Cannabis, known locally as ganja, originated as a remedial herb and gained prominence in ancient medicine for centuries. Despite its extensive history, for decades it has been classified as a dangerous drug in the eyes of international regulatory bodies and legislation.

This includes the United Nations (UN) and World Health Organization (WHO), where cannabis is characterised as a narcotic drug in the three major drug control conventions:

• The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961

• The Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971

• The United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.

Cannabis was also declared a Schedule 1 drug in 1970 under the US Controlled Substances Act, which classifies it as having no currently accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse. However, with advocacy for the plant at its highest, the legal statutes surrounding cannabis are undergoing major changes in favour of loosening restrictions…

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