It’s possible that marijuana could soon find itself eliminated from the confines of international law. But before that can happen, world health officials must band together to dissect everything we know about the cannabis plant to make a new determination of how dangerous and addictive it is.
This is where you come in – yes, you.
The Trump administration is calling for public comment regarding the cannabis plant and the policies that surround it. The goal is to use this input from the vast American populous for an official statement that it will provide the World Health Organization (WHO). For better or worse, this is your chance to have a voice on how cannabis should be dealt with in 2018 and beyond.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently posted its desire for public cannabis comment in the federal register. Specifically, the agency “is requesting interested persons to submit comments concerning abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking, and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use” with respect to the cannabis plant. These notes will be considered and compiled in a new report for WHO, which “will use this information to consider whether to recommend that certain international restrictions be placed on these drugs.”
As it stands, international drug law dictates that cannabis must be classified a Schedule I dangerous drug. The policy is supposed to prevent countries from legalizing the herb for recreational purposes, and it puts tight controls on research. And for decades, this language have been considered gospel. In fact, treaty obligations have been used as an excuse for disregarding cannabis reform in the United States. It has only been within the past few years that countries like Uruguay and Canada began to ignore the law and move to end marijuana prohibition.
This pushback against the concept of international cannabis law has inspired an investigation into the matter. WHO wants to explore the issue, and it plans to make a recommendation as to whether cannabis still warrants the same Schedule I restrictions as first outlined through the drug treaties. The agency will then advise UN Secretary-General António Guterres of its findings.
Anyone wishing to make their comments part of the FDA’s official statement can submit them a couple of different ways. Perhaps the easiest is through Uncle Sam’s “regulations” website. The site has a comment button that will allow the user to enter in all of his or her thoughts, hopes, and dreams for a new world where cannabis is no longer demonized by the controls of a faceless head.
For those paranoid people who tend to shy away from electronic transmissions, the agency is also accepting comments via snail mail. Instructions for submitting comments in this fashion are also available on the regulations site. But don’t waste any time. All comments must be submitted before October 31.