In a sign of shifting tides towards the world view of Marijuana, the United Nations recently voted and subsequently announced that cannabis and cannabis resin will be removed from the strictest drug category the agency has. The category Marijuana was previously listed in included other drugs like LSD and Heroin. This is welcome news for all of us who have been aware for many years that Marijuana is far from being a gateway drug. Contrary to the belief that Marijuana was destructive to an individual’s health, doctors and patients alike are now finding that it can actually aid in the treatment of many chronic health conditions.
The vote was far from unanimous, with the final count coming in at 27-25 (1 abstention) in favor of re-categorizing. While this is good news, the agency stopped short of recognizing Marijuana as having any health benefits. In fact, the move placed Marijuana into a slightly different category that includes Methadone, Morphine, OxyContin and other opiate painkillers. Member nations to the UN have an agreed upon international drug control system and this move does not legalize Marijuana in any way under international law. That being said, the reclassification could and most likely will loosen international medical Marijuana controls. Countries like Canada and Uruguay, which are UN member nations, have already fully legalized the sale and use of cannabis for recreational purposes and still many other member nations have decriminalized Marijuana. This is evidence that countries ultimately will be moving at their own pace in the eventual legalization of cannabis worldwide. At the United States federal level, Marijuana is still a Schedule I drug. This category is reserved for drugs that have no recognized medical benefit. Unfortunately, this classification severely impacts and limits top research institutes and universities from producing evidence-based research. This is primarily because federal funding is not allowed to study Schedule I classified substances and access to cannabis has been limited. Politically, there is growing momentum to revisit this classification as research from abroad as well as small scale studies here at home continue to show promise for the application of medical Marijuana and its derivatives in effectively addressing symptoms caused by a wide range of health conditions. This growing support allows patients suffering from PTSD, Chronic Pain, and even neurological disorders like epilepsy to finally get relief by implementing medical Marijuana into their treatment routine.
As sentiment around the world begins to change towards Marijuana, we can expect to see passionate and brave individuals embrace the new freedoms to push the science forward surrounding the benefits of cannabis. In short time, we will see Marijuana products that will be designed to address very specific symptoms for many chronic conditions. These products may look very different from what most people recognize as Marijuana. Forward-thinking companies have already begun to design cannabis products to serve a single purpose. This is all very exciting! So join Duber Medical in giving the UN a round of applause for making positive strides in the right direction.