U.S. Federal Govt Receives More than 5,000 Comments on Marijuana

Protesters smoke marijuana on steps of the U.S. Capitol to tell Congress to "De-schedule Cannabis Now", in Washington, U.S. April 24, 2017. (Reuters)

The U.S. federal agency, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so far has received more than 5,000 comments on cannabis ahead of a meeting with the World Health Organization (WHO).

On April 4, the FDA called on “interested persons” to pitch in their concerns over the “abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use of five drug substances.”

Marijuana was one of these substances.  

Tom Angell, a U.S. journalist, who was the first to report about the FDA’s call to garner more inputs as it prepares for the meeting with the U.N. agency WHO to discuss these substances, urged Americans to continue sending their comments.

“The [April 23] deadline is soon! Have you made your voice heard yet?” he said.

The WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) is scheduled to meet with the FDA in early June in Geneva.

Receiving comments from pro-marijuana advocates could possibly change the WHO’s view on cannabis.

In 2017, the WHO pre-reviewed CBD – the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis. It recommended CBD to be subject to further analysis after finding its medicinal benefits.

WHO does not prohibit CBD but the FDA doesn’t approve of it despite its usage in 30 U.S. states where medical marijuana is legal.

WHO’s further acceptance of cannabis as an international agency could possibly influence the U.S. federal government’s understanding of the green herb.

Last year, WHO’s committee wrote: “There is no evidence of…any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

Meanwhile, the WHO previously expressed its concern over Canada’s legalizing the recreational use of marijuana nationwide.

Canada will be violating three U.N. conventions prohibiting the production, possession, and consumption of drugs, including cannabis.

However, as the legalization trend continues unabated, the U.N. could be influenced and change its perception of cannabis, who many criticize as outdated.

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