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UN: Cannabis removed from Schedule IV of most dangerous drugs

As announced by the UN Commission on 2 December 2020, cannabis was removed from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs following WHO's recommendation.

The 53 members of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the UN's central body for drug policy decisions, voted conceivably close with 27 in favor, 25 against and one abstention. Cannabis was placed in Schedule IV for 59 years, along with heroin and carfentanil. Schedule IV substances are considered "particularly harmful and of extremely limited medical or therapeutic value". Now cannabis has been moved to Schedule I, where methadone and cocaine are listed, as well. However, its use for non-medical and non-scientific purposes is still illegal.  


The WHO had already submitted six recommendations on cannabis and related substances in January 2019. However, many countries asked for more time to deal with the matter.   

Current status  

Currently, more than 50 countries have adopted programs on medical cannabis. Canada, Uruguay and 15 US states have legalized its recreational use. In Mexico and Luxembourg this is already discussed. 


UN: UN commission reclassifies cannabis, yet still considered harmful