December 2, 2020 A United Nations commission voted today to remove medicinal marijuana from its list of the world’s most dangerous drugs. As reported by Isabella Kwai in the NY Times:
“The vote by the Commission for Narcotic Drugs, which is based in Vienna and includes 53 member states, considered a series of recommendations from the World Health Organization on reclassifying cannabis and its derivatives. But attention centered on a key recommendation to remove cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs — where it was listed alongside dangerous and highly addictive opioids like heroin.
“The change will most likely bolster medical research and legalization efforts around the world. Marijuana for medical use has exploded in recent years and products containing cannabis derivatives like cannabidiol or CBD, a nonintoxicating compound, have flooded the wellness industry. Cowen, an investment and financial services company, estimates that the CBD industry in the United States will be worth $16 billion by 2025.
“Some research has suggested that CBD can protect the nervous system and provide relief from seizures, pain, anxiety and inflammation. The list of CBD-infused products — including creams, serums, soda water and juice — is also expanding rapidly…
“The reclassification passed 27 to 25, with an abstention from Ukraine. The United States and European nations were among those who voted in favor, while the likes of China, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan and Russia were opposed.
For a literal-minded reader (me, for example), “the likes of” is a confusing conceit. The five countries listed by Kwai may have some things in common, but overall the differences between, say, China and Nigeria, are huge. All but one of the pot proponents Kwai quoted were business types,
“In the United States, where more states legalized the use of medical and recreational marijuana in the recent election, the market for both of those is expected to expand to more than $34 billion by 2025, according to Cowen.
So the Law of Supply and Demand has finally overwhelmed the neoprobes at the World Health Organization and the UN. Kwai of the Times had the good sense to quote a veteran of the medical marijuana movement who provided a more humane perspective:
“Michael Krawitz, executive director for Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access, an advocacy group in the United States, said the change in international law would ‘help reduce the suffering millions of people’ and could help mitigate reliance on opiates, noting that cannabis was an important medication that could provide unique pain relief.”
Mike Krawitz has devoted himself for more than a decade (!) to getting the UN and the WHO to recognize the relative benignity of cannabis. The other focus of his Pro-Cannabis advocacy has been the US Veterans’ Administration, which is run by Deep State neoprohibitionists. Krawitz doesn’t take on pushovers. Some of the things he has done to advance the cause are documented here. And here. And here. And here. Plus he looks like Borat. —Fred Gardner