U.S. Government Seeking Comment on Marijuana's International Status

The comments will be used by the World Health Organization later this year.

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April 10, 2018

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is accepting public comments on whether marijuana should be rescheduled in the context of international drug treaties. The request comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced plans to review the international perspective on cannabis.

The federal government notes that the WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence “noted an increase in the use of cannabis and its components for medical purposes and the emergence of new cannabis-related pharmaceutical preparations for therapeutic use.”

Comments are due to the FDA by April 23. 

A WHO committee will meet in June to discuss the matter. Comments sent to the FDA will be included in WHO consideration. If further analysis is warranted, the committee will recommend involvement from the UN Secretary General.

The FDA’s actions do not address marijuana’s status as a Schedule-I substance in the U.S. As Tom Angell writes in Forbes, however, an international overhaul on marijuana “would provide momentum to efforts to change marijuana's status under the laws of the U.S. and other countries.”