- In response to United Nations recent reclassification on Cannabis as non-dangerous drug
By Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana
In response to United Nations recent reclassification of strict control measures applied on Cannabis plant, a local indigenous medical body yesterday urged the government to ease the laws on Ganja to be developed as a medicinal drug in the future.
Samastha Lanka Indigenous Medical Association (SLIMA) addressing a press briefing said it was high time the government consider relaxing and reintroducing laws pertaining to Cannabis in the country, which could pave the way to utilise it for medicinal purposes, as done in the Ayurveda for centuries. Advisor to SLIMA and former Registrar of Ayurvedic Medical Council Dr. Danister L. Perera said the United Nations central drug policy making body Commission on Narcotics Drugs (CND) recently reclassified Cannabis from its previous state of strict control measures applied, that discouraged its use for general medical purposes.
Dr. Perera said on December 02nd last year, 53 member countries of UN-CND voted to remove Cannabis from Schedule IV of 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, where it was listed alongside specific deadly, addictive opioids including Heroin, having little or no therapeutic purposes.
“The UN commission on narcotic drugs with 53 of its members has recognised Cannabis as a plant with various medicinal properties after 59 years, and had consented to reclassify it from the list of dangerous drugs, which is a great breakthrough in promoting Ganja for health benefits,” he said.
“We know that most countries including ours, draft laws pertaining to drugs, crimes and terrorism under the guidelines and resolutions adopted in the international conventions like the United Nations. Therefore, it is a golden opportunity to the government to reconsider its harsh policies on Cannabis from being developed into a multi-million dollar generating industry by importing as a medicinal product,” Dr. Perera said.
Chairman SLIMA Dr. Upul Dela Bandara said many international research have proved that Cannabidiol (CBD), the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of Cannabis is an essential component in medicinal Marijuana.
He said a number of countries that had legalised the use of the plant including several states in India for medicinal purposes, earned millions of dollars of foreign currency by importing it to the West.
Dr. Bandara questioned as to why in Sri Lanka that they could not use that opportunity develop the herbal product, which was abundantly grown in the remote areas, to make a steady foreign currency generating industry and as a novel solution for a pandemic hit economy.
Organiser SLIMA Dr. Washington Nanayakkara explained a numerous medicinal properties of the Ganja plant, which had been prescribed in Ayurvedic treatments for thousands of years and how certain Western superpowers invented misconceptions regarding Cannabis since the early nineteenth century to promote its chemical drugs worldwide.