Activism Update: Thousands of Comments Recommend Global Change in Pot Policy

The FDA called for public comments on international scheduling of cannabis for WHO meeting in November. You responded!

On October 31, NORML’s Political Associate, Carly Wolf, hand delivered over 10,000 comments written by advocates from all around the country who recommended that the World Health Organization (WHO) re-consider its current prohibition of marijuana.

The comments were delivered to the office of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) located in Maryland.

Starting on Oct. 10, 2018, the FDA called for public comments on the international scheduling of cannabis. The FDA intends to use the comments as a response to the upcoming meeting of the WHO, a United Nations body, in Geneva, Switzerland.

The WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD), will meet in November to formally review it policies on cannabis. As such, WHO experts will look at the abuse potential, medical efficacy, and other aspects of 16 controlled substances, one of them being cannabis.

Currently, under international treaties, cannabis is scheduled in the most restrictive category, where it clearly does not belong in view of its proven therapeutic and medical benefits and low potential for abuse.

In NORML’s latest comments to the FDA, noted Ms. Wolf, “cannabis [should] be removed from the international drug conventions so that nations that wish to do so may further expand their regulations governing cannabis’ use, possession, production, and dispensing for either recreational or medical use.”

Comments from NORML members totaled 10,117, making up just under 50% of the total comments submitted to the FDA nationwide.

The Drug Policy Alliance also submitted public comments and a letter to the FDA stating that cannabis does not meet the criteria for a Schedule I substance, as defined by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

Read the DPA’s full letter here.

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization's ECDD determined that cannabidiol (CBD) should not be scheduled under international drug control conventions.

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