[dropcap class=”kp-dropcap”]F[/dropcap]ollowing reports of the World Health Organization (WHO) rescheduling cannabis, the European Parliament voted on a resolution that would help advance medical cannabis in the countries that form the European Union. The resolution aims to incentivize European countries to increase access to medical cannabis and prioritize scientific research and studies.
WHO is calling for cannabis and its components to be removed from its Schedule IV classification, which is the most restricted category. WHO officials are preparing to deliver its recommendations on cannabis rescheduling to the United Nations (UN) and if the UN adopts the recommendation, it could tilt the scales in favor of cannabis reform globally. The group also wants to remove tetrahydrocannabinol from a separate treaty, moving it to a Schedule I drug, which is less restrictive.
The EU has had its eye on drafting cannabis legislation for all 28 member states. Toward the end of 2018, politicians in the EU’s health committee voted in approval of legislation that would allow for medical cannabis across the board.
The resolution “calls on Member States to allow doctors to make free use of their professional judgement in prescribing regulatory-approved cannabis-based medicines to patients with relevant conditions, and to allow pharmacists to lawfully honour those prescriptions.” It also calls on the Member States to address the regulatory, financial and cultural barriers that prevented research on cannabis and its medicinal uses. Immediate change is not expected, as the resolution is a call-to-action and not a binding resolution.
The response from the cannabis community has been positive, with many expecting the resolution to help grow the trend of cannabis legalization spreading across the world. If the proposed measures are adopted, it would be formal recognition that the EU’s governing bodies have been wrong about cannabis, its risks and medical benefits for decades.