By Jackie Flynn Mogensen for Mother Jones
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.”