The Food and Drug Administration is asking the public for its thoughts on potentially changing federal laws concerning cannabis. The call for input comes as the federal government prepares to participate in a conversation with the United Nations World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) review of the current international classification of marijuana.
The US is one of many countries which are signed to drug treaties which would technically prohibit it from legalizing marijuana. But WHO is now considering changing the language of its drug treaties and it wants the input of nations as it does so. In turn, the FDA is asking for the American public’s input on the issue.
In particular, the agency is looking for comments on the legal status of five different controlled substances, all related to marijuana: “Cannabis Plant and Resin; Extracts and Tinctures of Cannabis; Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol; Stereoisomers of Tetrahydrocannabinol; Cannabidiol.”
A release from the FDA posted Monday says that it’s “requesting interested persons to submit comments concerning abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking, and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use of” these substances.
The country is currently bound by what’s known as the Psychotropics Convention, or the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. US government bylaws state that if WHO wants to present a change in the scheduling of narcotics to the federal government, then the Secretary of Health and Human Services has to “provide opportunity for interested persons” to comment on the change first. And voila, that’s where we’re at now.
The government will receive comments at regulations.gov until April 23. As of the end of day Monday, they had received nearly 1,000 comments.
WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence will convene in June, and there member countries can make recommendations for the organisation to review. Last year WHO found in a pre-review that CBD “has been demonstrated as an effective treatment of epilepsy in several clinical trials,” “is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile,” and is worthy of further analysis, according to Forbes.