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    International Medical Cannabis Patient Organizations Unite to Change United Nations’ Drug
    PRESS RELEASE – Prague, March 9, 2015
    Patients in need of cannabis treatment from 13 different countries, including those represented by from the Czech Republic, met at the “Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Policy, Research and Medical
    Practice” conference in Prague March 4-7, 2015 and established the International Medical Cannabis Patient
    Coalition (IMCPC). The first action of the organization was to ratify a declaration to the United Nations calling
    for a change in its approach to medicinal cannabis. The declaration will be delivered to the Commission on
    Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna this week by Pavel Bem, Czech representative and deputy for the Global
    Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP).
    The current U.N. scheduling of medicinal cannabis was decided in 1961 and did not consider the scientific
    and clinical evidence on medicinal properties of cannabis. Medical cannabis treatments remain unavailable
    in most countries around the world. Citizens that are suffering from conditions where cannabis represents
    effective or the most effective treatment are facing the risk of criminal prosecution, because their national
    administrations are guided by U.N. treaties. The outdated policy is at odds with the mission of the U.N. and
    many of its policies concerning human rights, including the right for adequate health care in particular.
    Cannabis is now considered an effective treatment for a variety of medical conditions including neurological
    conditions, neuropathic pain and nausea. The World Health Organisation (WHO) reviewed the current
    evidence on medicinal cannabis in 2014, and suggested that the United Nations should consider
    rescheduling the substance. Part of the revision is consideration of risks, as it is inappropriate that cannabis
    is currently subjected to the same level of control as opiates. While the WHO estimates opiate use and abuse
    yields an estimated 69,000 fatal overdoses annually, not a single case has been documented for cannabis.
    Medicinal cannabis patients worldwide have been experiencing the negative outcomes of the discrepancy
    between the progress of medical science towards cannabis and the outdated international law. The
    IMCPC unites national cannabis patient organisations to create a common voice for patients to address
    international bodies. The resolution is the first activity of the IMCPC.
    Medical cannabis patient and advocate Steph Sherer, who is a co-founder of IMCPC and leads Americans
    for Safe Access,, has pronounced the most immediate aims of the coalition: “International policies and the
    laws of our countries regulating medical cannabis should be based on science. Humans have known the
    medicinal effects of the cannabis plant for centuries, and scientific discoveries of the last three decades now
    affirm their experience. Current laws make it extremely difficult for many countries to create the laws and
    programs required to meet the needs of their citizens. It is hypocritical for countries like the United States
    to continue to support the U.N.’s position on medical cannabis while allowing medical cannabis programs
    domestically .TheU.N. laws must be updated. We, the patients, are asking the U.N. to grant us the same
    rights that are granted to all humans.”
    The process of rescheduling can begin only if the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), which meets in
    Vienna on the 9th
    Special Session on Drugs for 2016. Various stakeholders will be carrying the IMCPC declaration from Prague
    to Vienna this week.
    – 13th March 2015, proposes it for the agenda of the upcoming U. N. General Assembly
    For more information and a copy of the resolution:

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