United Nations: What does INCB’s new president think of legalization?
Last month, Jallal Toufiq of Morocco was elected as the new president of the International Narcotics Control Board of the United Nations.
Late last week, in an in-house interview with UN News, he shared his perspectives on legalization, and focused on what he sees as the potential harms to youth.
Here’s what he said:
“When you legalize cannabis for non-medical purpose and for recreational use, most of the time the objectives put forward are objectives that have to do with the public health approach, which means that those countries and states, are aiming at reducing the consequences of going and seeking the cannabis in the street. That’s one. Two, try to dry up the black market. Three: making it easier for people to access medicinal use if they want to. And four: reducing the cost of lawsuits and over incarceration.
So these are one of the objectives. That could be understandable. Now, the problem is, first of all, what we are selling as cannabis — and I’m talking about selling in the communication, or the communication dimension — when you talk about cannabis, you do not always specify that the cannabis you’re selling or the cannabis that you’re providing is a low THC cannabis. And the way it’s perceived by youngsters is that cannabis as a whole is something that doesn’t bear any bad consequences or negative consequences. Well, it’s quite opposite. We know that for a fact and we know that scientifically. And when you talk about 18 and above, when you allow someone 18, 19, 20 to buy cannabis, even though it’s a low threshold, it’s a low THC cannabis, still it’s cannabis, and no one knows exactly what are the long term effects on the brain of cannabis. Even with low THC, we don’t know yet.
That’s one. Two, the immediate consequence of allowing cannabis to be sold for non-medical purpose is the impact of the perception, of the risk perception in youth. So if everyone would understand that if you allow an 18 and above adult to get cannabis for non-medical use, that makes it trivial, you know, the eye of a 15, 16 year old who would think that cannabis is not dangerous. So they would buy cannabis in the street because they’re not allowed to have the same access as those 18 and above.”
President Joe Biden points to cannabis pardons in Juneteenth proclamation.
President Joe Biden has repeatedly pointed to his October cannabis pardons in the months since, whenever the opportunity arises to reference his administration’s work on justice and equity
So, unsurprisingly, in a Juneteenth proclamation issued on Friday, Biden laid out the work his administration has done to “advance racial equity,” and wrote: “I have taken action on marijuana reform by pardoning prior District of Columbia and Federal simple marijuana possession offenses and directed a review of marijuana scheduling.”
Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday in 2021.
NCAA poised to remove cannabis from “banned drug list.”
The NCAA’s Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports met last week in Indianapolis and among the issues on its agenda was cannabis.
Specifically, according to an NCAA announcement on Friday, the Committee was asked to “further consider the Association’s cannabis policy and whether NCAA drug testing should be limited to performance-enhancing substances.”
The verdict? The Committee “signaled its support” and plans to “gather input from the membership this summer, with final action expected in the fall.”
This potential change “was largely informed by the December 2022 Summit on Cannabinoids in College Athletics and includes the consensus opinion that cannabis is not a performance-enhancing drug and that a harm reduction approach to cannabis is best implemented at the school level.”