Tufton appeals to WHO for more leadership on ganjaWednesday, May 24, 2017
GENEVA, Switzerland — Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Tufton has called on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to remove cannabis from its current classification as a Schedule 1 Drug (illegal drug) deemed to have no medicinal benefits to a schedule that reflects its important potential for medicinal use.“Removing cannabis from its current classification is an important step in facilitating efforts by countries like Jamaica to promote its medicinal uses while maintaining a sound public health approach,” the minister said.
Dr Tufton's recommendations comes amidst WHO's Expert Committee on Drug Dependence ongoing review of the medicinal value of cannabis.
The minister, who maintains that there are medicinal and economic benefits to be derived from cannabis, has also urged WHO to be more assertive in distinguishing between the medicinal and recreational dimensions in the interest of public health.
He asked WHO to provide clear leadership on the public health approach to the development of new policies on cannabis now being advanced in many countries.
“There is a challenge with special interest groups with significant resources, seeking to leverage the medicinal objective for achieving a more liberal approach to the recreational use of cannabis. The discussion must be clear and based in science,” the minister said.
He added: “the WHO cannot be absent from this important public policy agenda. I strongly urge the WHO to champion the public health approach to this global policy challenge. The WHO must support the development of public health and appropriate regulatory standards for all uses.”
Dr Tufton tendered his position while addressing the 70th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland this morning under the theme 'Building Better Systems for Health in the Age of Sustainable'.