A new major contribution to the perception of cannabis as a medicine was made yesterday, as the European Union Parliament approved a resolution to stimulate medical marijuana policies across its country members.
The measure comes in the midst of recent events that are expected to strongly influence legalization policies around the globe, with the other being a special release by the WHO, urging for a rescheduling of cannabis in international drug treaties.
Not Legally Binding, Yet Very Influential
The resolution voted amongst MEPs by a show of hands, performs a wide review of the many benefits cannabis can have on human health, stating that “a review of the existing scientific literature on the subject of cannabis used in a medical setting provides conclusive evidence that cannabis and cannabinoids have therapeutic effects.” It then follows to list the many ailments cannabis is known to help with like chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea, anxiety disorders, PTSD, depression, HIV/AIDS-related weight loss, MS, epilepsy and many more.
The measure calls the 28 country members to improve their access to medical marijuana, develop scientific programs to research its benefits and foster better information policies for both medical doctors and the lay public, considering “that research on the potential benefits of medicinal cannabis has been underfunded and should be properly addressed under national research programs” , calling on the Member States “to address the regulatory, financial and cultural barriers which weigh on scientific research into the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.”
The MEPs also addressed the issue of providing medical professionals with proper training and knowledge to administer the medicine and help improve equal access to cannabis-based medicine for patients in need.
Although the measure itself does not change any laws, it stands as a landmark event in the development of legalization policies within the EU and the globe, because of the influence this organization has on a great number of nations. This resolution effectively determines the position of the EU on the subject of marijuana legalization and calls for a serious and thoroughly scientific approach to the problem.
The Changing Scene of International Cannabis Regulation
The EU’s measure comes after the international momentum generated by the UN’s World Health Organization’s report, released less than a month ago.
The statement, signed by the director-general of the WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, recommends the rescheduling of THC and other cannabis derivatives from their place in active international treaties.
Cannabis is currently listed in the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as both a schedule I and Schedule IV drug, the latter group being the most dangerous and prone to addiction, including drugs like heroin.
By making marijuana broadly legal, countries like Canada and Uruguay are actually in current violation of these treaties, which, according to present-day activists, had included cannabis without proper scientific information to back the decision.
We can only imagine what impact these new resolutions by international bodies will have on the way countries regulate and interact with cannabis and its derivatives.