The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs has removed cannabis from the most dangerous category of drugs, where it had been placed for 59 years, the UN said in a statement.
This happened as a result of a historic vote of 27 in favour and 25 against has removed cannabis, also known as Indian hemp, from the most dangerous category of drugs.
The UN statement said: “In reviewing a series of World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations on marijuana and its derivatives, the CND zeroed-in on the decision to remove cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
“Cannabis was listed alongside deadly, addictive opioids, including heroin.”
At the same time, cannabis and cannabis resin remain on Schedule I of the 1961 convention and continue to be controlled under this document.
The removal of cannabis from the list of highly dangerous drugs opens the way for medical research on the properties of marijuana, according to the UN.
The Russian delegation opposed all previous WHO proposals to ease cannabis control and voted against the recommendation to remove it from Schedule IV.
Currently, more than 50 countries have adopted medicinal cannabis programmes while Canada, Uruguay, and 15 US states have legalised its recreational use.