World Health Organization Admits Medical Benefits of Cannabis — Moves to Change 1954 Policy

By Jason Erickson

It took them 60+ years, but the World Health Organization seems to finally be buckling under the weight of evidence that shows the range of benefits to global health offered by cannabis products.

The organization appears to be ready to take a two-fold approach to rescheduling cannabis for both THC-based products as well as non-THC cannabidiol products. The WHO proposition appeared in a February 5, 2019 post:

The World Health Organization has proposed rescheduling cannabis within international law to take account of the growing evidence for medical applications of the drug, reversing its position held for the past 60 years that cannabis should not be used in legitimate medical practice.

The WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence met late last year to critically review available evidence on cannabis and related substances and to agree the most appropriate level of international control. (Source: BMJ)

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The first major change would be to reduce the absurd Schedule IV categorization for the psychoactive component of marijuana, THC, which currently stands as the equivalent to heroin and a whole host of other truly addictive and dangerous substances.  The second change is even more significant as the WHO has now made it clear that products in a non-THC form such as extracts should be removed completely from international drug controls.

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As recounted by Newsweek, citing the comments of a global policy advisor for marijuana advocate group FAAAT, the WHO’s original opinion was outlined in 1954 (and was officially put into the schedule of drugs in 1961).

“The placement of cannabis in the 1961 treaty, in the absence of scientific evidence, was a terrible injustice … The World Health Organization has gone a long way toward setting the record straight.”


“The very positive outcome clearly acknowledges medical applications of cannabis and cannabinoids, reintegrates them into pharmacopoeias, balances harms and [effectively] repeals the WHO position from 1954, according to which ‘there should be efforts towards the abolition of cannabis from all legitimate medical practice,’” a statement from the organization read.

Most striking — and somewhat frustrating — is that this was the first time that the WHO ever properly addressed the available scientific research.  So, essentially, the evidence was there all along, but they just now got around to fulfilling their obligation to properly assess it. When we consider all of the damage that has been done in the name of the drug war, as well as the overall restriction of access to these wonderful products, it’s kind of rage-inducing.

Nevertheless, it’s great news to see that the outrageous bureaucracy and scientific myopia of governmental organizations is catching up with reality.  A recent Harvard study is another nail in the coffin to the long-standing propaganda that has resulted from this misclassification (read about that here). In other recent news, Illinois residents can even swap their opioid painkillers for medical marijuana.

It is for reasons like this that critics rightly assert that even the Schedule I classification for THC needs to go. We can only assume it will now that the spotlight has been firmly put on such injustice.  Reading the tea leaves of the current trend in awareness at every level, I’d bank on it taking less than 60 years this time around.

Jason Erickson writes for This article (World Health Organization Admits Medical Benefits of Cannabis — Moves to Change 1954 Policy) may be republished in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

Image credit: Waking Times

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