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UN reclassifies cannabis, removes it from dangerous drugs list

Published 7 December 2020


Buckie Got It, St. Kitts and Nevis News Source

The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) has voted to remove cannabis from its classification as a dangerous drug.

The CND’s 53 Member States voted to removed cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs where it was listed alongside deadly, addictive opioids, including heroin. 

The decision was made after the CND reviewed a series of World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations on marijuana and its derivatives.

The historic vote saw 27 in favour, 25 against, and one abstention.

While cannabis remains largely an illegal substance, the vote is said to open the door for more research into the medicinal and therapeutic aspects of the plant. 

In the Caribbean, there have been moves by many Governments in St Vincent and the Grenadines and the Cayman Islands, for example, to legalise cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Others such as Jamaica, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, and, most recently, Barbados, have decriminalised the drug under certain quantities, and placed restrictions on where it can be consumed.

Douglas Gordon, founder of the Cannabis Business Conference and Expo (CANeX), welcomed the move. 

“While long overdue, it is a welcomed and important step in the ongoing push towards normalisation of the industry. The UN vote will immediately facilitate more scientific and medical research in laboratories around the world. It will also help progressive thinking government leadership around the world to act and move forward in advancing needed legislation and regulations. I am optimistic that this will have a positive impact on the evolution of the industry throughout the Caribbean,” he told Loop News. 

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