According to news coming in from last Thursday’s Vienna meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the U.S. federal government supports a recommendation by the World Health Organization to remove marijuana from category IV, the strictest category, of globally controlled substances.
Patt Prugh, an attorney advisor at the United States State Department, spoke on behalf of the U.S. government during that meeting. While supporting marijuana rescheduling, she spoke vehemently against a proposal to remove cannabidiol from international substance control treaties. She argued that making those proposed reforms would create legal loopholes and ambiguities which could potentially compromise the effective control of drugs globally.
This strong opposition is hard to comprehend because the proposal by WHO suggests that the UN body declares that any CBD whose THC content is less than 0.2% isn’t regarded as a controlled substance in international drug control treaties.
However, Prugh seemed to contradict herself during her testimony before the narcotics body. She said that keeping marijuana in the most restrictive category of controlled substances undermines new science which proves that the substance has medicinal value. This is contradictory because while she is advocating for rescheduling at the international level, she is in support of keeping marijuana in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act back home in the U.S. Schedule 1 is the most restrictive of all the categories of substances listed under that Act.
The support for global cannabis rescheduling is in stark contrast to an earlier position indicated in a government document in which the federal government stated that putting marijuana in a less restrictive category internationally would make drug reform advocates think that the way has been opened for marijuana to be legalized in different jurisdictions around the world.
Even as the ambassador revealed that the U.S. position on marijuana had changed, she was still adamant that similar concessions shouldn’t be made for CBD. According to her, the issue was “outside the scope of the substance scheduling process.”
Marijuana policy reform advocates say that the U.S. appears to be caught in the middle of forces that want change (such as the increasing legalization of marijuana at state-level across the U.S.) and the prohibitionist voices which want the status quo to be maintained.
Nevertheless, reform advocates are confident that either way, the people seeking progressive policies on marijuana will win. For example, when the UN narcotics body votes to keep CBD as a controlled substance, the reform movement will be further energized to go all out and break the wall of prohibition once and for all. If, on the other hand, the recommended reforms are passed, that in itself will be a victory for the reform movement and they will channel their energies to other changes that need to be made globally.
It remains be seen what cannabis sector actors like Sugarmade, Inc. (OTCQB: SGMD) think about the politicking going on at the UN.
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