,” Russo says.
A 2015 study, published in the journal, ‘Scientific Reports,’ suggests that smoking cannabis is roughly 114 times safer than drinking alcohol. Ironically, out of all the drugs that were researched in the study, alcohol was actually the most dangerous, and it was the only legal drug on the list.
A study published last year by researchers at the University of Michigan has shown that cannabis use among teens and college students is increasing while alcohol and tobacco use is declining. In fact, for the first time ever, the rate of daily cannabis use has now surpassed the rate of daily cigarette use. This is a great discovery considering the fact that cigarettes and alcohol kill tens of thousands a year while marijuana kills no one.
Earlier this month, Truth Theory reported that CBS blocked a pro-cannabis advertisement from appearing on the super bowl this year, turning down a $5 million deal. CBS responded to the proposal by saying that they do not accept ads on cannabis, and they do not know of any other channel that does. Despite new findings that cannabis can be a powerful medicine, it continues to be a controversial topic in mainstream circles.
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