Highlights

The UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs recently removed Cannabis from Schedule IV category of the 1961 Single convention on Narcotics (1). This was done to recognise the medicinal values of the plant. Though cannabis has been removed from Schedule IV, the non-medicinal Cannabis is still under Schedule I of the United Nations.

A Cannabis plant

Around 50 countries across the world have adopted medicinal cannabis programmes. The Countries such as Uruguay and Canada have legalised the recreational use of the Cannabis plant. In the United States of America, 15 state have approved for recreational use and 33 states have allowed for medicinal use of cannabis.

About 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs

The 1961 single convention schedules of drugs range from the most restrictive to the least restrictive in the following order: Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III and Schedule IV.

Schedule I (Single Convention)

Under Schedule I the drugs are limited only to scientific and medicinal purposes. They require medicinal prescription for the supply.

Schedule II (Single Convention)

The Schedule II allowed Medical Prescription of these drugs are not obligatory The Governments are not bound to prevent the accumulation of these drugs.

Schedule III (Single Convention)

Schedule III are subjected to lesser restrictions.

Schedule IV (Single Convention)

Under the Schedule IV, drugs such as Heroin are considered to have dangerous properties. Under this category, the parties are required to limit their research purposes.

Cannabis usage policy in India

The Government of India Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment found that around 2.83 per cent of Indians between the age 10 and 75 years use Cannabis products.

India & 1961 single Convention on Narcotic Drugs

India is a signatory of the 1961 single Convention. However, Bhang was left out from the definition of cannabis.

Indian Legislation on Cannabis

In India, the usage of Cannabis is governed by the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. The NDPS act banned the production and sale of cannabis flowers and resin. However, the NDPS act allows the use of seeds and leaves.

Cannabis use in Pharmaceutical secto in India

The CCRAS operating under the Ministry of AYUSH announced that that cannabis shall be used as a restorative drug for cancer patients.

CCRAS is Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences 

New classification of Cannabis by UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs New classification of Cannabis by UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs