UN Commission Removes Cannabis From Most Dangerous Substances List

The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) voted on Dec. 2 to reclassify cannabis and cannabis resin, removing it from the list of the world’s most dangerous and highly addictive drugs.

The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) voted on Dec. 2 to reclassify cannabis and cannabis-related substances, removing them from the list of the world’s most dangerous and highly addictive drugs.

With a vote of 27 in favor, 25 against, and one abstention, the CND approved a recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO) to remove cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which is the strictest drug category that lists deadly and highly addictive opioids, including heroin.

According to the UN, the vote recognizes “the medicinal and therapeutic potential” of cannabis, which the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence of WHO noted in its recommendation to CND.

“The inclusion of cannabis and cannabis resin in Schedule IV is not consistent with the criteria for a drug to be placed in Schedule IV,” the committee said, noting that cannabis can reduce pain, nausea, and symptoms of medical conditions.

However, use of cannabis is still subject to restrictions as CND still classifies it as a controlled substance under Schedule I, which lists substances that have a high potential for abuse. Cocaine and opium are classified under Schedule I.

“While a safe and effective cannabis-derived therapeutic has been developed, cannabis itself continues to pose significant risks to public health and should continue to be controlled under the international drug control conventions,” the United States said during the vote, as reported by the UN.


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