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World Health Organization Recommends Reclassifying Marijuana Under International Treaties

News Posted Jan 31 2019

The World Health Organization (WHO) is in charge of an international treaty of the 1962 convention that set the worldwide standard for controlled substances. Last week an announcement by the WHO said they are calling for whole-plant marijuana and cannabis resin to be rescheduled from the most restrictive category (IV) down to the least restrictive (I). The Controlled Substances Act in the United States has Schedule 1 as the most restricted substances with higher numbers meaning less dangerous, however the WHO's drug treaty is organized the opposite way with Schedule IV being the most severe and Schedule I being the least. While this change would represent great political progress for the world and possibly mean some countries would be more willing to try medical marijuana, it would still mean countries weren't allowed to legalize marijuana beyond medical or research, despite Canada and Uruguay already doing so. 

“The placement of cannabis in the 1961 treaty, in the absence of scientific evidence, was a terrible injustice," said Michael Krawitz, a U.S. Air Force veteran and legalization advocate who has pushed for international reforms. "Today the World Health Organization has gone a long way towards setting the record straight. "It is time for us all to support the World Health Organization’s recommendations and ensure politics don't trump science."

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