U.S. House Reps Call on United Nations to Deschedule Pot

The two congresswomen, a Republican and a Democrat, want the United Nations to treat cannabis like other agricultural commodities.
United Nations

U.S. House Reps. Nancy Mace, a Republican from South Carolina, and Barbara Lee, a Democrat from California, introduced a resolution on Friday “instructing the United Nations to deschedule cannabis from Schedule 1 of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, and treat cannabis as a commodity similar to other agricultural commodities,” according to a press release.

“Many countries would deschedule cannabis and reevaluate how cannabis is classified if the U.N. did so,” Mace said. “Cannabis has been shown to be effective in the treatment of numerous medical conditions such as epilepsy, PTSD, cancer pain relief, nausea, and chronic and terminal illnesses. Descheduling at the U.N. would support global research into how cannabis can treat a wide range of ailments and conditions.”

Lee said that scientific research “has shown that cannabis has wide-ranging positive effects on chronic illness treatment.”

“The classification of cannabis as a schedule one drug is outdated, out of touch, and should be addressed not only in the United States, but around the world. The United States should be leading the way on cannabis reform on the global stage, and descheduling at the United Nations would be a great start,” Lee said in the press release.

A treaty that “aims to combat drug abuse by coordinated international action,” the Single Convention of Narcotic Drugs has more than 60 signatories.

“There are two forms of intervention and control that work together. First, it seeks to limit the possession, use, trade in, distribution, import, export, manufacture and production of drugs exclusively to medical and scientific purposes. Second, it combats drug trafficking through international cooperation to deter and discourage drug traffickers,” according to a description of the treaty on the United Nations’ website.

A freshman member of the House of Representatives, Mace has emerged as one of the most vocal legalization advocates among Republicans.

In November, Mace introduced a bill that would legalize pot on the federal level and allow states to institute their own cannabis policies. The legislation would remove cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, and would effectively treat weed like alcohol.

“My home state of South Carolina permits CBD, Florida allows medical marijuana, California and others have full recreational use, for example. Every state is different. Cannabis reform at the federal level must take all of this into account. And it’s past time federal law codifies this reality,” Mace said in an announcement at the time. “This is why I’m introducing the States Reform Act, a bill which seeks to remove cannabis from Schedule I in a manner consistent with the rights of states to determine what level of cannabis reform each state already has, or not. “This bill supports veterans, law enforcement, farmers, businesses, those with serious illnesses, and it is good for criminal justice reform. Furthermore, a super-majority of Americans support an end to cannabis prohibition, which is why only three states in the country have no cannabis reform at all. The States Reform Act takes special care to keep Americans and their children safe while ending federal interference with state cannabis laws. Washington needs to provide a framework which allows states to make their own decisions on cannabis moving forward. This bill does that.”

Earlier this year, Amazon endorsed Mace’s bill.

“Like so many in this country, we believe it’s time to reform the nation’s cannabis policy and Amazon is committed to helping lead the effort,” the company said in a statement in January.

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