The United Nations Removes Cannabis From List Of Most Dangerous Substances

NEW YORK - MAY 12:  The United Nations logo on the back wall of the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations is seen from the floor May 12, 2006 at the United Nations headquarters in New York.  NEW YORK - MAY 12:  The view from the speakers rostrum in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations is seen May 12, 2006 at the United Nations headquarters in New York.   The General Assembly Hall was remodeled in 1979 to accommodate up to 182 delegations, each of which has six seats. All seats are equipped with earphones, broadcasting simultaneously in the Assembly's six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.  The United Nations headquarters, completed in 1952, is widely considered to be a landmark achievement of the International Style of architecture.  (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

The United Nations Removes Cannabis From List Of Most Dangerous Substances

The designation removes it out of the same category as drugs like heroin.

Published December 4th

Written by Paul Meara

A United Nations commission has reportedly chosen to remove cannabis from a list that categorized the drug as one of the most dangerous globally. The decision also recognizes the plant as having medicinal value. 

CNN reports that on Wednesday (December 2), the U.N. Commission on Narcotic Drugs approved a recommendation from the World Health Organization to remove marijuana resin from its Schedule IV classification under the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The new designation removes cannabis from the same categories as opioids like heroin.

"This is welcome news for the millions of people who use cannabis for therapeutic purposes and reflects the reality of the growing market for cannabis-based medicinal products," a group of drug policy advocacy organizations said in a news release.

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The vote will now mean cannabis and its resin are no longer classified as among the most harmful substances, but they'll still be subject to restrictions under the Schedule I category. 

"We welcome the long overdue recognition that cannabis is a medicine," said Ann Fordham, executive director of the International Drug Policy Consortium, in a statement. "However, this reform alone is far from adequate given that cannabis remains incorrectly scheduled at the international level."

The designation may not have an immediate impact on how governments control scheduled substances. It could, however, give support to medical cannabis legalization efforts in countries in the United Nations. The United States, Germany, United Kingdom, and South Africa were all countries who voted in favor for the move, which passed 27-25.

Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

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