New Delhi: The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) on Wednesday made several decisions leading to changes in the way cannabis is internationally regulated, including its reclassification from the most dangerous category of drugs.
Cannabis is also known loosely as hemp, marijuana, or pot. In India. Its transactions are largely illegal and strictly controlled.
But now, the United Nations has decided to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from the list of dangerous drugs. And, India voted in favor of the decision.
In a review of a series of World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations on marijuana and its derivatives, the CND zeroed-in has decided to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs where it was listed as deadly, addictive, opioids, including heroin.
The 53 member states of the CND voted to remove cannabis where it had been placed for 59 years from a strict control list that also discouraged its use for medical purposes.
It had a vote of 27 in favour, 25 against with one abstention, the CND has opened the door to recognizing commonly used medicinal and therapeutic potential, but is still largely an illegal recreational drug. And, India voted in favour of the decision.
Moreover, according to a media report, the decision could also lead to additional scientific research on the long-heralded medicinal properties of the plant and act as a catalyst for countries to legalize the medicinal use of the drug and to reconsider laws on its recreational use.
Drugs falling on Schedule IV are those subsets of Schedule I to Convention I, which already require the highest level of international control. The agency voted to leave cannabis and cannabis resin on the Schedule I drugs list, which also includes cocaine, morphine, opium, Fentanyl, Methadone, and oxycodone, an opiate painkiller sold as OxyContin.
Therefore, Wednesday's vote does not clear UN member nations that marijuana should be legalized under the international drug control system.
However, Canada and Uruguay have legalized the selling and use of cannabis for recreational purposes, but many countries around the world have decriminalized drug possession.
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