Invitation to Online United Nations Side Event: Cannabis Law Reform at CND66
CANNABIS LAW REFORM leading the way towards more effective drug control and the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals
As Cannabis activists we have discovered that the Cannabis conversation cuts through every line we have drawn in drug policy and is no longer simply about “to legalise or not to legalise”. Cannabis prohibition and the broader ‘war on drugs’ are policies that are a product of colonialism. This has led to a host of unintended negative consequences that are hampering development of evidence-based drug policy, fit for task in the 21st century.
At CND 65 our organisation hosted a side event “Making the Case for Evidence-Based Drug Policy” and this year’s event will expand the conversation to explore how the road towards evidence-based policy can also serve to resolve many of the hurdles faced by developing countries in the attainment of the SDGs.
What is at issue is herbal Cannabis. The current conversation is narrowly confined to pharmaceutical Cannabis without any consideration of the consequences for poorer countries with a legacy of the use, cultivation and trade in Cannabis. These are the countries that have been left behind as their former colonial masters relish the profits from high potency Cannabis that is grown indoors using excessive amounts of energy, for a market that is able to afford a pharmaceutical grade product that once grew in the wild in areas where, botanically, it was intended by nature, to grow. It was a diverse crop, a trusted and sustainable agriculture.
From environmental impact and drugs as a weapon of war, to member states’ compliance with the treaties, this side event will explore how the changing landscape of Cannabis law reform can guide the conversations around the most pressing issues of our time.
Myrtle Clarke: MD at Fields of Green for ALL (Moderator)
Paul Michael Keichel: Earth Medicine & Human/Environmental Rights Lawyer; Litigator at Cullinan & Associates
Michael Krawitz: US Air Force veteran; Executive Director of Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access
Bryon Adinoff: MD Clinical Professor, Psychiatry-Residency; President, Doctors for Cannabis Regulation
Marin Krings: Climate Impact Storyteller; Author
Cannabis was finally rescheduled in 2020, on the recommendation of the WHO. Our allies were right there from the beginning and, although it created all sorts of nonsense around CBD, the Single Convention of 1961 remains unchanged (much like our own Drug & Drugs Trafficking Act of 1992). We have made significant progress through the rescheduling process and Cannabis continues to lead the way for more significant drug policy reform.
This will be Myrtle’s 6th CND and she is really looking forward to meeting up with all of our colleagues in person again. As we all know, there is much more progress in person.
Summary of our International campaign so far in 2023 (The Year of the OG):
- Fields of Green for ALL has applied to host a side event in Vienna this year. Our event is titled Cannabis law reform leading the way towards more effective drug control and the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
- We have endorsed a call for the development of a United Nations code of conduct for engaging with civil society organisations.
- We will be attending the 2023 ECOSOC Partnership Forum and are looking forward to attending a side event titled “The central role of civil society in drug policies, COVID-19 and achieving the 2030 Agenda”. This event will be hosted by our international allies the International Drug Policy Consortium and The Vienna NGO Commitee.
- Earlier this month we attended the 18 January UNCTAD workshop on industrial Cannabis, held online from the UN offices in Geneva. We were very pleased to see many South Africans in attendance. Both Kenzi Riboulet-Zemouli from our international team and Ayanda Bam from Friends of Hemp delivered powerful and groundbreaking presentations.
- We are preparing to submit questions for the annual Informal Dialogues held in Vienna each year. This is where the heads of the INCB (International Narcotics Control Board), the WHO and the Chair of CND take questions from civil society.
- We continue to work with the Cannabis Africana project spearheaded by the University of Bristol and University Of Cape Town, looking into drugs and development in Africa.
Click here to join the event. No registration is required.
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