Medical cannabis, the UN approves after 60 years, the long-awaited recognition. Cannabis lovers can finally rejoice after 60 years, the UN has decided to remove marijuana from the list of the most dangerous drugs, alongside heroin and cocaine. The WHO had proposed a whole series of measures for the international reform of cannabis and the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs met to vote, changing among other things the tables that, since 1961, classify plants and psychoactive compounds according to the danger.

Cannabis, which has long been used to relieve chronic pain, Parkinson’s, epilepsy and even cancer, along with many other ailments, has many benefits that have prompted more and more consumers to love it and to increase its use. In our country, it is possible to buy it for therapeutic purposes, upon the presentation of a regular medical prescription.

However, many are unable to receive the therapy they need: according to Sole24Ore, Italy needs 1950 kg per year of therapeutic cannabis, but is unable to fully satisfy this demand and is forced to import the rest from Holland.

THE UN DECISION: WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH CANNABIS

In most parts of the world today, consuming and possessing marijuana is illegal. In other countries, however, the therapeutic properties of cannabis are known and recognized, and the relevant legislation varies greatly from country to country.

The first country to make the substance legal was Uruguay (2013), followed by California and Colorado in the United States. In Europe, growing and owning marijuana is illegal in France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Finland and Greece; in the Netherlands, on the other hand, as is well – known, there is much more permissive legislation in this regard. In Spain, marijuana can only be stored or grown within the home.

What will happen is difficult to say…

The decision is a very important step towards recognizing the importance and benefits of this substance, but in the immediate future, we will probably see nothing more than a rekindling of the debate on the possession and sale of cannabis.

The various governments will have the burden of deciding, on a case-by-case basis, within their own borders, which is the best path to follow.

In short, it will still take a long time before concrete results are achieved at the level of individual national governments.

However, as mentioned, the decision is very positive, and will most likely also act as an incentive for medical research in the field of cannabis.

A VICTORY OF SCIENCE

According to the Luca Coscioni Association, this is a victory for science. Cannabis is no longer one of the substances considered dangerous, and this is progress that benefits science and scientific experimentation, which will probably now progress faster.

The European Union has voted compactly and firmly in favour of this change; the countries that opposed the most were the Asian and African ones.

Leonardo Fiorentini, national secretary of Forum Droghe, asserts however that cannabis is a precious resource and cure, for this reason, it is useless, harmful and counterproductive to make war on it; “The ideological wind of prohibition still blows strongly in the world, given the narrow margin of votes in favour,” he added.

On November 19, the European Court of Justice clarified that CBD, the cannabis compound used for its therapeutic properties, is not even to be considered amazing.

Indeed, cannabis enthusiasts have known for some time that it is a “good” compound, full of positive effects on the body and mind ranging from relaxation to analgesic, anti-epileptic, anti-inflammatory properties.

THC, on the other hand, is the psychoactive compound of cannabis, and is the one that cannot be sold or marketed, given the amazing effects.

In Italy, since 2007 the prescription of medical cannabis has been allowed within the pharmaceutical plant in Florence, but the picture remains very vague and subject to many uncertainties.

BUT SO, WITH THIS NEW TURN WHAT CHANGES? IS EVERYTHING LIKE BEFORE?

As soon as the news was heard, the media spoke of a “turning point” on the road to legalizing cannabis.

In fact, however, things remain the same: of course, cannabis can be extracted, produced and used in the medical field, but for non-scientific uses, it remains a substance to be kept under control, even if its therapeutic use is recognized.

Cannabis and cannabis resin are excluded from Table IV, the one which includes the most dangerous substances; The EU voted in favour of their exclusion, only Hungary being against.

Other recommendations under consideration were not approved; Countries such as Japan, Thailand and other Asian countries have opposed the inclusion of cannabis extracts and tinctures in Table I (this would have allowed us not to specify how to prepare them) and this recommendation was blocked.

In practice, therefore, it was a mere formal approval of something that in practice was already carried out or recognized, namely the inclusion of cannabis among the therapeutic substances. However, the United Nations continues to consider it a dangerous substance. They have always kept attention on the human and social costs of drug trafficking.

And cannabis is currently the most widely used drug, so…

Legalization would in any case be convenient from the point of view of the fight against organized crime, which is the first to take advantage of prohibition and the restrictions placed on the marketing of drugs. 

When it comes to heavy and harmful substances, I agree but in the case of cannabis, most international states have medical-scientific experimentation programs on the substance underway. It would simply be the recognition of something already in place.

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IN CONCLUSION…

Benedetto Della Vedova, of + Europa, suggests: “Italy should take the advice of the UN and definitively remove the prohibitionist and vexatious restrictions that still prevent thousands of patients from using and cultivating cannabis for therapeutic use.”

Sounds like good advice.

If cannabis is so useful for the treatment of a whole series of ailments, the scientific community itself recognizes its importance, to the point of carrying out systematic and rigorous studies to better understand its properties. It is time to adapt to the change taking place.

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