On June 24, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released the “2021 World Drug Report”. The report is divided into 5 volumes. The drug market trend of “marijuana” clearly shows that medical cannabis is more effective, and more and more young people believe that hemp is a non-hazardous substance; at the same time, it is pointed out that during the epidemic of the COVID 19, there are about 32 countries in the world whose cannabis use has increased. However, UNODC still calls for a complete ban on the broadcasting of cannabis advertisements, and requires scientific publicity and management.
Fewer people think hemp is harmful
The World Drug Report 2021 found that between 1995 and 2019, the proportion of δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in cannabis in the United States rose from about 4% to 16%. Between 2002 and 2019, in Europe, the proportion rose from about 6% to 11%. The Executive Director of UNODC Office said that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is the cause of mental health disorders in people who have used large amounts of cannabis for a long time. However, from 1995 to 2019, the proportion of teenagers who think that cannabis is harmful has declined. 40%.
Researchers wrote an article in the famous British medical journal The Lancet on July 28, 2007, stating that the use of marijuana will increase the risk of mental illness in the future by 40% or more, but a senior policy analyst at NORML, a national marijuana law reform organization Paul Armentano of Paul Armentano said that the use of marijuana and induced mental illness does not necessarily reflect a causal relationship. Among people with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, the number of people who tend to use alcohol is higher than the general population.
More and more people use cannabis globally
In 2019, approximately 200 million people use marijuana, accounting for 4% of the global population. Among them, North America has the highest number, accounting for 14.5%, followed by Australia and New Zealand, accounting for 12.1%, West Africa and Central Africa accounting for 9.4%, and Asia has the lowest number, accounting for 2%. Between 2009 and 2019, the number of cannabis users increased by nearly 18%, and the number of cannabis seized fell by 35%. He also emphasized that during the COVID-19 pandemic, marijuana use has increased in approximately 32 countries around the world.
The report pointed out that in some high-income countries, the spread of the COIVID 19 epidemic has accelerated the legalization of cannabis and the trend of increased supply, especially for some cannabis users to relieve stress. In some European countries, the number of cannabis use is relatively stable, but Some signs also indicate that the number of frequent marijuana users is gradually increasing. In Canada, more than one-third of Canadians said their cannabis consumption has increased during the pandemic, while 12% said their consumption has declined.
Establish a comprehensive ban on cannabis advertising
The findings and conclusions of the report also pointed out that the active marketing of cannabis products containing high THC by private cannabis companies and the promotion of cannabis products through social media channels will worsen the perception and reality of cannabis among young people. Therefore, Angele Me, head of research and trend analysis at the Office of Drugs and Crime, called for a total ban on cannabis advertising, promotion and sponsorship to ensure that public health interests prevail over commercial interests. It also stated that this ban needs to be applied to all jurisdictions, and the implementation of this measure may be similar to the provisions of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
In 2003, the WHO treaty collected 168 signatures, including the United States, but the United States is one of the six signatories that have not yet ratified the treaty. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2019, the largest cigarette and smokeless tobacco companies in the United States spent $8.2 billion on advertising and promotional expenditures. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that the U.S. does have certain restrictions and regulations on tobacco advertising and promotion.
On the same day, the founder and CEO of Mattio Communications, a New York public relations company, said on Twitter that banning advertising in the cannabis industry would run counter to public health interests. It was a very wrong suggestion. Regulatory education is one of the most effective ways of educating consumers and medical cannabis patients. Once banned, it will likely hinder the cannabis industry from providing safe and accessible products for cannabis users around the world.
Recently, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said that the validity period of the U.S. marijuana ban has long passed and called for the repeal of the marijuana ban. Clarence cited the 2005 Supreme Court’s Gonzales v. Raich case, which consolidated the federal government’s ban on cannabis. He said that given the growing number of states and cities that support cannabis Legalization, whether for medical or recreational purposes, this law may have lost its effect.
In April this year, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that Democrats are eager to promote the legalization of marijuana. We will continue to advance this matter. President Biden said that he is studying this issue, so obviously we need to give him some time to study it. Eric Altiri, executive director of the national marijuana law reform organization NORML, said at a press conference that Clarence Thomas’s views reflect the views of the American public and once again show that it is time for Congress to end the marijuana ban.
At the same time, nearly 40 states in the United States have legalized medical marijuana, and 18 states have legalized adult recreational marijuana. As opinion polls show that the vast majority of people support the legalization of marijuana, more and more signs indicate that Congress has also is getting prepared to take this issue of marijuana legalization seriously.