The new proposals could be discussed as early as March before the UN’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs, where 53 member nations will have the opportunity to vote on accepting or rejecting them.
Russia and China have both historically blocked drug policy reforms, and are expected to oppose the change in cannabis’s classification.
On the other hand, nations like Uruguay and Canada and Uruguay, both of whom have legalised recreational cannabis, contravening current treaties in the process, are obviously likely to back the reform, as are a number of European and South American nations who now allow medical cannabis.
It is unknown how a Conservative-led Britain will vote. Historically, Britain has backed the US in most UN votes.
While the US traditionally pressures other nations to block cannabis reform, the fact that over half of the States in America have legalised access to cannabis either recreationally or medicinally, may make this stance untenable.
Under Trump, hemp was removed from the banned substance list, so there may be hope that the US may vote for the new proposals.
The WHO’s new cannabis rescheduling recommendations come in the form of a letter, dated January 24, from the Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the body’s director general, to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Guterres was Prime Minister of Portugal when the country famously decriminalised all drug possession.
Regardless of WHO recommendations or policies, as shown by Canada and Uruguay, individual countries are responsible for their own drug policies.
Given the continued policy of ignoring scientific evidence by the British Government regarding cannabis, it is unlikely a Conservative-led Government would consider relaxing their approach on cannabis.