CND 63rd Session Reconvened – Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Chair: Good morning distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen. It is a great honour for me as chair of the CND to welcome you to the reconvened 63rd session of the Commission. I would like to start our meeting today with a few organisational arrangements. As you are aware, the World Health Organisation has declared the 2019 novel Corona virus outbreak as a pandemic. Thanks to Austria for this opportunity for organising this meeting and helping us in making these arrangements.

Secretariat: [COVID19 protocol]

Chair: Moving forward, I would like to remind you have the rules of engagement for delegates registered as virtual speakers. If you would like to speak, please raise your hands and sign by clicking on the hand icon. Once you have been given the floor, please turn on your camera and put on headsets. This is for better quality for voice quality for the interpreters. Should you encounter any technical issues kindly use the chair to get in contact with the support staff. Further, as you will recall special organisational arrangements have been made for the conduct of the 63rd reconvened session of the Commission, as shared with the member states in a special message dated 13th in the member. I understand that the Commission is in agreement with these arrangements, and I thank all the delegations for their support. As you know we will today vote on who scheduling recommendations on cannabis and cannabis related substances. But first, let me invite the members of the CND to turn their attention to the election of officers and the adoption of the agenda. Election of officers on 11 June 2020: The group of Western European and other states has nominated Switzerland for the position of second vice chair. I see no objection. It is so decided. Now we come to the adoption of agenda: today the CND will consider agenda item five and titled implementation of the international drug control treaties. Then tomorrow, we’ll discuss jointly with the CCPCJ strategic management, budgetary and administrative questions under the corresponding item for an item three of the CND and CCP CJ agendas respectively, during its separate meeting on Friday, the CND in addition to the consideration and adoption of any proposed decisions and resolutions, we’ll also consider the remaining eight agenda items which is agenda item nine agenda item 10 agenda item 11. an agenda item 12. Here after the 63rd session will be closed and the 64th session will be opened for the sole purpose of electing the Bureau of the session in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1999 slash 30 and rule 15 of the Rules of Procedure of the functional commissions of the ECOSOC.

The next agenda item Ladies and gentlemen, is the consideration of item five implementation of the International drugs control treaties. The Commission will under this agenda item vote on the WHO scheduling recommendations on cannabis and cannabis related substances. As you are well aware, we have had intensive consultations on the recommendations for the last two years. For the benefit of time, I will not summarise these consultations now, but rather invite you to refer to the conference room paper prepared by the Secretariat before this meeting today. The intention was to address the risk of legally or chemically contradictory outcomes that might occur when the default procedure is followed by a silence procedure with deadline of 30th November noon time member states have been formally agreed to a draft procedural decision.

Let me briefly explain in the meantime, the reasoning for two of the provisions included in the draft decisions: First, as the recommendation 5.2 and 5.3 are phrased there would be a risk that dronabinol and its isomers, as well as tetrahydrocannabinol are included in both the 1961 and the 1971 conventions simultaneously. This could happen if the substances were added to the 1961 convention, but failed to be deleted from the 1971 convention. As the majority is required at each of these conventions differ, there would be a risk that the substances would be scheduled under both conventions, the votes might be sufficient to fulfil the simple majority requirements applicable under the 1961 convention but not sufficient to fulfil that. Two thirds majority requirement of the 1971 convention and thus the substance would not be deleted from the 1971 convention. So the procedural decision tries to address this aspect. Having the same substances should use at the same time under both conventions could cause uncertainties regarding treaty obligations, including reporting and applicable control measures. The situation could also pose administrative and legal challenges at the national levels. Therefore, the draft decision foresees for recommendation 5.2 and 5.3 that in the case, the decision of the commission to include the substance in the 1961 convention will be deemed reconsidered and rejected with the consequence that the substance is only included in the 1971 convention. Secondly, withdraw procedural decision the commission intends to create a substantive link between recommendation 5.2 1.1 and recommendation 5.6. If voting on recommendation 5.6 was to take place separately from the voting on recommendation 5.2 point one, it would be possible that dronabinol itself remained scheduled under the 1971 convention, but preparations of granite dronabinol were added to scheduled three of the 1961 convention, as the 1971 convention also addresses preparations of scheduled substances. Preparations of dronabinol might thus be subject to the control regimes have both the 1961 and 1971 conventions. I now would like to move to the adoption of the draft TCM. Recall that rule 55 of the Rules of Procedure of the functional Commission’s of the Economic and Social Council provides that when a proposal has been adopted or rejected, it may not be reconsidered at the same session unless the commission so decide. Hence, following rule 55, the commission would need to vote a second time if it wishes to reconsider a recommendation. But the members of the Commission’s seeing in the situation described in operative para three of the procedural decision pursuant to the text contained in operative para three of their procedural decision to wish to deviate from rule 55 and not vote a second time and this is the Commission’s prerogative to decide hence not withstanding rule 55 May I take it that the Commission before it proceeds to vote on the WHO’s recommendation wishes to adopt the draft procedural decision including the following provision in case recommendation 5.2 point one is approved and recommendation 5.2 point two is rejected by the Commission recommendation 5.2 point one will be deemed really considered and rejected and there will be no vote on recommendation 5.3 point one and 5.3 point two in case recommendation 5.3. point one is approved is approved and recommendation 5.3 point two is rejected by the Commission recommendation 5.3. point one will be deemed reconsidered and rejected. And this is in accordance with the understanding of silence procedure. I see no objection.

A roll call vote is requested for votes in line with rule 59 of the Rules of Procedure of the functional commissions of ECOSOC. I would therefore now kindly ask the Secretariat to prepare the drawing of lots as advised by the ECOSOC Secretariat, I will draw once and the commission will then maintain the order for all votes.

It seems that we are going to follow the English alphabetical order because the name I’ve taken out is Algeria. So, we will start all roll call votes with Algeria and then proceed in the English alphabetical order. We go to the consideration of recommendation 5.1. We will now start with the voting as agreed in the procedural decision. I will open the floor for explanations of the vote after the finalization of all votes. First, I would like to invite the commission to take action on the who recommendation to delete cannabis and cannabis resin from schedule four of the 196’ convention.

I would like to invite Mr. Gilles Forte to present the recommendation.

Gilles Forte, WHO: Thank you Mr. Chair. excellencies Ladies and gentlemen, WHO is pleased to present the recommendations of the expert committee on drug dependence on cannabis and cannabis related substances. So I will start with the recommendation 5.1, cannabis and cannabis resin. And I would like to say that in the 1961 single convention on narcotic drugs, cannabis and cannabis resin are described, respectively as the flowering or fruiting crops of the cannabis plant. And as the separate the division of pain from the cannabis plant committee noted that adverse effects of cannabis have been well documented, and immediate effects of consumption include impairment of movement, and cognitive functions. While long term cannabis use is associated with increased risk of mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and psychotic illness. Cannabis can cause physical dependence in people who use the drug daily or near daily. Withdrawal symptoms that are pure upon abstinence include gastrointestinal disturbance, irritability, restlessness, and sleep impairment. The committee also noted that there are medical uses for cannabis, particularly for cannabis preparations. A number of countries have registered and authorized the use of cannabis preparations for the treatment of medical conditions, such as chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, pain, sleep disorders, certain forms of epilepsy and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. Cannabis and cannabis resin are scheduled in schedule one, and schedule four of the 1961 single convention on narcotic drugs. Substances that are included in both these schedules are particularly liable to abuse and to produce ill effects and have little or no therapeutic use. The evidence presented to the committee did not indicate that cannabis and cannabis resin were particularly liable to produce ill effects similar to the effect of the other substances in schedule four of the ‘61 single convention on narcotic drugs, and such as fentanyl analogues, heroin and other opioids. In addition, preparations of cannabis have shown their athletic potential that has been recognized in a number of countries. The committee therefore concluded that the inclusion of cannabis and cannabis resin in scheduled for is not consistent with the criteria for drugs to be placed in scheduled for However, in considering the level of risk to health of cannabis, and particularly, very high THC forms of cannabis that are smoked. The committee recommended that cannabis and cannabis resin continue to be included in schedule one of the 61 single convention on narcotic drugs. Accordingly, in recommendation 5.1, the committee recommended that cannabis and cannabis resin be deleted from schedule four of the 1961 single convention on narcotic drugs.

Chair: I now invite the commission to take a vote on the recommendation made by WHO to delete cannabis and cannabis resin from schedule IV of the 1961 convention. Let me remind the commission that under the 1961 convention in accordance with rule 58 of the Rules of Procedure of the functional commissions of ECOSOC, a simple majority of the commission members present, and voting is required. I now would like was the Secretariat to call upon the commission members in English alphabetical order. By reply of Yes, No or Abstention, the vote of each member will be inserted in the record.

Afghanistan N

Algeria N

Angola  N

Australia Y

Austria Y

Bahrain N

Belgium Y

Brazil N

Burkina Faso N

Canada Y

Chile N

China N

Colombia Y

Côte d’Ivoire N

Croatia Y

Cuba N

Czech Republic Y

Ecuador Y

Egypt N

El Salvador Y

France Y

Germany Y

Hungary N

India Y

Iraq N

Italy Y

Jamaica Y

Japan  N

Kazakhstan  N

Kenya N

Kyrgyzstan N

Libya N

Mexico Y

Morocco  Y

Nepal  Y

Netherlands  Y

Nigeria  N

Pakistan  N

Peru  N

Poland Y

Russia  N

South Africa  Y

Spain Y

Sweden  Y

Switzerland  Y

Thailand  Y

Togo  N

Turkey N

Turkmenistan  N

Ukraine A

UK  Y

USA  Y

Uruguay  Y

Chair: There is a total of 27 votes in favour of the recommendation, 25 votes against with one abstention. So the recommendation is accepted. I declare the Commission has decided to delete cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the 1961 convention. We now move forward to recommendation 5.2.1 and please keep under consideration the scenarios which the Secretariat has shared which we have been discussing and have finalised in the informal consultations. Now, I would like to invite the commission to take action on WHO recommendation to add dronabinol and its stereoisomers Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabis to be added to shedule one of the 1961 convention. This recommendation has also been referred to as recommendation 5.2. point one. I would like to invite Mr. Gills Forte to present the recommendation.

WHO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The main psychoactive substance in the cannabis plant is delta-9-THC, this substance is used medically and is sometimes known by its international nonproprietary name, Dronabidol. It also refers to the principal compound in illicit cannabis derived psychoactive products is currently placed in schedule two of the 1971 convention on psychotropic substances. Liability to abuse of delta nine THC is almost identical to that of cannabis and the adverse effect of delta-9-THC are also almost identical to those of cannabis. The committee noted that the risk of abuse and ill effect were particularly pronounced for those smoked cannabis derived psychoactive products – the substance liable to similar abuse and productive have similar effects, as that of a substance already scheduled within the 1961 single convention on Narcotic Drugs would in accordance with the conventions be scheduled in the same way as that substance. Delta-9-THC is liable to similar abuse as cannabis and has similar ill effects. It meets the criteria for inclusion in schedule 1 of the 1961 single convention Narcotic Drugs. Accordingly, in recommendation 5.2 point one, the committee recommended that dronabinol and its isomers, delta nine THC be added to schedule one of the 1961 single convention on narcotic drugs.

Chair: I now invite the commission to take a vote on the recommendation to add dronabinol and its isomers Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol known to schedule one of the 1961 convention. Let me remind the commission that under the 1961 convention in accordance with rule 58 of the Rules of Procedure of the functional Commission’s of ECOSOC, a simple majority of the commission members present and voting is required. I now would like to ask the Secretary to call upon the commission members in accordance with the same order.

Afghanistan  Y

Algeria N

Angola  N

Australia  Y

Austria Y

Bahrain  N

Belgium  Y

Brazil  N

Burkina Faso  N

Canada N

Chile  N

China  N

Colombia  Y

Côte d’Ivoire N

Croatia Y

Cuba N

Czech Republic  Y

Ecuador  Y

Egypt  N

El Salvador  N

France  Y

Germany  Y

Hungary  Y

India  N

Iraq  N

Italy  Y

Jamaica  Y

Japan N

Kazakhstan  N

Kenya  N

Kyrgyzstan  N

Libya  N

Mexico N

Morocco  Y

Nepal  A

Netherlands   Y

Nigeria  N

Pakistan N

Peru   Y

Poland  Y

Russia  N

South Africa   Y

Spain  Y

Sweden  Y

Switzerland   Y

Thailand  Y

Togo  N

Turkey N

Turkmenistan  N

Ukraine   A

UK   Y

USA  N

Uruguay  N

Chair: Honorable delegates. Ladies and gentlemen let me share the result of this vote on this recommendation with you. There is a total of 23 votes in favour, 28 votes against and two abstentions. As the recommendation is rejected, I declare the Commission has decided not to add dronabinol and it’s to isolate the 9-tetrahydrocannabinol to schedule. As recommendation 5.21 has been rejected, we will be following the scenario two, we will not thus vote on recommendations 5.2.2, 5.3.1 and 5.3.2. We move on to consideration of recommendation 5.4 now, so I would like to move forward and to the consideration of recommendation 5.4 which is to delete extracts and tinctures of cannabis from schedule one of the 1961 convention who has labelled this recommendation or referred this recommendation as recommendation 5.4. I would like to invite Mr. Forte.

WHO: So as far as the recommendation 5.4, extract and tincture is about extracts and tinctures of cannabis are preparations that are produced by application to cannabis. They are currently placed in schedule one of the ‘61 single convention on narcotic drugs; extracts and tinctures include both medical and non-medical preparations, such as the one with high concentrations of delta nine THC, such as oil, while the medical extracts and tinctures are administered orally. Those produced and used illicitly are normally inhaled. Preparations are defined as mixtures, solid or liquid containing a substance in schedule one or two and are generally subject to the same measure of control as that substance. The committee noted that by this definition of preparation, the ‘61 single convention Narcotic Drugs covers all products that are extract and tinctures of cannabis as preparation of cannabis. Accordingly, in recommendation 5.4, the committee recommended deleting a extract in tinctures of cannabis from schedule one of the 1961 single convention on narcotic drugs.

Afghanistan  N

Algeria N

Angola N

Australia   Y

Austria Y

Bahrain  N

Belgium   Y

Brazil  N

Burkina Faso N

Canada   Y

Chile Y

China  N

Colombia  Y

Côte d’Ivoire  N

Croatia Y

Cuba N

Czech Republic   Y

Ecuador  Y

Egypt  N

El Salvador  Y

France Y

Germany   Y

Hungary  N

India   N

Iraq  N

Italy  Y

Jamaica  N

Japan  N

Kazakhstan  N

Kenya  N

Kyrgyzstan N

Libya  N

Mexico Y

Morocco  Y

Nepal A

Netherlands  Y

Nigeria N

Pakistan N

Peru N

Poland Y

Russia N

South Africa  Y

Spain  Y

Sweden  Y

Switzerland  Y

Thailand N

Togo  N

Turkey N

Turkmenistan N

Ukraine   A

UK  Y

USA   Y

Uruguay Y

Chair: Honorable delegates Ladies and gentlemen, let me share the result with you. There is a total of 24 votes in favour of this recommendation 27 votes against eight, and two abstentions. Therefore, the recommendation is rejected. And I declare that the Commission has decided not to delete extracts, and tinctures of cannabis from schedule one of the 1961 convention.

WHO: Recommendation 5.5 – at its 40th meeting, the expert committee on drug dependence consider the critical review of cannabidiol and recommended that preparations to not be scheduled within the international drug control conventions. Cannabidiol is found in cannabis and cannabis resin, but does not have psychoactive properties and has no potential for abuse and no potential to produce dependence and has been shown to be effective in the management of certain treatment resistant childhood onset epilepsy disorders. It has been approved for this use in the United States and the European Union. Cannabidiol can be chemically synthesized, or it can be prepared from the cannabis plant. The committee noted that medicines without psychoactive effects that are produced as preparations of the cannabis plant will contain trace amounts of delta nine THC or dronabinol. That cannot be the old preparation approved for the treatment of childhood onset epilepsy contains not more than 0.15% Delta-9-THC by dry weight of plant derived material and has no effect indicative of potential for abuse or dependence. And in keeping with the 40th ECDD recommendation that preparations considered pure cannabidiol not be controlled and recognizing that trace levels of delta-9-THC may be found in such preparations. while acknowledging that chemical analysis of delta-9-THC to an accuracy of 0.15% may be difficult for some Member States. The committee recommended in recommendation 5.5 that a footnote be added to schedule one of the ‘61 single convention on narcotic drugs to read. Preparations containing predominantly cannabidiol and not more than point 2% of delta-9-THC are not under international control.

Chair: I thank the representative of WHO for introducing this recommendation. I now invite the commission to take a vote on who recommendation to add a footnote to the entry for cannabis and cannabis resin in schedule one of the 1961 convention to read preparations containing three dominantly can be dual and not more than 0.2% of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol are not under international control. Let me remind the commission that under the 1961 convention in accordance with the rule 58 of the Rules of Procedure of the functional Commission’s of ECOSOC, a simple majority of the commission members present, and voting is required. Secretary Joe Can you please proceed with the roll call vote.

Afghanistan  N

Algeria N

Angola  N

Australia  Y

Austria N

Bahrain N

Belgium N

Brazil N

Burkina Faso  N

Canada Y

Chile  N

China  N

Colombia   N

Côte d’Ivoire N

Croatia N

Cuba  N

Czech Republic N

Ecuador  Y

Egypt N

El Salvador  N

France  N

Germany N

Hungary  N

India  N

Iraq  N

Italy  N

Jamaica  N

Japan  N

Kazakhstan  N

Kenya  N

Kyrgyzstan N

Libya  N

Mexico N

Morocco   A

Nepal  A

Netherlands   N

Nigeria  N

Pakistan  A

Peru   Y

Poland  N

Russia  N

South Africa  Y

Spain  N

Sweden  N

Switzerland  N

Thailand  Y

Togo N

Turkey N

Turkmenistan  N

Ukraine  A

UK   N

USA  N

Uruguay  N

Chair: There is a total of six votes in favour. Recommendation 43 votes against it with four extensions. So the recommendation is rejected. Therefore, I declare that commission has decided not to add a footnote to the entry of cannabis and cannabis resin in schedule one of the 1961 convention to read preparations containing not more than 0.2% of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol are not under international control. With this result, we move forward to the consideration of recommendation 5.6. And for your benefit, let me share with you that since 5.2.1 was rejected, scenario two for the recommendation 5.6 will be applicable here, WHO has submitted a recommendation referred to as recommendation 5.6 to add preparations containing Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol  produced either by chemical synthesis or as preparations of cannabis that are compounded as pharmaceutical preparations with one or more other ingredients.

The Commission decided that if recommendation 5.2.1 to add dronabinol and its stereoisomers Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol to schedule one of the 1961 convention is rejected recommendation 5.6 to add certain preparations containing dronabinol to schedule three of the 1961 convention shall be deemed as rejected. The commission rejected recommendation 5.2.1 earlier today. Therefore, I declare the Commission has by consensus decided not to add preparations containing Delta-nine-tetrahydrocannabinol dronabinol produced either by chemical synthesis, or as preparations of cannabis that are compounded as pharmaceutical preparations, with one or more other intriguing ingredients, and in such a way that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol dronabinol can not be covered by readily available means, which would constitute a risk to public health approach schedule three of the 1961 convention. This brings us to completion of vote on six WHO recommendations. With this we have now to move forward to explanation of votes. And before starting the explanation of votes, I would like to thank all the members of the 63rd CND for undertaking a vote on the recommendations in a smooth manner.  I also thank the Secretariat for conducting the vote in a very professional manner.

I would like to open the floor for explanations of votes by the commission members please indicate your wish to take the floor by raising your nameplate or clicking on the raise hand button in interpreting. I would like to recall that in the interest of time in interventions may not be longer than three minutes. Longer statements can be posted on the Commission’s website, as we only have limited time for interpretation available to us, which was four hours of interpretation today. I will unfortunately have to interrupt delegates exceeding their speaking time, therefore I will request if the delegates keep their interventions within the time limit. The floor is now open. I will start with giving the floor to the pre-registered interventions by the delegations.

Turkey: Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. I reiterate that Turkey continues to be fully committed to the three international conventions, which are the cornerstones of the international drug control system. They are crucial for the effectiveness of the system and we all bear the responsibility of securing it together. Today, the CND took a decision to change the existing level of control on cannabis and cannabis resin. For the record of this meeting, I repeat that Turkey objected to all the recommendations. We continue to believe that there is a high risk to create a wrong public impression. As if cannabis and cannabis resin are not dangerous for health, Mr. President, adoption of 5.1 today by voting without consensus, just with a majority of 27 countries and against the will of 25 objecting member states, and one abstention created this situation, we should be carefully examined and assessed by my authorities. I therefore reserve our right to communicate later on our final assessment and national position regarding this decision taken today on cannabis and cannabis resin and whether it will be implemented by the Republic of Turkey.

China: Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates. China regrets the decision to reschedule cannabis and cannabis related substances. We believe that the rescheduling of cannabis and cannabis related substances is very complicated and specialized in the past two years, WHO and the UNODC have listened extensively to the inputs from various countries and conducted many q&a sessions. China acknowledges this, and will continue to support the CND, WHO and the UNODC to actively perform their duties within the mandate of the Convention on the basis of respecting the provisions of the convention. China will continue to maintain strict control of cannabis and cannabis related substances from the perspective of domestic laws to prevent the abuse and the harm. As a result of the voting, so as not to adversely affect the public health, especially the health of the adolescents.

UK: We would have preferred to have voted on these recommendations sooner and I’m pleased that the CND has today implemented it’s important treaty mandate role. Following today’s votes, this process can be concluded. We fully support the ongoing roles of the WHO, UNODC, INCB and remain fully committed to the international drug scheduling process. The UK voted to accept recommendations 5.15, 2.1, and 5.4, and to reject 5.5. I wish to explain the UK is vote on two recommendations on recommendation 5.1, we welcome the WHO’s acknowledgement of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis – the UK voted in favor of 5.1, as we agree that removing cannabis from schedule four is in line with the scientific evidence about its therapeutic benefits. The criteria for drug to be placed in schedule four does not apply to cannabis and cannabis resin evidence presented to the WHO ECDD whilst conducting their review suggests that cannabis is less harm. However, I emphasize that the UK is voted in favour of this recommendation in no way demonstrates support for the loosening of international control of cannabis and cannabis resin as they continue to present serious public health risks, and this recommendation ensures these substances remain in schedule one of the 1961 convention. Moving to recommendation 5.5, the UK voted to reject this, as it conflicts with UK legislation. Our legislation makes clear that any product containing controlled cannabinoids, including THC are currently controlled, unless they qualify as exempt products under the misuse of drugs regulations 2001. The recommendation suggests that preparations containing predominantly CBD and not more than 0.2% of delta-9-THC should be excluded from schedule one of the 1961 convention. Whilst we understand the purpose behind this, the UK does not think that preparations containing not more than 0.2% THC is the appropriate level for international control, and we would like further consideration to be given to an internationally controlled level of THC in the future. Thank you.

Hungary: …the sad reality that the international efforts on reducing consumption has clearly failed. So this fact is especially true to the cannabis consumption, the rate of which has risen dramatically and consistently overdose as the case, just a matter of fact, I would also like to draw your attention to the fact that cannabis has a strong addictive potential, which is being continuously proven by the sharp increase of cannabis use itself. There’s no room for objection to these statistics. We have no doubt that if the recommendations pass as they did, they will result in a further high increase of consumption. The attempt to reschedule cannabis is an extremely irresponsible act in our view. In addition to this, the attempt to reschedule cannabis is nothing more than a drastic step towards drug liberalization. And at the same time, a scandalous intervention in National Drug Policy, which is on us. So I want to make it clear that the use of any drugs in Hungary is illegal and punishable. We do not want to change this in the future and we sharply reject any intervention in our National Drug Policy. Thank you so much.

Canada: The CND effectively exercised it’s important normative function and responsibility to help prevent the abuse of psychoactive substances and ensure their availability for medical and scientific purposes. By taking scheduling decisions based on the World Health Organization’s determinative medical and scientific assessments cannabis and cannabis related substances reflect an updated and increased understanding. Based on the results of the first ever scientific assessments of these substances by the expert committee on drug dependence, holding extensive consultations including with civil society, Canada have supported recommendations that recognize a modern scientific understanding of the risk of abuse independence. Canada accepts and agrees with the assessment of the WHO’s expert committee that cannabis is not particularly liable to produce effects, similar to the effects of the other substances in schedule four, and that there are possible therapeutic uses for cannabis. Let us be clear: Adoption of recommendation 5.1 does not relax or soften the control of cannabis under the UN drug conventions. Cannabis remains in schedule one and continues to be subject to all measures of control applicable to drugs under the single convention. Canada will continue to take meaningful and effective action to prevent harm from cannabis use, and to counter it’s illegal movement across international borders, which remains a serious criminal offence in our country. The CND rejected the recommendation of the WHO to add a footnote to schedule one of the 1961 convention, indicating that CBD preparations containing less than point 2% THC are not under international control. The recommendation was supported by scientific evidence, and that CBD does not satisfy the criteria for international control under the drug conventions, which are concerned with the risk of abuse and dependence. With this in mind, Canada wishes to recall that during the international considerations Member States registered their concern with the use of footnotes, as a method to indicate that substances are not under international control. Canada suggest that the WHO’s recommendation would likely meet with greater support if it were reformulated to align with the structure and purpose of the convention and schedules, but WHO should exercise caution in continuing to rely on footnotes to the source. Canada looks forward to continuing our dialogue with Member States on other pressing issues, including the proliferation of synthetic drugs, and the opioid crisis which continues both to expand geographically, and to deepening complexity.

Germany: Chair, I have the honour to speak on behalf of the following states, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden, which are all members of the European Union as everybody knows, I’d like to explain our vote, the full text of my statement will be circulated. We supported the adoption of recommendation 5.1 to delete cannabis and cannabis resin from schedule four of the single convention of narcotic drugs, considering that it would allow more research in line with our evidence based tax policy on the medical use of cannabis and cannabis resin. It should be noted, however, that these substances continue to be controlled under schedule one of the single convention on narcotic drugs. In this regard, let me stress again that according to our understanding the WHO recommendations do not aim and should not be seen as a step towards a liberalization of the use of cannabis, or minimizing the risks and dangers, it represents for our society. According to the assessment of the expert committee on drug dependence, it is understood that the recommendations on Delta nine THC and its active steroids, as well as on THC do not imply any change in the international control level on these substances. Rather they facilitate the control measures in member states. Therefore, we supported the recommendation after three topical meetings – This year we have come to the conclusion that recommendation 5.4 implies no change in the international control level of extracts and tinctures of cannabis, nor is the recommendation expected to have impacts on the control and and/or reporting obligations of member states. Therefore we now […]

Thailand: Thailand is committed to all three international conventions on drug control, as they are important frameworks in addressing the global drug problem, Thailand acknowledges the valid concerns of some Member States regarding the risk of increased abuse and illicit use following the adoption of the recommendations. We therefore strongly reaffirm that cannabis is an illegal narcotic crop that must be subjected to strict control under relevant international conventions and regulations, as well as the domestic laws of respective countries. In this regard, raising public awareness on strict control of cannabis should be continued at all levels. At the same time, we are of the view that cannabis and its related substances also possess benefits for medical treatments and scientific research and the proper controls by the experts. Thailand voted therefore to support the WHO recommendations but only as they pertain to item 5.1.5 2.1 and 5.5. And we continue to pledge our commitment to making certain that cannabis will not be used for illicit purposes, no recreational activities. Thailand is well aware that cannabis is still widely misused, and that is remained part of the global drug problem. Our considerations today should therefore not be misinterpreted or taken to mean that cannabis control measures will be relaxed in any way. Each country must continue to enforce its domestic laws and measures in accordance with its unique context. Thailand remains committed to a zero tolerance approach to drugs. Our vote does not outweigh our shared commitment in achieving a drug free Asia. I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Japan: After much deliberation, we are pleased to have finally concluded our discussions on the recommendation on cannabis and cannabis related substances but today, I’d be remiss if I do not express our sincere gratitude to WHO, CND and UNODC to all of the distinguished delegates and the experts who was the barrier group contributions and time to this discussion. The scheduling of cannabis proved to be a unique and complex endeavour deserving of a thorough assessment of its impact by security. Japan recognizes that some medical products derived from cannabis or cannabis related substances have indicated some therapeutic benefits for the treatment of certain conditions that were low best and the conclusive scientific evidence proving the safety and effectiveness of these products is still needed. We also recognize that the non-medical use of cannabis and such narrative has health and social impacts, especially among youth, considering it is particularly diverse leveraged abuse, and it’s the most used drugs in the world, as indicated in the latest world drug report. It is our firm belief that all controlled substances ingredient Cannabis should only be used for medical and scientific purposes, in that with the original intent of the convention, and we would like this to left importance over preserving the integrity of the convention. If we commit to international cooperation and to implementing our international commitments by turning words into actions, only then can we make progress in tackling the current world drug crisis ingredients like illicit trafficking and abuse. It is only through our collective efforts that we can truly make a difference. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Morocco: We concluded today a long process which has been going on for two years now. Within this process, we have had the opportunity to debate in length and the various aspects are relevant to this issue. We thank WHO and INCB for their valuable clarification you have presented us; we’ve also heard a wide range of views and position is clarification enable us to understand fully and properly the issue and decide in full and deep knowledge of the facts. A Commission has acted upon recommendations that are based on sound scientific evidence and also motivated by the will to serve patients on the basis of newly established scientific records. After considering them in our national capacity, we would like to highlight the adoption of recommendation 5.1 can by no means be constructed as a vote in favour of decriminalization of cannabis, which continues to be prohibited under Moroccan domestic law. It is important to uphold the integrity of the three conventions pertaining to the international control of drugs and support the scientifically guided system as recommended by WHO.

Cuba: Cuba is at this meeting with great expectations, and the hope that the international drug control system will emerge, strengthen in order to more effectively deal with the world drug problem, which instead of improving is increasingly worse. How can we not be concerned when we have not reduced demand production and trafficking of drugs? How can we not be concerned knowing that millions of people consume cannabis all over the world? According to the World drug report 2020, the scourge of drugs affects all areas of the world. It reproduces cycles of poverty, violence, social exclusion, difficult health situations and criminal activity, it will be difficult to deal with the issues of production and trafficking from the south without eliminating that huge demand in the north, it is more important than ever before to acknowledge the principle of common and shared responsibility. We consider that this problem will not be dealt with through a flexibilization of international drug control systems, and certainly not with legalization, or presuming that drugs are inoffensive. Seeing this as a solution could mean accepting that states cannot or do not want to fulfil their obligations to combat crime and protect the health of their citizens. Therefore, Cuba does not favour that approach which opens up spaces of greater danger for the stability of our nations and which can have an impact on equally complex transnational crimes. Cuba voted against all the recommendations today and is disappointed by the result of the vote on recommendation 5.1 to exclude the cannabis plant and cannabis resin from the list for the strictest of the 1961 convention. However, we do appreciate that the recommendation was only approved by two votes.

El Salvador: El Salvador voted in favour of 5.1 because we agree with the WHO expert committee that acknowledges the therapeutic effect of cannabis and cannabis resin. And because we believe that eliminating them from list four from the 1961 convention will contribute and enable us to carry out the scientific and medical research. Moreover, we consider that the international cannabis and cannabis resin control system will not be changed because it will remain on list one of the 1961 convention and it will continue to be under strict control. This the fact that this recommendation was approved does not mean that cannabis will be used more for recreational purposes. El Salvador agrees with the international drugs control system. And we would never agree to legalising cannabis for recreational purposes. El Salvador voted against 5.2 and 5.5 because of their complexity and lack of scientific evidence. Finally, my delegation would like to acknowledge your leadership devotion and effort to bring this process to a conclusion.

Kazakhstan: I would like to outline Kazakhstan’s position on the weakening of the conventions’ controls with respect to cannabis. We voted against all the six resolutions and recommendations that were on the agenda for today’s meeting. This is due to the following circumstances. Kazakhstan has 140,000 hectares that are being used to grow cannabis, that is an estimate. Drug users in our country use hashish and other derivatives- 30 tons of cannabis are confiscated in our country every year. Against this backdrop were seen efforts among drug dealers to produce the substances in our country, how to export them. And this is very harmful to the drug situation in our country and to to young people and children. So our vote was based on the fact that the countries that voted for the amendments that they do not take the situation seriously enough, we have a strict ban on the circulation of cannabis and its derivatives. And also, on the use of cannabis containing medicines other than for medical purposes or scientific purposes is based on international law and any departure from that would be at variance with our National Drug Policy. Our legislation categorizes cannabis, and other drugs as a dangerous drugs. And we plan to continue pursuing our current policies at the national level of respect to cannabis. Thank you.

Kenya: My delegation aligns itself with this statement to be given by the Russian Federation on behalf of the likeminded group. Mr. Chairman, the world drug problem is an ever-present challenge that continually undermines national development and the attainment of the SDGs. Our commitment to the three international drug control conventions is unwavering, which are the cornerstone for the global combat against the word drug problem. The approach adopted by Kenya in tackling the drug problem is in line with the political declaration and the plan of action of 2009, the 2016 UNGASS outcome document in other international resolutions and commitments. The war on drugs comes with a high cost; drug related challenges threaten people’s health in national development and the Nexus with other transnational organized crime remains a major concern. This points to the complexity of the world drug problem that calls for shared responsibility from all states and relevant actors to resolve. All our efforts should culminate in attaining the health and wellbeing of the people. Mr. Chair, Kenya did not support any rescheduling as the current international drug control regime ensures balance supply and demand for controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes. Cannabis and cannabis products are the most abused drugs with the most devastating effects on the health and socio-economic development of the people. During the engagement process, Kenya advocated the retention of cannabis plant in cannabis racing in both shadows one and fall of the 1961 convention, respectively. In cognizance of its potential for abuse and the obvious health risks, my delegation registers its disappointment at the outcome of today’s voting on recommendation 5.1. The votes negate the letter and spirit of the drug control treaties cannot be seen not persuaded on the need for the rescheduling. Cannabis and cannabis resin were placed under the strict international control due to their harmful nature and potential for abuse. Therefore, to go against the 1961 arrangements required two thirds majority of the votes. My delegation sadly knows that the vote may serve the purpose of sanitizing the legalization of cannabis and latest substances for recreational use and abuse. And further, the vote is likely to be misinterpreted by the public that cannot be no longer poses harmful side effects to the health of individuals contract to scientific findings. My delegation welcomes the rejection of the recommendations 5.21 5.4 and 5.5 recommendation 5.5 which proposes to permit the recreational use of products contains 0.2% of delta nine THC would have heightened abuse. In conclusion, my delegation calls on all member states to align their national legislation to ensure strict measures on cannabis and use of cannabis. Thank you.

Algeria: Mr. Chair today’s voting and the rejection of recommendation 5.1 by almost half of the members of the Commission, as well as the refusal of all the order WHO recommendations or films that for the past 60 years international drug control system has been effective in addressing the illicit production and, and trafficking in cannabis and cannabis substances. Today’s voting reflects also the first acceptance that the cure and control regime is effective in ensuring access and availability of cannabis and cannabis related substances for medical and scientific purposes, while restricting the diversion for non-medical use. Today’s voting outcome just proved that the proposed changes were neither necessary nor even needed, and have no merit other than exposing the CND to such an unprecedented divisive situation. According to the last year’s World drug reports, cannabis remains the most abused drug in the world with almost 200 million people abusing cannabis per year. Cannabis also remains the drug that most brings people into contact with criminal justice system. We are afraid the outcome of today’s voting will make the situation worse. We are further disturbed that the decision of the Commission in recommendation 5.1 could be perceived as a relaxation of the international control for cannabis and related substances. Mr. Chair, it’s important to underline that cannabis plant and cannabis are designed to remain under strict level of international and national control in schedule one of the 61 convention, recreational use of cannabis continues to be illegal and remains a violation of the drug control conventions and therefore should be deployed. It’s important to underline also that despite the adoption of the recommendation on twine by one member states still have or keep the right to continue to impose strict domestic control measures for cannabis and cannabis related substances in accordance with Article 39 of the compassion 61. This legal position has been reinforced by the INCB in its statement paper on the WHO recommendations. Mr. Chair, we spent two years discussing this complex and interconnected set of recommendations and the possible implications we spent or I would say we wasted two years for what almost nothing. We believe it is crucial for us to draw the right conclusions from this experience to avoid this repetition in the future. We believe there is a need for closer coordination between WHO, INCB and other entities.

Angola: It is essential to acknowledge that dependency on drugs has always been an issue that affects the progress of any country because it is one of the leading causes of impact in your in the upcoming generations. And not only does it affect people’s life, but it prevents seeking fulfilment, undressing the capacity, diminishing the overall involvement of society on the SDGs. Our main goal is to create a society that […] We call on members to seek a balance between defining their national interest and the need to focus on a problem which affects many families around the world.

Peru: Peru has closely followed the debate regarding the WHO’s recommendations, the discussions we ourselves have had with regards to recommendation 5.1 per rule considers we should keep the universal restriction regarding cannabis and its residence so that we bear in mind that it should not be changed. We did not vote in favour of recommendation 5.4 because we consider that extracts and tinctures should be considered as drugs on list one. Otherwise, there could be a high risk of illicit trafficking in this form because it could not be controlled or subject to criminal prosecution, therefore, increasing the problem of new psychoactive substances. In Peru, using cannabis for medicinal purposes, takes place through extracts and tinctures in prescription formula.

Jamaica: This is an important moment in the history of the global drug control framework governing cannabis and related substances. Jamaica plays on record its appreciation to the WHO expert committee on drug dependence for its first there was a review of cannabis and resin accompanying recommendations. We also worked with INCB and UNODC for the continued engagement with Member States to facilitate greater clarity on the recommendations and their possible implications. The review served as your affirmation of what Jamaica has always known given its long historical and intimate connection with the plant and source of traditional medicine. It was on this basis that we voted in support of the majority of the recommendations. Today’s votes mark a beginning … the current international drug control architecture does not allow to address national realities and unique circumstances, but it is also at the core of discussions on criminal justice reforms and human rights in particular freedom of religion is here. Jamaica would like to express its appreciation to those member states who have voted in support of recommendations 2.1 in particular. It is also hoped that as additional scientific and medical data becomes available, that member states will further explore improving access to cannabis and cannabis related substances for medicine and therapeutic purposes. Jamaica wishes to emphasize the issue on our economic growth and sustainable development agenda. We recognize the CND as the principal policymaking body in United Nations system for drug related matters and our commitment to its work. We look forward to broader questions on how to further Listen to the global drunk control architecture. I thank you.

Egypt: Egypt aligns itself with the statement to be delivered by the Russian Federation on behalf of that likeminded group. Egypt has strong confidence in the international regime for drug control based on our cognizance of the transboundary nature of the world drug problem that has a devastating impact on communities. Egypt attaches great importance to the three international drug control conventions, and they’re full and effective implementation as the main pillars to counter global drug problem. We have carefully examined the WHO’s recommendations on cannabis and its related substance during the past two years, and actively participated in the three topical meetings. So it’s nice to give the member states in the CND oversight on the recommendations to reach a common… however, it is our conviction that after all these discussions, cannabis and its related substance might be harmful to health, and might have substantial, substantial negative economic, social and security repercussions on our communities. The results of the vote today on recommendation 5.1 reflect beyond doubt, the divisive nature of this recommendation. It was only one vote which decided the difference between what is accepted and what is not. Egypt is deeply concerned that the outcome of today’s voting may be interpreted that these substances are no longer harmful to health, which consequently defies the purpose of the scheduling regime. Moreover, it might act as a catalyst for more illicit production and trafficking of cannabis and cannabis related substances. Having said that, and in order to protect the health and welfare of our people, especially the youth, and in line with our commitment to prevent and combat, drug abuse and addiction, Egypt underscores its right to continue to take the necessary control measures in accordance with Article 39 of the 1961 convention. To conclude, Egypt respects the primary and leading role of the CND in ensuring the world Drug Control Regime and highlights the shared responsibility of the member states to maintain the effectiveness of this control regime.

Nigeria: Today’s decision to accept the WHO’s recommendation 5.1 to delete cannabis plant and cannabis resins from scheduled 4 for the 1961 single convention on narcotics drugs is highly regretted. Cannabis remains the most addictive drug in the world – the 2020 world drug report indicated that over 100 and 90 million people abused cannabis in one year. This is also similar to the 2019 World Report, which indicated a 30% increase in non-medicinal medical use of cannabis in the last decade. In non-medical use of cannabis remains a global challenge in view of its harmful effects. My delegation is deeply concerned that the recommendations were met at a time when the world is witnessing a disturbing increase in non-medical use of abuse of cannabis. We think that the decision of the Commission on recommendation 5.1 could be perceived as the relaxation of international control for cannabis and related substances. This has almost been so phased in one of the old media that you enhance relaxed the use of cannabis in practice to introduce addition. In our statement, during the topical meeting, my delegation observed a lack of clarity and ambiguity that has been reimposed by the rejection of recommendation 5.1 by almost half of the member states of the Commission. In addition, the rejection of most of the recommendations by the Commission in our view reflects an acceptance that the current control region is effective in insurance accesses and availability of cannabis and cannabis related substances for medical and scientific purposes. While restricting the diversion for non-medical use, it is also an indication that cannabis remains readily available globally for medical and scientific purposes despite strict control measures in some jurisdiction in line with the convention. Mr. Chair, it is important to reiterate that cannabis and cannabis related substances remain under strict control in schedule one of the 1961 convention, notwithstanding the decision of the Commission, or recommendation 5.1 states are still empowered to impose the district’s measure of control at the domestic level to address peculiar domestic situation in line with article 39 of the 1961 convention. In other words, the provision of Article two, paragraph five subsection a so paragraph A and B have 1961 convention, which would is which would cease to apply following the acceptance of recommendation 51.1 is saved by the clear provision of Article 39 of the same convention. The decision to accept recommendations should not be interpreted as support for legalization. Legalization of non-medical use of cannabis remains a violation of the drug control conventions also, the decision should not be construed as liberalization of cannabis and related substances. In conclusion, we request the inclusion of our observation in this report. We also align our actions associate ourselves with the statement to be read by Russia on behalf of like minded states.

Ecuador: We have participated in roundtables, thematic sessions and technical debates throughout 2019 and 2020. In Ecuador, from 2007, public policy on drugs introduced a new legal framework. In terms of drugs, this led to a paradigm shift and we continued to work through to 2015 with the organic law on the comprehensive prevention of the socio economic phenomenon of drugs, which enabled us to work on prevention and included stakeholders from different sectors such as education, social inclusion, sports, leisure, culture, etc. The change in drugs control law to one that focused on prevention with respect of human rights was a significant turning point and Ecuador is currently working on the regulation for the therapeutic and prescription use of cannabis and cannabinoid products. This proposes a line of action that encourages research guaranteeing sovereignty of knowledge and interculturality. Pursuing benefits that cannabis compounds can provide to a growing number of people who need to relieve conditions and problems which cannot be treated by other medicines. In accordance with international experience and the action of other countries. Ecuador, through its sovereignty, believes it is favourable to align itself with the following recommendations 5.1 5.21 5.22 5.31 5.32 5.4 5.5 and 5.6 made by the WHO. I would like to point out that this is based on our public health policy, which is linked to our constitution and other prevailing laws to facilitate the transition towards the use of medicinal cannabis. Ecuador ratifies its commitment to support the CND in its mission and goals aimed at achieving international consensus among member states. I would urge you to consider the use of medicinal cannabis as a democratic exercise and non-polarized debate with a horizontal structure where production, dispensation and use of the plant will have a regulatory framework guaranteeing good practices quality, innovation, and development in research, as we have considered in our country, determining the relevance of knowledge and the sovereignty of our peoples and nationalities.

Russia: Thank you very much. It’s a great pleasure and honor for me to read the joint statement on behalf of for 29 likeminded states. The list of co-sponsors is as follows: Algeria, Angola, Belarus, Bahrain, Burkina Faso, China, Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan Palestine, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Sudan, Tajikistan, strong Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Venezuela. Before I start, I should say that probably it will take a little bit more than three minutes to deliver as you statement and I count to Mr. Chairman, on your indulgence, patience and understanding taking into account the importance of the topic around almost record breaking number of co-sponsors. We are extremely disappointed as the outcome of the voting on the recommendation to reschedule cannabis plant and cannabis regime from the strictest schedule for of the 1961 single convention on narcotic drugs. Cannabis remains as the most abused drug globally. For the past 60 years as international drug control system has been effective in addressing and countering the illicit production of and trafficking in cannabis and cannabis related substances whilst ensuring the availability for medical and scientific purposes. There is limited evidence that justifies any changes to the schedule or scheduling system for cannabis and its related substances, which remains relevant today in curbing the wars and worsening global dark situation. The outcome of the voting clearly shows that there is no consensus on such an important decision and nearly half and in some cases, more than half of the commission doesn’t see sufficient reasoning for the proposed change. We express deep concerns of the decision to change the existing scheduling status for cannabis, and it’s related to substances may be interpreted as a condition for ending the substances are no longer regarded as harmful to health… in sharp contrast to the recent scientific findings, notwithstanding the outcome of the voting, there should be no ambiguity about the implications of this decision. The Commission doesn’t condone the legalization of cannabis, which is contrary to the conventions they are concerned with as the change in the control system will result in an increase in realistic use, and production of cannabis and cannabis related substances. As we have seen in some state sponsors, that is the control measures long before the official decision of the CND and contrary to the conventions. In addition, this change will not improve access to cannabis for medical and scientific purposes considering that access for such purposes, is not restricted in the current legal framework; what this change is planting more cannabis for its economic benefits and will result with an increase in drug trafficking. Also, replacing the cultivation of agricultural products with cannabis will have adverse effect on food security. Deliberations or recommendations over the past two years clearly illustrate that there is no agreement as to the need and there is no clear understanding of the possible implications. We rejected these recommendations because they will cause uncertainties and gaps in the implementation of control measures, which will weaken the integrity of the international drug control regime. We call upon MS to fulfil their obligations to prevent and combat drug addiction. To protect the health and welfare of mankind and encourage the international community to support these efforts. Member States maintain the right to impose strict domestic control measures for cannabis and cannabis related substances, which in the opinion are necessary having regard to the particularly dangerous properties in accordance with Article 39 of the 1961 conventions. The focus should now be on helping Member States effectively implement the control measures for cannabis and cannabis related substances. Technical Assistance will need to be provided including to member states who lack the necessary detection, testing, monitoring and enforcement capabilities to implement them. And we call upon this commission to elaborate in close cooperation with UNODC and WHO. We are concerned that cannabis cultivation might expand further without proper control measures, which could lead to diversions to illicit market and result in weakening the international drug control system. The Commission spent two years discussing this complex and interconnected set of recommendations and the possible implications if you believe there is a need for closer and more coherent coordination between the WHO and Vienna-based entities prior to submission of scheduling recommendations in order to avoid such unfortunate situations in the future as recommendations bear more serious implications for the present and future generations. We appreciate the valuable input provided by the UNODC and INCB, WHO/ECDD and underline a leading role for the CND as a policymaking body of the International Drug Control System to implement the scale use of zero of those commercials.

Singapore: At the outset, let me associate my delegation with the joint statement read out by the Russian Federation and let me also say how much we appreciate your untiring efforts and your stellar leadership to steer the scene on this important issue, as well as the great support from the Secretariat. Singapore respects treaty mandated roles of WHO to conduct reviews of substances and provides recommendations on the global controls to be imposed on them, as well as the principal role on CND as the policymaking body in the UN, with prime responsibility for drug matters. We are disappointed that recommendation 5.1 has been accepted. The voting outcomes today demonstrate clear that there is no international consensus on the recommendations on cannabis, and cannabis related substances, despite the many discussions before the vote to reach a common understanding. Clearly, there’s a lack of adequate and robust evidence to substantiate these recommendations, particularly on the safety and efficacy of cannabis as related substances for medical purposes. In contrast, well founded and incontrovertible research that establishes several short-term and long-term adverse effects associated with cannabis use, including impairments to one’s respiratory and cognitive functions, and thus the adoption of recommendation 5.1. in spite of sharp disagreements between member states and the robust persuasive scientific evidence fundamentally goes against our principles of consensus and evidence-based policymaking. It threatens to undermine our duty to protect public health and welfare. The deletion of cannabis and cannabis resin scheduled for 1961 convention carries a high signature and will perpetuate societal misperception and this will encourage more abuse, especially among the youth and create other social and safety problems. As such, we stress acceptance of recommendation 5.1 shouldn’t be viewed as an endorsement of recreational cannabis use and mustn’t pave the way for further liberalization of cannabis. In conclusion, we reiterate our disappointment in the scheduling discussion taking today. Singapore remains firmly committed to a duty to our citizens to protect public health and welfare. We will continue to keep cannabis and cannabis related substances under robust control in Singapore to ensure that Singaporeans are kept safe from the scourge.

Cyprus: Cyprus fully aligns itself with the statement of the European Union. But I would like to add some remarks in my national capacity. I would like to thank you, Mr. Chair, the World Health Organization, INCB and UNODC for providing us with the opportunity during the last two years to exchange views on the proposed scheduling recommendations on cannabis and cannabis related substances and assess all the available evidence on this important issue. The issue is both medically and scientifically very complex and raises economic, legal, administrative and social questions. Cyprus endorses a balanced and evidence-based approach to drugs, focusing on the individual without neglecting the protection of the society as a whole. Drug policies in the Republic of Cyprus encompass both supply and demand reduction measures, as well as measures aiming at the reduction of the harmful impact of the use of drugs. Along these lines and on the basis of the new national strategy on addressing dependencies, which covers the period 2021-2028, Cyprus is undertaking a concerted effort to reduce the use of licit and illicit substances, as well as gambling. The Republic of Cyprus considers drug dependence as a health disorder with the implication that it has to be managed in an integrated, comprehensive manner in this context, and while recognizing the complexity of the issue, my country put special focus on the health aspect of the drug dependence phenomenon. Separate national strategy is focused on the provision of treatment to drug users into a targeted approach tailored towards the needs of subgroups with specific vulnerabilities such as migrants and patients with dual diagnosis. Gender dimension is not neglected with a specific emphasis on female drug users and their main goal of the strategy and main goals of the study are to enhance treatment effectiveness, to increase retention rates of those undergoing treatments to improve the delivery of treatment within the criminal justice system. And we aim also to provide support to individuals in order to allow for the rehabilitation and reintegration into society. Crucially, we make efforts to reduce the social stigma attached to drug use, and at the same time, establishing targets towards the elimination of criminal activity. We also support and are actively engaged in efforts to enhance the effectiveness of international cooperation. To conclude, I would like to reiterate our willingness to continue our work to achieve feasible and sustainable measures and policies in order to address the world drug

Iran: My delegation associates itself with the statement delivered by the ambassador of the Russian Federation on behalf of the likeminded group on the WHO recommendations on cannabis and cannabis related substances and would like to put on record the following comments in its national capacity. Since cannabis is the most widely abused drug in the world, with approximately 192 million users worldwide, and the CND decision to reschedule in cannabis and cannabis resin has not been approved by consensus, and half of the Commission’s members voted against it, we are concerned that this decision may send the wrong message as if these substances are not dangerous enough for health and therefore lead to a significant increase in cannabis production and abuse. Against this backdrop, cannabis is probably subjected to the full scope of international controls under schedule one of the single convention of 1961 as amended by the 1972 protocol. One has to be cautious about the possible negative consequences of rescheduling of these substances, UNODC, INCB and WHO should constantly monitor and provide member states with their assessment on the effects and consequences of the implementation of the adopted recommendation on public health throughout the world. These decisions shouldn’t be considered as a confirmation of non-scientific and non-medical use of cannabis, or the justification for the legalization of recreational use. It is our firm conviction that any legislative measures aimed at legalizing or regulating the use of substances on the international control including cannabis and cannabis related substances for non-medical or non-scientific purposes, is incompatible with international legal obligations of the parties on the distinctive conventional narcotic drug 1961, as well as the 1988 Convention against illicit traffic. Finally, in accordance with our domestic law, and in conformity with article 39 of the single convention or not with the drugs 1961, as amended by the 1972 protocol, the Islamic Republic of Iran continues is a strict national control measures on the illicit use and production of cannabis and its related substances, as it is necessity or desirable for the protection of the public health or welfare.

Pakistan: We associate ourselves with the statement ever delivered by Russia. The Commission deliberated upon each of the recommendations, effects and impacts and the rationale behind them. I would like to reiterate that arguments put forth in support of the recommendation to change international control of cannabis and its related substances are not convincing. Researchers first pointed out some hurdles that allegedly impede scientific self to the political benefits of cannabis. In contrast, as we’re fully aware, they are already successfully conducting research. Cannabis remains the most abused drug in the world that exists with well-established scientific evidence of negative and lasting health effects, especially to pregnant women and adolescence. cannabis use also results in addiction and its use decreases the risk of addiction to other drugs. And is of the view that the focus should now be on helping Member States effectively implement the control measures and prevent misuse of cannabis and cannabis related substance. But we didn’t have technical support, especially to member states who lack the necessary means of protection monitoring and enforcement capabilities to efficiently implement the provisions. There is also a strong need for clear elaboration of guidelines to ensure coherent application of provisions of the conventions related to illicit production, trade, medical and scientific use of cannabis, as well as for the control of emerging high potency cannabis could also be further streamlining and strengthening the reporting mechanisms on legitimate cultivation, production and trade in cannabis related substances to avoid any discrepancies searcher spotted by international partners. We need a strong political will to work towards a […] The Federal Ministry published in narcotics policy, oversight mechanisms in Parliament and judicial levels of measurement of an interagency task force and counter narcotics and implementation of a robust and stringent precursor Control Regime… We remain fully committed to international obligations under the conventions.

Peru: Peru shares that concern about the perverse effect of the production and consumption of drugs. We acknowledge that the world drug problem is complex in nature and it affects all countries, whether they are producers, transit countries are consumers over and above. The different way this affects our countries also needs different approaches used to tackle it. Peru has been fighting more than 40 years but it is an exogenous factor to take into account and that is outside demand. So we must support the idea of common and shared responsibility. The covid 19 pandemic affected the global drug trade, but traffickers and criminals have used different ways to overcome that, especially by air and by sea to meet the growing demand in consumer countries. Peru acknowledges that to free our country from the damage of drugs, we need a political decision so that we can strike a balance between alternative development the control of illicit crops and combating criminals and reducing reducing demand. We need international cooperation so that our own efforts cannot be undermined by growing demand in other countries. We have suffered tension because of that, and harm to the environment, including deforestation and water pollution and perverse alliances. We would therefore like to reaffirm that the three international drug conventions are the cornerstone of the international drug control system. Peru has closely followed the debate on the recommendations regarding the reclassification of cannabis and its derivatives. And in this case, we would like to express concern at the approval of 5.1, which would remove cannabis from schedule 4 and we believe we need more exchange of ideas. This forum is the ideal opportunity to talk about that and how to achieve a world free of drugs. Thank you.

Indonesia: Indonesia appreciates the developments and progress of the discussions conducted in the commission, leading up to today. Nevertheless, my delegation expresses dis appointment at the outcome, particularly in recommendation 5.1. There is clear evidence that the use of cannabis and cannabis related substances has brought more harm than benefit. For this reason, Russia calls upon all relevant parties to carefully decided the next measure. Accepting the recommendation is not an attempt to legally legitimize the wider use of cannabis. Each member state should contain for sovereignty to enact respective domestic laws to control cannabis and cannabis related substances in order to protect their citizens from the implication of the narcotic drug. As Indonesia has consistently advocated for the rights of vulnerable individuals and their families, to good health and welfare, we remain committed to safeguard these rights and have our civil society remain happy. You must remain consistent, we have committed ourselves to implementing the three the national conventions on drug control to address the word drug problem. This commitment has for decades safeguarded our community and we call upon all member states to continue honoring this commitment. Thank you very much.

Sri Lanka: Distinguished experts, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, the government of democratic social republic of Sri Lanka is highly concerned about the extent of the global and regional drug problem. And the extent of the drug problem in Member States are emerging threats and they have devastating adverse consequences with special reference to the health and welfare of people, which cause permanent physical emotional damage. The government of Sri Lanka reaffirms its political will and determination to create a secure country free from abuse in accordance to the policy framework of the government. That world drug problem should be addressed in the multilateral setting through effective and increase international cooperation and establish an integrated multidisciplinary mutually reinforcing balance coordinated scientific evidence-based practice. Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug with the prevalence of 1.9% of total population of about 14 years and 0.6% of total population are heroin users, heroin use among male population is 1.2%. Non-medical use of prescription drugs is becoming considerably high of 0.15% of the population – action has been taken to increase residential capacity of treatment and rehabilitation programme with support of UNODC. Further actions have been taken to shift from punitive to therapeutic approaches while promoting effective and efficient medical services for treatment and rehabilitation programme in residential prison setting and incremental based treatment programmes with the partnership of recreation and control agencies, health authorities, local governments and through community empowered programmes.

The Government of Sri Lanka has taken a number of measures towards the implementation of international convention and policy documents, including review of Sri Lanka national policy and development of national action plan. We have initiated new development programmes for identification and registration of individual drug dependent persons and problem drug users to ensure counselling services by trained government offices, ensure medical treatment service at outpatient clinics for drug dependent person and refer to appropriate treatment and rehabilitation programme thereafter. So, the detoxification programme in in hospital setting and the supervision of psychiatry is also beginning. Introduction of psychotherapy by trained counsellors’ psychologists to enhance coping skills and cognitive strategies to prevent relapse and dysfunctional […] implementation of recreation initiatives at community level and strengthening of usage of social media platform for prevention of drug abuse among youth and general public. Concerning the goals and objectives of the international drug control treaties, and the policy documents, the government has recognized the need for empowering all sectors of community for combating against drug problem and addressing the adverse health and other consequences. In this context, we would like to express our gratitude to CND and INCB as a leading entities for scientific technical and financial support extending to Sri Lanka so far, and I kindly request continued support with which we are confident that we will be able to uplift and strengthen the country’s recreation and control programme. Thank you very much for your kind attention.

SAM (NGO): Hello, everyone. It is an honour to speak to you today. Thank you for this opportunity. My name is Luca Baratos. I’m from Colorado, the United States and I bring a unique perspective on the issue of diversion. My hope is that the rest of the world can learn from the painful lessons we are experiencing here in Colorado and several other US states, jurisdictions that have decided to contravene the three drug conventions and implement their own policies. One example is to begin with the scrutiny of current efforts with medical marijuana, bypassing usual scientific processes. We have legalized medicine through popular vote that has translated to providing access to marijuana through a commercialized for profit model, not one regulated by a single scientific body. This has resulted in large scale diversion. Big Tobacco has invested more than $2 billion into marijuana and can be seen as a leader of the supposedly medical industry. This has resulted in irreparable harms across a wide array of public health metrics. A recent study out of Colorado on teens receiving substance use treatment reported nearly 74% used marijuana that was recommended medically for someone else on average of 50 times as states have moved on to legalizing non-medical use. There are also reports that show substantial increases in diversion from state legal establishments to the illegal market. In fact, illegal marijuana in Oregon and California makes up more than 70% of their entire legal markets, meaning the regulated market is only serving about 30% of the users. This large-scale diversion has translated to a tenfold increase in the number of daily or near daily users of marijuana today versus 30 years ago, reaching 9 million people using this daily. This increase can be only attributed to states continuing to expand access to the drug with very little regulation and no oversight, no clinical trials and no scientific controls. But special interests have now moved beyond marijuana. psilocybin or magic mushrooms will now be made available in certain jurisdictions in the US for medical purposes, though again, bypassing usual scientific means without proper policies in place to prevent the diversion of the current legal drugs. Adding yet another narcotic drug to this medical model will result in an additional problematic social impact. Given the failure of medical marijuana programmes a prudent approach to assessing medical uses for other narcotics must be confined to scientific input clinical trials, a high degree of federal regulation by nonpartisan committees and proven feedback from clinicians. What we do not need is for the for-profit industries like big tobacco and big alcohol to be driving the process as they are today in the United States. I thank you so much for your consideration. Have a great day.

Interdisciplinary Centre for Cannabis Research (NGO): The people of Jamaica and civil society groups in CARICOM remain very disappointed with the review of the International treaty as it didn’t go further in regards to the recognition of the cultural and traditional rights to use certain plants such as cannabis. It is our strong belief that the recognition of cultural rights is a critical element of any sustainable development approach in our region. In regions such as the Caribbean, use of cannabis has been historical and there has been a number of traditional and groups such as on runes, or Indian descendants and Rastafari who have grown up using the plant as traditional remedies. Our communities have historically used cannabis as part of their community practices. The Indian indentured laborers, and their communities have mixed with existing African culture to strengthen and enrich the lives and health of the Caribbean people. And it is unfortunate that these cultural national contexts were not fully taken into consideration. Another important are Rastafari who use cannabis not only as medicine, but as food and sacrament. It is important therefore, that these various cultural dynamics should have been taken into consideration, as to establish a more sustainable approach to implementing international drug control. It is also important that we know that most contemporary medicine originated from traditional medicines and traditional practices of these cultural communities.

Another important point and final point to note is that the international drug control changes were first introduced and established on premises of discrimination and prejudice toward certain culture and people on a colonial basis. We the People hope that at some point in the future, the CND and our world leaders will seek to correct mistakes and understand that there are various cultures that use [scheduled] plants culturally as medicine as food and a sacrament. Thank you.

Rwanda Youth Impact: Today we would like to talk about the matching processes of six recommendations for job organisation expert committee on Drive dependence on cannabis and its related substances draw your attention to the possible implications of the approval of these and demonstrates our stance. We believe that the 1961 1972 and 1988 conventions established a solid complimentary and holistic basis for the international drug control system and will also appreciate the collective will of the implementation of those we are today contains and if server reservations about it is several personal Lucia dealing of cannabis and electronics. substances when it comes to a significant proportion of your population, that we have a duty to protect from any kind of drug use and addictions. We achieved this living on the international consensus, only prohibitionist drugs and prevention activities that strongly believe in the power of prevention after the tragic of genocide that left the country morning 26 years ago, random people who have shown an example of extraordinary resilience while most of the youth have not explained the atrocities but then that’s what affected in one way or the other. They have also been affected again in terms of the creation of vulnerable groups, our reservations or the who recommendation if certain dimensions would like to not we support the idea that the currency diluting of cannabis and related substances with sufficient flexibility to allow the pharmaceutical use of cannabis and promote strains of international. as well. We believe this is extremely important areas to cover. We are concerns that in case of the NEC of acceptance of the recommendations, we will be risking the creation of a false perception amongst the public. That kind of abuse is not particularly harmful for health. Lastly, we believe that the use of cannabis extracts and tinctures of cannabis and pharmaceutical production may be considered as a legitimate basis to amend the conventions, but also strongly believe that the availability of cannabis based medicines for therapeutic purposes in the absence of universally accepted medical and health standards, and prescribing practices might lead to a bigger health problems, especially in the short run, which again is far from being ideal in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, we kindly as CND members carefully evaluated their voting positions, and also consider the young segments of societies in different parts of the world.

Transnational Institute (NGO): Ladies and gentlemen. Today, the CND voted to adopt recommendation 5.1 – the WHO told all of you this will give hope to millions of people whose suffering is eased by cannabis. With the removal of cannabis from schedule four of the 1961 single convention, the medicinal usefulness of cannabis can no longer be denied. This strengthens the international legal basis for medicinal cannabis programmes, which can now be found in more than 50 countries. We welcome this historic step taken today. Nevertheless, the journey is far from over. It’s important to note that the original inclusion of cannabis in the UN drug control system was rooted in racism and colonialism and not in science. It has fuelled human rights violations that disproportionately affect communities of color, and has impeded scientific research on cannabis-based medicines and nobody chose scientific assessment also clearly shows that cannabis does not pose the same level of health risks of most drugs placed under schedule of the 1961 convention. But this was not reflected in the recommendations. It appears that the role of the WHO within the scheduling procedure is compromised by other considerations beyond the medical scientific arguments. Through review process also highlighted the shortcomings and inconsistency of the treaty system itself, which left the WHO with very limited and unsafe on satisfactory options. This serves as a bad precedent for future scheduling decisions. This year, more and more citizens and policymakers around the world are waking up from the decades long illusion that cannabis prohibition ought to prevail. And let’s not forget that cannabis serves as a source of livelihoods for millions of for workers worldwide, especially those in formerly colonized countries; cannabis cultivation was once legally promoted by colonial powers as a way to extract wealth from colonized peoples. We welcome today’s adoption of recommendation 5.1. but this is not the end as much remains to be done in order to ensure that the scheduling system evolves based on scientific evidence, not on political interests. We need a follow up process to address the gaps in the recommendations for the sake of improving the treaty system as a whole.

INCB: Thank you Ambassador is excellent is in gentlemen. Pleased to speak to you on behalf of the International Narcotics Control Board and my sincere adulation to you work over the months and years in the lead up to today’s vote. INCB has no role per se in the scheduling process as providing its technical advice to Member States upon request. The board will continue to work with Member States to ensure the control measures are applied for those substances pursuant to the decisions taken to date. I mentioned in my statement at the second intersessional meeting on the eighth of October this year: three elements are necessary to ensure the same level of monitoring and control for cannabis and cannabis related products. Paired understanding of the control requirements for cannabis and cannabis related substances. Consistent approach with regard to imports and exports – realistic and uniform conversion factors to for effective monitoring in order to address the challenges currently faced with monitoring the increasing volume of listed production of and trade in cannabis and cannabis related products. INCB has planned a series of consultations with member states and experts to clarify further action in the light of the decisions taken today to effectively monitor and control the availability and quality of cannabis and cannabis related substances for medical purposes. INCB looks forward to continuing to support member states in the implementation of the three internal control conventions, practical allocation of scheduling decisions adopted today by the Commission to ensure the availability of controlled substances, including cannabis and cannabis related substances for medical and scientific purposes, while preventing their diversion and abuse. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Chair: I think we all should be satisfied that we have gone through the exercise of the voting on these recommendations in a in a smooth manner and ensuring that no anomalies arise from the voting outcome for some of the recommendations going into the same convention under the same convention. I am grateful for the cooperation of all the member states in this exercise. Tomorrow, we will be having a joined session and the day after tomorrow, we will have the last session of the 63rd CMD, where we will be completing or considering the remaining items on the agenda and then inviting the 64th chair and going for the election of the office bearers. Thank you. We continue tomorrow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.