New classification of Cannabis by UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)

The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs recently removed Cannabis from Schedule IV category of the 1961 Single convention on Narcotics (1). This was done to recognise the medicinal values of the plant. Though cannabis has been removed from Schedule IV, the non-medicinal Cannabis is still under Schedule I.

About Cannabis plant

Around 50 countries in the world have adopted medicinal cannabis programmes. Countries such as Uruguay and Canada have legalised the recreational use of the Cannabis plant. In United States, 15 state have approved for recreational use and 33 states have allowed for medicinal use of cannabis.

1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs

The single convention schedules of drugs range from the most restrictive to the least restrictive in the following order: Schedule IV, Schedule I, Schedule II and Schedule III.

Schedule I

The drugs under Schedule I are limited only to scientific and medicinal purposes. They require medicinal prescription for the supply.

Schedule II

Medical Prescription of these drugs are not obligatory The Governments are not bound to prevent the accumulation of these drugs.

Schedule III

They are subjected to lesser restrictions.

Schedule IV

The drugs under this category such as Heroin are considered to have dangerous properties. Under this category, the parties are required to limit their research purposes.

Cannabis usage in India

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment found that around 2.83% of Indians between the age 10 and 75 years use Cannabis products.

India and 1961 single Convention on Narcotic Drugs

India is a signatory of the treaty. However, Bhang was left out from the definition of cannabis.

Legislation on Cannabis in India

The usage of Cannabis in India is governed by the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. The act banned the production and sale of cannabis flowers and resin. However, the act allows the use of seeds and leaves.

Medicinal use of Cannabis in India

The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences operating under the Ministry of AYUSH announced that that cannabis shall be used as a restorative drug for cancer patients.

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