On Wednesday, February 13th, 2019, the European Union voted on and passed a resolution to further the efforts of medical cannabis legalization in the countries that make it up. The vote comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that cannabis be reclassified under the international treaties system to a less severe Schedule-1.
Details of the EU Medical Cannabis Resolution
Though countries will not be required to adhere to the resolution’s language, its details are promising. According to Forbes, the resolution, “seeks to incentivize European nations to increase access to medical marijuana, prioritizing scientific research and clinical studies.”
While the European Union resolution suggests countries take steps to increase medical cannabis access and research, it does not actually change any countries laws. The main goal of the resolution is clearly to increase access to medical cannabis for research purposes, an idea many have argued in favor of. The resolution states that research should be conducted about, “the possible uses of THC, CBD and other cannabinoids for medical treatment, as well as their effects on the human body, including lessons drawn from the experience of off-label prescribing of cannabis.”
The influence of the World Health Organization on the European Union’s resolution regarding cannabis is clear. The resolution, “Stresses the importance of close cooperation and coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) in connection with further EU steps in the field of medical cannabis.”
What This Means for the Cannabis Community
Europe features multiple countries with massive economies that lead the world in various industries. While some countries in the EU have more lax laws, cannabis has been considered illegal continent-wide since its outset. The new European Union medical cannabis resolution will help begin the process of making the EU and its member countries a force to be reckoned with in the cannabis industry.
At the moment, America and Canada are considered the leaders in terms of medical cannabis legalization. Cannabis is completely legal in Canada and more than 30 U.S. states have legalized the medicinal use of cannabis. To this point, the European Union has lagged behind those two countries in terms of both research and access to medical cannabis. With the passage of the new cannabis resolution, the European Union will now have a chance to catch up.