Starting today and ending April 23rd, you can make your voice heard by submitting comments to the FDA either electronically or hand written about why cannabis should be reclassified internationally. The World Health Organization is now questioning the Schedule 1 status of marijuana and is asking all countries under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances to submit comments specifically about abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking, and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use of five drug substances.
For a complete review of how to submit comments please click here. If you plan on submitting comments electronically, please click here. Everyone must submit comments by April 23rd, or they will be disregarded. For tips on how best to submit comments please click here.
If the United Nations had marijuana rescheduled internationally, that would put a lot of pressure on the United States government to reconsider its scheduling. Currently there are many opponents to cannabis in high level executive positions in the United States. For people like Attorney General Jeff Sessions marijuana is an addictive substance and he believes that anyone working with or consuming cannabis should be incarcerated. Only through forced education will people like him be able to understand that marijuana is not addictive and has true medical value. Whether you believe that marijuana should be a scheduled substance at all, or you just want the door opened to further research on cannabis, it is efforts like these that push us closer to achieving either goal.
The World Health Organization published late last year that it did not believe cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana and hemp that is believed to be the main medicinal compound found in cannabis, to be toxic or addictive. Their research has brought the validity of the Schedule 1 status of marijuana into questions and now all countries under international drug treaties have been asked to provide comments as to the “abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use of” cannabis. A notice is set to be published on the Federal Register this Monday, April 9th, 2018 that should provide instructions on how to submit comments.
But now, the United Nations World Health Organization is set to launch a review of the current international classification of marijuana, THC, cannabidiol and other related compounds and preparations, and it wants input from member nations. In turn, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking “interested persons” to submit comments that can inform the country’s position on the issue before it weighs in with the UN.
WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence will meet in June to discuss marijuana’s classification and will then make pre-review recommendations to the UN secretary-general about conducting a more in-depth analysis. Following that process, depending on the findings, cannabis could be rescheduled internationally, which would provide momentum to efforts to change marijuana’s status under the laws of the U.S. and other countries.
This is a real opportunity for cannabis advocates around the country to make their voices heard in a way that could have a material impact on ending the federal prohibition of marijuana. If marijuana is rescheduled globally, that will have a large influence on the United States and could put marijuana legalization right around the corner.