United Nation’s 1971 Symposium on Cannabis

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In reviewing the minutes to a 1971 United Nation ‘symposium’ discussing the research surrounding the chemistry and biological activity of cannabis, the following is an extraction that is noteworthy:


Cannabis research at the Division of Narcotic Drugs, United Nations, Geneva is mandated with the primary function of internationally coordinating cannabis research in order to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort.


The emphasis of this international research was “to elucidate the effects of the compounds responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis in man, to quantify the constituents or their metabolites in biological fluids, to determine their toxicity and side effects and to correlate these data with the social effects of the drug.”


At the  large number of new and unpublished cannabis research: 


The Symposium revealed that a large amount of knowledge had been accumulated on the chemistry of cannabis and the synthesis of the cannabinoids and their metabolites. The report stated that there still remains some uncertainty as to how much THC is absorbed by smoking, to give the biological high. It concluded that THC and cannabis of known potency can be used with confidence in large scale clinical trials. It was determined that within the next few years (by 1975 ?), the clinical data will shed new light on the two basic questions of the UN “How dangerous is cannabis?” and “What should we do about it?”

In other words, the United Nations 1961 Single Convention on Drug Control, vilified this plant without corroborating evidence that supported its placement as a dangerous drug.

 

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