#ProCannabisTeam • World Health Assembly mission
Nowadays, Cannabis is still scheduled as a substance liable to abuse and highly addictive, with particularly dangerous properties and little or no therapeutic values (Schedules I and IV of the 1961 Single Convention), just like heroin. Despite the discovery of THC in the 1960’s, despite the discovery of the endocannabinoid system in the 1990’s, despite the growing number of diseases for which Cannabis is scientifically proven to have an useful therapeutic effect, Cannabis has not had any critical review since the year 1935 !

All info you need to know about the Critical review and the #ProCannabisTeam action at WHO :

The Critical Review is the official mechanism by which a committee of experts called for the special occasion, within the World Health Organization (WHO), revises all the existing data and knowledge about a narcotic drug. This Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) analyzes the information in order to establish the real potency, the assessed therapeutic effects, and the real health or social harms and risks that can be produced by each “narcotic” plant or substance. After making a Critical review, the ECDD delivers to the United Nations system and to the governments of the world a recommendation on the level of control to be applied.

In 1965, the ECDD (Expert Committee on Drug Dependance) made a pre-review that did not lead to any result.
In 1991, the ECDD recommended the descheduling of THC from the list of most harmful substances.

Today, the whole plant has to be descheduled from the tables I and IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the very international lock against any Cannabis policy reform at national level. But this have to be assessed by a Critical review by the ECDD, 81 years after the previous one.

We have been working on this topic for years, and today, our aim is to transform these preparatory reflexions into a concrete change, and to engage the WHO ECDD in a Critical review of Cannabis.

The Critical reviews comes naturally after our actions undertaken at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna (Austria) in preparation for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem (UNGASS). The final declaration of this UNGASS goes in the direction of a review of substances, recognizing that “the world drug problem [...] demands a [...] multidisciplinary [...] scientific evidence-based and comprehensive approach” and “reaffirm[ing] the treaty-mandated roles of [...] the World Health Organization”.

69th World Health Assembly in Geneva

The General Assembly of the World Health Organization (called WHA, World Health Assembly) is the place and moment where most of the decisions concerning the ECDD are made. This year’s 69th WHA will take place from 23rd to 28th of May, in Geneva’s Palais des Nations.

Furthermore, this year, the WHA will include in its program a topic on the public health approach of drug policies, especially in the context of UNGASS, where the presence of civil society is essential. In addition to meeting member states to advocate about WHA affairs, being in Geneva for a week will also be an excellent occasion for us to merge with the interesting public and university debate on drug policies going on in Switzerland.

It is Time to advocate for a change of paradigm in the international drug control system starting with the long overdue Critical review of Cannabis !

All info you need to know about the Critical review and the #ProCannabisTeam action at WHO :

We need your help to raise $5000 (approx. 4400€) in order to fund this action for Michael Krawitz, Farid Ghehiouèche and Kenzi Riboulet-Zemouli. More info about us :

  • Disabled US Air Force Veteran. Sergeant from 1981 to 1986, injured in Guam in an accident that was deemed "in the line of duty” although not combat related ;
  • In 2010 his long fight inside the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for adequate access to pain management paid off with his negotiating the first ever medical cannabis policy within the VA ;
  • Since 1995, Michael is deeply engaged towards international drug control systems, and attended the 1998 UNGASS on “the world drug problem”. Finding that there was little NGO participation, he has focused much of his work on increasing the involvement of civil society in the UN drug control system ;
  • He carried important contributions to the Beyond 2008 consultative process as well as the New York NGO Committee on Drugs ;
  • Nowadays, he is member of the executive council of the New York NGO Committee on Drugs, board member of the International Alliance For Cannabis as Medicine and Director of Veterans For Medical Cannabis Access.

Farid Ghehiouèche
  • Former head of national commission on drugs at French green Party (from 1998 to 2008) ;
  • Former chairperson of ENCOD (the european coalition for just and effective drug policies) with which he helped conceptualize the Cannabis Social Club concept ;
  • Main organizer of Million Marijuana March since 2001 in Paris ;
  • Founder of the association Cannabis Sans Frontières and candidate to several elections in France (european parliament in 2009 and 2014, legislative elections in 2012, regional in 2015) ;
  • Board member of Chanvre & Libertés-NORML France since 2014 ;
  • Central person in the public and mediatic debate concerning cannabis policy reform in France ;
  • Activist for more than a decade in Vienna on international drug policies, with a special approach on the topic of narcotic drugs classification, and now works there as #ProCannabisTeam ;
  • Head of advocacy and relations in the think-tank FAAAT

Kenzi Riboulet Zemouli
  • Former activist in the region of Toulouse (south of France), engaged with the health and social practitioners in this region, he has organized events and conferences on cannabis and harm reduction, displayed information in Toulouse with a local collective and took part in the redaction of municipal proposals on cannabis issues ;
  • Co-founder of the first national Cannabis Clubs initiative in France in 2012 ;
  • Co-founder and board member of Chanvre & Libertés-NORML France, he has worked trying to propose several ways of implementation of CSCs in France since then;
  • Nowadays living in Barcelona, he works with the think-tank FAAAT, the spanish platform Regulacion Responsable and CATNPUD (catalan network of people who use drugs) to empower wester-european activism on drug policy matters;
  • Part of the #ProCannabisTeam, he has also been working along with the european coalition ENCOD on topics regarding the international drug control system and its reform opportunities.

All info you need to know about the Critical review and the #ProCannabisTeam action at WHO :

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