Fact Or Faux: Cannabis Classified As A Medicine In UN Vote?
A recent Facebook post claims that Cannabis has been officially established to be a medicine following a historic UN vote. The post does not mention any source for the claim but it is referring to the recent vote undertaken by the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) regarding marijuana and its derivatives. Until now, cannabis has been listed on the strictest drug-control level, Schedule IV, according to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Cannabis was removed from this classification on the 63rd reconvened CND session on December 2nd 2020 based on World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations.
However, the claim made by the post is inaccurate as the rescheduling of cannabis does not classify it as a medicine. Fact-checking website Leadstories.com also investigated the claim as well.
Cannabis is still maintained at Schedule I and is still subject to the drug-control levels as outlined by the Convention. According to the US Department of Justice, Schedule IV drugs are classified as drugs which are particularly liable to abuse and to produce ill effects not offset by therapeutic benefits. Drugs under Schedule I are liable to abuse but are considered to have potential therapeutic uses.
While the WHO has released recommendations on Cannabis and psychoactive substances such as THC, and several states have legalized its usage for recreational purposes, this does not equate to it being classified as a medicine. While this reclassification does remove some of the stigma associated with the drug, further research and approval is necessary for establishing it as a medicine.