The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) is set to meet in Vienna, Austria, on March 7. However, as many experts have predicted, it will not vote on the cannabis recommendations presented by the World Health Organization.
Last month, the WHO proposed downgrading cannabis from its current international controlled status after they have reviewed evidence of its potential medical benefits. Pursuant to an international drug convention treaty, cannabis is classified as a Schedule IV substance, which is the most restrictive category.
In its recommendation letter dated January 24, 2019, and addressed to UN-Secretary-General António Guterres, the WHO also proposed to not schedule pure cannabidiol (CBD) at all.
The CND posted the outcome of its very recent inter-sessional meeting on its blog.
A few of the CND’s 53 member states had requested additional time to consider the WHO’s recommendations. These include Japan, the United States, and Germany.
However, the representative of Uruguay, which is the first country in the world to fully legalize cannabis, pointed out the need to not delay voting without agreeing on a specific date in the future.
The cannabis rescheduling recommendations were only sent to the Secretary-General and the member states at the end of last month instead of being announced at the CND’s 61st reconvened session. Had the WHO recommendations been announced at that time, the member states would have had at least three months to study the suggestions before voting on them in March.