MMJ Patient Advocates Take Cannabis Issues to United Nations

As medical marijuana advocates try to expand research and use of pot in the U.S., some are taking the case to the United Nations.

Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), and Michael Krawitz, executive director of Veterans For Medical Cannabis Access, met with other organizations at the UN this week in preparation for the upcoming United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS 2016) on drug policy, scheduled for April 19-21.

The goal of the meeting was to provide input for a report urging that global policies on medical cannabis be included in the drug policy report.

The UN has not addressed this issue in a special session in 17 years. International leaders, drug policy reform groups, patients and citizens are encouraging the UN to reform its approach.

“The current international policies on cannabis are outdated and are having a detrimental impact on patients in the United States and worldwide,” Sherer told the National Pain Report.

“New policies should take into account new clinical research, product safety protocols for cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution, and global patient needs,” Sherer added.

The UN Single Convention treaty has been used by governments across the globe, including the United States, to derail attempts to reform national medical cannabis laws and research.

At the “Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Policy, Research and Medical Practice” conference in Prague last March, representatives of organizations of medical cannabis patients from 13 countries met to establish the International Medical Cannabis Patient Coalition (IMCPC) and to put together a declaration addressing UNGASS 2016.

Sherer and Krawitz say they will relay the call for action outlined by the declaration, which calls for the UN to take a series of actions, including rescheduling marijuana.

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