WHO On Cannabis: Influence UN To Review Stand
The World Health Organization (WHO) has remained silent on the issue of international regulatory controls on cannabis since 1935. There have been breakthroughs and advancements in science about cannabis for the past 80 years. It is indeed high time for WHO to provide restructured advice about cannabis' legal position.
Many countries like Uruguay, and Portugal, as well as many states in America, have disregarded the international agreements supporting WHO's stance. These places have embraced more tolerant policies which allow regulated access to cannabis even for non-medical use. Recently, California approved the recreational usage of cannabis. This is a very significant move as the state becomes the world's fifth largest economy.
WHO provides evidence about drugs on which the United Nations drug control system relies. The UN then informs the International Policy and Treaties. It appears that WHO's stand on cannabis seems progressively lost from the evidence. The gateway theory has long been discredited yet the UN still promotes that cannabis plays as a gateway to the use of abusive substances.
Uruguay has pioneered the way by being the first country to embrace regulated use of cannabis according to Independent. It took the country three years of sensible planning and came up with the Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis (IRCA). IRCA is Uruguay's newly founded regulator. The Institute has doubled its budget requirements to guarantee sufficient staffing levels. The Institute has also invested on public health messages. This is to make sure people are given ample information about the risks connected to the use of cannabis. Recently, IRCA published a report in WOLA, which is essential for WHO and its members in their stand on cannabis.
There is a big opportunity for WHO to create a momentous impact on global health. The organization, could orchestrate an expert study and encourage the UN to review the scheduling of cannabis. This could help divert $100 billion spent annually on drug regulation towards harm reduction as reported by Politics. By decreasing the health and social damages, the WHO can demonstrate that it cares for the millions of people using it.