In their quest to free cannabis from the shackles of prohibition — and to keep the healing powers of the plant away from a pharmaceutical monopoly — some legalization advocates have hit upon a novel alternate strategy.Instead of begging governments to relax the Controlled Substances Act or pass some far more modest cannabis -friendly measure ,they’ve decided to appeal to a higher power.
And now is the time.The World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence convenes in Geneva, Switzerland on Nov. 6. The expert committee is responsible for examining controlled substances in detail and influencing possible policy changes the WHO may later recommend to the United Nations.The UN is a more important player in world drug-policy reform than you may know.
The UN, keep in mind, officially declares cannabis a dangerous controlled substance, and its members —including the U.S. — are signatories to a treaty banning the drug. (It was appeals to this treaty that are partially responsible for defeating Canada’s earlier experiment with relaxing cannabis policy more than a decade ago.)This year, the WHO is set to review CBD in detail. CBD, or cannabidiol, is cannabis ‘s“non-psychoactive” cannabinoid, the compound associated with eliminating seizures in children and healing brain damage.
CBD is found on the top shelf of dispensaries as well as in industrial hemp currently farmed overseas. Both are cannabis Sativa, of course, but in the U.S., CBD is officially listed as a banned substance by the DEA.
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