UN removes cannabis from the list of dangerous narcotics: India votes in support

Updated: Jan 20

Cannabis, the sacred grass of Ancient India has been wrongfully demonized for a long time since the 1980s and has been considered an evil that can severely harm the society. Thankfully, in recent years there has been a shift in this narrative. Governments all across the globe have started realising and acknowledging the countless environmental, economic and health benefits of cannabis. A testimony to this is the recent decision of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from the list of most dangerous substances in the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. India too has voted to reclassify cannabis. We believe this new development will open up various avenues for cannabis on the industrial front while also being a huge step forward towards environmentalism.

United Nations Headquarters
United Nations Headquarters


The Vienna-based CND is the UN agency mandated to decide on the scope of control of substances by placing them in the schedules of global drug control conventions. For 59 years, cannabis has been on Schedule IV–the most dangerous category, unjustly grouped together with deadly, addictive opioids including heroin. Bracketing cannabis and its resin with heroin and placing them under the same schedule has tarnished its image and has discouraged its use even for medicinal purposes.

However, global attitudes towards cannabis have changed dramatically. Many jurisdictions have now permitted the use of cannabis for recreation, medication or both, despite it remaining on Schedule IV of the UN list. As of now, over 50 countries allow medicinal cannabis programs, and its recreational use has been legalised in Canada, South Africa, Georgia Uruguay, 15 US states and is decriminalized in a number of other countries. The new international convention will hopefully bring about a change in perspective and will encourage other nations to review their laws regarding cannabis regulation too.


The cannabis industry holds a lot