According to the United Nations, the United States and Canadian medical cannabis programs are poorly regulated and have been facilitating the “acceptance of non-medical consumption.”
The UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) issued a global warning late last year that countries allowing the use of medical cannabis must find a way to guarantee that the programs are used solely for their intended purpose and not as a cover for recreational cannabis use. The INCB specifically pointed out Canada and the United States as examples of where this is happening.
The organization claims that both the U.S. and Canada have very broad definitions of medical use and improper vetting procedures, allowing people who might not necessarily have a qualifying condition to get a medical recommendation anyway. The INCB accused the countries of “relaxing public perception of the drug and allowing commercial businesses to supply consumers with illicitly produced cannabis.”
But their complaints don’t end there. Their report also stated that all countries with medical and/or recreational programs are in violation of the international treaties for failing to control the production and supply of cannabis within their countries. “They fail to ensure that good-quality medicines are provided under medical supervision and they enable cannabis and its derivatives to be diverted to non-medical use,” the report stated.
Furthermore, they dismissed smoking cannabis as a valid method of consumption, stating that smoking a “crude plant” is not a safe or reliable way to get an accurate dose for treating medical conditions. Although it’s not a standardized dose, like a softgel for example, smoking provides almost instant relief for many ailments, especially pain and nausea.
Overall, The INCB’s 2018 annual report is looking like a big step backwards for anyone that was expecting progressive international cannabis reform this year. For more on this and other breaking stories, make sure to subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter for all the latest news and information about the cannabis industry.