the responsible legal regulation of psychoactive substances. A UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs was originally scheduled for 2019, but was accelerated to April 2016 as a result of a proposal sponsored by Mexico and cosponsored by 95 other countries. The general assembly is the primary policy body of the United Nations, and one in which all UN member states have equal representation. Given this broad representation and the growing support for decriminalization, many expected the 2016 UNGASS on drugs to result in signif- icant changes in policy. In an open letter delivered to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the eve of the session, former presidents or prime ministers of Brazil, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Greece, Hungary, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland and Switzerland joined with high-profile scholars, celebrities, clergy, business leaders, elected officials and others in pressing the Secretary-General to call for reform of prohibitionist drug control policies. Those supporting reform were disappointed when the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution reaffirming its “commitment to the goals and objec- tives” of the three Conventions. Despite the lack of an immediate and fundamental shift away from the prohibitionist policies of the Conventions, other steps are being taken that may result in relaxed cannabis controls within the existing Conventions framework. A committee of the WHO tasked with making drug control rec- ommendations to the CND on behalf of the WHO—the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD)—recognized an increase in medical cannabis use and the emergence of cannabis-related phar- maceuticals, and in November 2016 requested that the WHO prepare “pre-review” materials for can- nabis, for the specific cannabis derivatives scheduled under the 1961 and 1971 Conventions, and for cannabidiol, or CBD. These pre-review materials are preliminary analyses considered by the ECDD to determine if more in-depth “critical reviews” should be undertaken by the ECDD. The WHO presented the requested CBD pre-review materials at a November 2017 ECDD meet- ing. The CBD materials indicate that CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential in humans, and that there is no evidence of any public health–related problems associated with the use of pure CBD. The outstanding pre-reviews related to cannabis and specific derivatives are expected in early 2018. The ECDD recommended that the pre-review materials be evaluated at a specific cannabis-focused ECDD meeting to be held no later than June 2018. The requested pre- reviews represent the first ever scientific guidance on cannabis to be issued within the framework of the Conventions. If the pre-reviews lead to critical reviews, such reviews could ultimately result in a WHO-initiated rescheduling of substances under the 1961 and 1971 Conventions.
96 © 2017 Ackrell Capital, LLC | Member FINRA / SIPC Cannabis Investment Report | December 2017 n Global Legal Developments Nations around the world have recently passed or are considering enacting an array of measures decrim-
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