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Multiple Nations Call For Marijuana Reform At United Nations Special Session


ungass united nations drugs marijuanaThe United Nation’s General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drug policy began today with representatives and world leaders making strong statements urging member countries to move beyond prohibition and into effective regulations for medical Cannabis. H.E. Mogens Lykketoft, the current President of UNGASS, opened the event by discussing the need to address cannabis and the unfortunate situation where medical “cannabis laws defy the current conventions,” and that “…access to drugs for medical use is a human right to protect.”

Americans for Safe Access (ASA), Executive Director, Steph Sherer along with members from the International Medical Cannabis Patients Coalition (IMCPC) are in attendance and are meeting with UN officials in order to help with the effort of making UNGASS 2016 the starting point for the change in the scheduling status of Cannabis.

Cannabis is currently scheduled in Schedules I and IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as amended by the 1972 Protocol (the “Single Convention”). This scheduling was created based on a report created by the Health Committee of the League of Nations in 1935.

Governments across the globe have used the UN Single Convention of 1961, including the United States, to derail attempts to reform national medical cannabis laws and research. However, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has joined countries such as Jamaica and Uruguay in pushing alternative approaches to regulating medical cannabis by stressing the “importance of allowing cannabis for medical and scientific uses under the United Nations standards [translated]” in his address to UNGASS.

World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director General Dr. Margaret Chan also stated, “drug policies that focus almost exclusively on use of the criminal justice system need to be broadened by embracing a public health approach. A public health approach starts with the science and the evidence,” Dr. Chan continued, “Many controlled substances play a critical role in medical care, for the relief of pain.”

The UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) makes decisions on scheduling of substances based on recommendations from the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD). However, any member state can create a pathway for a critical review by invoking their rights under Article 3, paragraph 1 of the Single Convention Treaty of 1961.

In Vienna last month, UN officials created an Outcome Document to set international priorities for drug policy.  To help outline critical issues, ASA and IMPC have created a 1-page document that ties cannabis into the international priorities for drug policy Outcome Document. The document,”Cannabis must be rescheduled in order to meet the objective of ensuring the availability of and access to controlled substances exclusively for medical and scientific purposes;” along with ASA’s groundbreaking report, entitled Cannabis and Cannabis Resin Critical Review Preparation Document, was prepared for the CND, will be provided to every delegate from the 180 nations represented.

“The current international policies on cannabis are outdated and are having a detrimental impact on patients in the United States and worldwide,” said Sherer. “New policies should take into account new clinical research, product safety protocols for cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution, and global patient needs.”

Sherer and IMCPC delegates will be attendance through the conclusion of UNGASS until April 21st.

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Johnny Green


  1. Derp…..hemp is simply STRAINS of cannabis which have been selectively bred for fiber and seed, not resin and cannabinoids. A female HEMP plant still won’t get anyone medicated, but growing shoots of a male OG kush plant can be VERY medicating.

  2. I understand your point. I however try NOT to wish the pain that I endure upon ANYONE else. That’s cruel and unusual punishment if you know what I mean? But I often wonder what they’d do if they HAD to walk a mile in MY shoes?

  3. You’re asking them to abort the whole reason the organization even exists! ASA is an organization dealing with STRICTLY “Medical Marijuana”. They don’t exist for legalization at all. They exist in order to ensure that PATIENTS have “safe access” to their medication. To protect patients by keeping them from having to go to the black market and dark alleys to obtain our medicine. ASA, imho isn’t protecting anybody’s profits. They’re staying true to their purpose and mission statement.

    There are MANY organizations who are dealing with legalization and don’t give a SHIT about the patients and their needs. They’re all about legalization. Anybody denying the medicinal properties of cannabis is a MORON! ASA exists to FURTHER that cause of allowing patients who NEED it, to have safe access to it. They’re going to PROTECT Medical programs that as of late have seemed to go by the wayside in States that legalized marijuana.

    Let those organizations designed to protect patients rights to safe access and those who work for legalization to do their thing. We’ve GOT to STOP being pissed off at OTHER groups in the industry and allow them to serve THEIR purpose, yet work together where they can.

    Medical access and legalization are 2 totally separate things. Our problem in the movement is that many times we convolute the 2 issues.

  4. I have read quite a few journals on the subject. I am currently in my third year of university. If you would like to post a link to any of this research you speak of I would be glad to read any sources you supply. I would say hemp was a common name for the plant used as ropes and clothing cannabis is the smoking kind. Cannabis and hemp are often confused by the ill informed. What you say about my mother is offensive as nothing short of a transplant can save her damaged pancreas.

  5. Elizabeth Pallett on

    So how much of the over 30,000 peer reviewed studies including human trials would you like me to share proving how wrong you are? Hemp is the common name for the plant Cannabis do try not to look like a complete fool in this discussion. Oh and I certainly am not talking about smoking anything. If your mother had used Cannabis meds her diabetes would simply be gone.

  6. saynotohypocrisy on

    What I’m tired of is the people who are resisting medical marijuana. It’s all I can do to keep from wishing they get a terrible disease that only cannabis can help. It’s not like the fight for medical marijuana is by any means over, and there is a moral imperative for patients to get the medicine they need. Even greater than the moral imperative to stop the persecution of users of a far safer substance than alcohol. The prohibition of medicinal cannabis as an option for pain, that prohibition alone, for just that one use, is costing thousands of lives a year in the U.S. lost to opiate overdoses.
    I don’t like greedy growers against legalization either, nor do I like the restrictions on who can grow commercially after legalization.

  7. Cannabis doesn’t cure anything. It can help with a lot of symptoms but it definitely cannot cure cancer. If it could cure diabetes why does my mum still have it and hemp is not cannabis it’s a different type of the same thing. You would never get high smoking hemp

  8. Elizabeth Pallett on

    First the plants botanical name is Cannabis, common name, hemp. Secondly, Cannabis is not just a useful plant it is vital to your health because you have a spine I assume, therefore you have an endocannabinoid system. Cannabis cures, Cancer, MS, Diabetes, Dementia, it cures many more ailments of man kind and treats safer and more efficiently every illness known to man. So it is the NUMBER 1 issue and the main reason they continue the lies and misinformation on everything, because big pharma will go out of business if all the illicits where suddenly licit, given they do more for health used correctly than all their licit drugs combined.

  9. UN? Never heard of them. They can stay the hell out of our business, that I do know.

  10. darthhillbilly on

    Hard for Obama to keep saying it isn’t a priority when it has became a global issue…

  11. The only thing that cannabis prohibition successfully prohibits is effective regulation.

  12. I’m tired of hearing about “medical” marijuana. – Medical marijuana is important, but it’s a small side issue compared to ending ALL of the fraudulent marijuana prohibition. – I’m primarily tired of hearing about it because so many greedy growers (like ASA) would be happy to keep “non-medical” marijuana illegal to keep their growers and sellers rich. – Down with the GGAL! (greedy growers against legalization)

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