UN removes cannabis from list of world's most dangerous drugs

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Dec 03, 2020, 12.10 PM(IST)

File photo of cannabis. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Earlier, cannabis was put listed alongside highly addictive opioids like heroin

Post the World Health Organization's recommendation, a United Nations commission voted on Wednesday to remove cannabis for medicinal uses from the list of world's most dangerous drugs. 

The Commission for Narcotic Drugs, that includes 53 member states, narrowly voted 27-25 in favour of removing cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. 

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Earlier, cannabis was put listed alongside highly addictive opioids like heroin. 

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The decision was a "big step forward" for recognising the positive impact of cannabis on the health of people, said Dirk Heitepriem, a vice president at Canopy Growth, a Canadian cannabis organisation, as quoted by The New York Times. 

"We hope this will empower more countries to create frameworks which allow patients in need to get access to treatment."

The vote comes after the WHO in 2019 recommended that "cannabis and cannabis resin should be scheduled at a level of control that will prevent harm caused by cannabis use and at the same time will not act as a barrier to access and to research and development of cannabis-related preparation for medical use."

The UN health agency has also found that marijuana doesn't pose any significant risk of death and has shown encouraging signs to alleviate pain and treat epilepsy. 

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