The UN Is Moving Toward Ending Decades of International Cannabis Prohibition
The global cannabis landscape has undergone dramatic change since the UN adopted its seminal Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs in 1961. The last decade has seen a rapid expansion of legalized cannabis, particularly in the United States, with many non-cannabis businesses swept into the tumult. The quickly evolving regulatory framework in the United States has been mirrored globally as the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) revisits existing treaties and conventions.
In this article, Wilson Elser partner Dean Rocco and associate Tiffany Gruenberg provide a thorough history of how drugs have been perceived and dealt with on an international basis. “As anyone watching the North American cannabis markets in the last decade knows, legalization has outpaced expectations,” they conclude, “and if the trend continues … UN member countries may get to a vote on rescheduling or de-scheduling cannabis from international treaties. As this occurs, the United States must continue to question whether it should maintain its prohibitionist approach or change course to participate more fully in the burgeoning international cannabis industry.”