(CMR) A United Nations Commission on Wednesday (December 2) voted to remove ganja from a list of the world's most dangerous drugs.
The historic vote by the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs means that ganja is finally being recognised for its therapeutic value.
“We welcome the long overdue recognition that cannabis is a medicine. However, this reform alone
is far from adequate given that cannabis remains incorrectly scheduled at the international level. The
original decision to prohibit cannabis lacked scientific basis and was rooted in colonial prejudice and
racism,” aid Ann Fordham, Executive Director of the International Drug Policy Consortium.
“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. The review process has been a missed
opportunity to correct that historical error”, she added.
Although welcoming the removal from Schedule IV, drug policy experts expressed serious concerns
that cannabis will remain in Schedule I of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, maintaining
it under the same strict controls as heroin and cocaine.
Following the first-ever scientific review of cannabis by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2018, some limited rescheduling of cannabis was recommended, but removing it from Schedule I was not part of the package despite the WHO’s own finding that cannabis was less harmful than most other drugs in that schedule.