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Yesterday, I joined organizations from across the globe at the UN Headquarters to continue preparations for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS 2016) on drug policy to be held April 19-21. Representing Americans for Safe Access and the International Medical Cannabis Patients Coalition (IMCPC), I provided input for Member States in the negotiations of the outcome document to be presented at UNGASS 2016.
It is my hope that global policies on medical cannabis be included. But I need your help to make sure this happens. Please send this pre-written email to UN Ambassador Samantha Power requesting she support the rescheduling of Cannabis!
The last time the UN held a special session was in 1999, and its focus, guided by the United States, was to eliminate illegal drugs and drug trafficking. Today, international leaders, drug policy reform groups, patients, and citizens are encouraging the UN to reform this outdated and ineffective approach to drug policy. On the agenda for UNGASS 2016 is a review of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971, and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.
Cannabis is currently scheduled in Schedules I and IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as amended by the 1972 Protocol (the “Single Convention”). This scheduling was created based on a report created by the Health Committee of the League of Nations in 1935.
The current international policies on cannabis are outdated and are having a detrimental impact on patients in the United States and worldwide. New policies should take into account new clinical research, product safety protocols for cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution, and global patient needs.
Canada, Israel, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Croatia, Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, Romania, Germany, Jamaica, Australia, Italy, Columbia, Switzerland and over two-thirds of the population of the United States and its territories live in regions with medical cannabis laws.
Please take a moment to send a letter to the U.S. UN Ambassador Samantha Power and let her know we want to see an evolution in medical cannabis policies as a part of UNGASS 2016 outcomes. And do not forget to join us March 18-22, for the National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference for a Conference on Harmonization of Global Cannabis Policy and Action.