UN Votes To Make Cannabis Officially a Medicine

Yesterday became a historic moment for cannabis users all over the world, the United Nations finally recognized weed for its medicinal value – Cannabis has been used therapeutically for thousands of years, it’s crazy it took them this long to get here. We hope African countries like Nigeria can understand this and take the necessary steps.

The vote means weed will now be removed from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

According to Vice, After a recommendation from experts at the World Health Organisation, the UN’s Commission for Narcotic Drugs voted to remove cannabis from a list of drugs previously judged to have a little medical benefit, which also oddly includes heroin. However, it still remains a banned drug for non-medical use under UN law.

The original decision [in 1961] to prohibit cannabis lacked scientific basis and was rooted in colonial prejudice and racism. It disregarded the rights and traditions of communities that have been growing and using cannabis for medicinal, therapeutic, religious, and cultural purposes for centuries, and has led to millions being criminalised and incarcerated across the globe.

Anna Fordham, executive director of the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), said the drug’s recognition as a medicine was “long overdue”, but that its continued ban by the UN remains a sticking point.

The vote to remove cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs was narrowly won by 27 to 25 votes, with the US and UK voting for the change and Russia heading a bloc of countries – including China, Pakistan, and Nigeria – which were against the move. Currently, more than 50 countries worldwide have adopted medicinal cannabis programs. Canada, Uruguay and 15 US states have legalised recreational use, with Mexico and Luxembourg close to becoming the third and fourth countries to do so.  

Adedayo Laketu

Adedayo Laketu is a creative inventor who's interested in curating a New Age for Africa across all mediums.

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