Jeff Sessions Is Really Going to Hate the World Health Organization’s First-Ever Marijuana Review


The World Health Organization met in Geneva, Switzerland, this week to review a first-of-its-kind report on the health and safety of cannabis, and President Donald Trump’s Justice Department will almost certainly not be thrilled with the report’s finding that marijuana is a “relatively safe drug.”  The report, compiled by a team of international cannabis experts and presented to the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, is the first of many steps by the WHO to ultimately deliver a recommendation to the UN secretary-general on the “need for and level of international control” of cannabis, which could have a major impact on marijuana legislation internationally.  Cannabis is currently classified under the same category as heroin and cocaine. “If the scheduling of cannabis changes at an international level, there’s nothing that will happen immediately,” says Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, a cannabis advocacy group. Sherer also testified at the committee meeting this week. She told Mother Jones, however, that a scheduling change would indicate “a global openness to utilizing cannabis therapeutics in natural health strategies.”  By contrast, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has come down hard on marijuana, calling it nearly as harmful as heroin and “a very real danger.” Most infamously, he once said, “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” Sessions has also pledged to crack down on cannabis businesses and farms in states where cannabis is legal, but in April, Trump walked back those threats, promising his administration would not interfere with states’ rights. Trump now says he would support a congressional effort to end the federal ban on marijuana. Countries like Australia, Chile, Germany, Israel, Peru, and the Netherlands have already legalized the use of medical marijuana, and on Thursday, Canada’s Senate voted to legalize recreational cannabis. More than half of American states allow marijuana for medical use.  The committee examined several forms of cannabis, including two of its most abundant molecules, THC and CBD. Jeff Sessions Is Really Going to Hate the World Health Organization’s First-Ever Marijuana Review

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