History was made at the United Nations today, when the UN’s Commission for Narcotic Drugs narrowly voted to remove cannabis from a list of drugs previously judged to have little-to-no medicinal benefits. Vice reports that in a 27 to 25 vote victory, the US and UN cast the final two deciding votes to now officially remove cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs — potentially opening up the plant to increased medicinal access throughout Europe, along with additional scientific research.
Translation: Your stoner cousin was right — weed is medicine. And now we’re a significant step closer to being able to get the type of research funded that will tell us precisely how it’s best used. The legal status of cannabis has always been a major hurdle when it comes to funding meaningful scientific research studying the long term medicinal benefits of THC, so the United Nations recognizing the medical value of weed remedies some of the unjust prejudice that has been unfairly placed on the plant, despite the historical use of cannabis as a medicine that stretches back to ancient Greece and Egypt. And, as we’ve covered before, medicinal recognition leads to medical legalization which always, always leads to eventual recreational legalization. So this move is a big win for weed worldwide.
To date, 50 countries worldwide have adopted medicinal cannabis programs, and the plant is now fully legal in Canada, Uruguay, and 15 US states. Mexico and Luxembourg are also expected to join the countries that have legalized weed in the near future, with the vote passing Mexico’s senate just days ago.