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IACM Patient Council participates for the first time in the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs

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The IACM — International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines — Patient Council will be present, for the first time, at the next session of the United Nations (UN) Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), which takes place from March 14 to 22, 2024, in Vienna, Austria. The presence of this Council at the 67th meeting represents the rights of patients seeking legal, fair and equitable access to medical cannabis. Six representatives from various countries will be present during the nine-day event in Vienna.

The IACM Patient Council cooperates with other non-profit organizations, which will also be present at this 67th Session. The Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was created in 1946 as a functional Commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It is the main policy-making body within the United Nations system on drug control issues.

The 67th session of the CND is a mid-term review and will focus on taking stock of the implementation of all existing international drug policy commitments and working to accelerate the implementation of commitments from 2024 to 2029.

The IACM Patient Council will be represented by six members during the nine days of the event: Jacqueline Poitras, co-founder and national representative of Greece, Michael Krawitz, National Representative of the USA (United States of America), Daphnée Elisma, National Representative of Canada, Tom Curran, National Representative of Ireland, Dr. Pavel Kubu, National Representative of the Czech Republic and Kevin Herzig, National Representative of Austria.

Changing cannabis policies to make it easier for patients to access

At the 67th Session, IACM Patient Council representatives will interact with other delegates and actively participate in:

  • Written and oral statements in the CND plenary and negotiating forums to help shape debate and influence policy outcomes;
  • Side event 1 of the UN Conference: Access and Availability, Palliatives for Primary Care.
  • Side event 2 of the UN Conference: – Cannabis Biopiracy
  • Cannabis Embassy Campus Vienna – Training and capacity building sessions for CND participants and cannabis policy reform advocates

“This is a historic moment for cannabis activism, as the unique barriers and difficulties faced by cannabis patients around the world are often imposed and perpetuated by the very treatments for which CND is responsible. The continued presence of patients and activists at these high-profile political events is necessary to ensure the improvement and advancement of fair and equitable legislation for cannabis patients around the world,” the IACM Patient Council said in a statement.

Cannabis is “a plant” and “not a narcotic”

Jacqueline Poitras, co-founder of the IACM Patient Council, director and founder of MAMAKA – Mothers for Cannabis, Greece, stated that “the problems that patients face with access are common to citizens around the world. Cannabis has been recognized by the World Health Organization as having medicinal applications and it is time for this highly therapeutic plant to be treated as such and not as a dangerous narcotic that is distanced from patients who need its healing properties. Treaties and regulations that were implemented in the past desperately need to be revised and updated to support the rights and needs of today's patients. The political agendas of some countries should not be an obstacle to safe and affordable access.”

Daphnée Elisma, Canadian national representative and founder of AUBE: The Voice of Medical Cannabis Patients, added: “It is essential that barriers to safe and affordable access to medical cannabis are addressed in a non-discriminatory manner.”

Michael Krawitz, Executive Director of Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access in the USA, also warned that “cannabis, as an adjuvant treatment for pain, produces better results for patients and reduces the need for opioids. The IACM Patient Council analyzed several countries' cannabis access programs and found that many do not have access and those that do have access often face obstacles that are, at best, unnecessary and, at worst, a violation of rights. basic humans. We hope that our contribution to these historic United Nations meetings will help guide countries towards better patient access.”

Portugal represented on the IACM Patient Council since 2022

The IACM Patient Council, a coalition of international associations advocating for patients using medicinal cannabis, was formed by Carola Pérez (Spain) and Jacqueline Poitras (Greece), who recognized the universality of the problems patients face in achieving access legal, safe, equitable and accessible to cannabis as a medicine and the lack of representation at an international level. The IACM Patient Council currently represents 24 countries across Europe, North America and South America, and looks forward to welcoming representatives from other countries and continents this year. Portugal has been represented on the IACM Patient Council since 2022, through the Association Moms for Cannabis, founded and led by the lawyer Paula Mota.

 

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[Disclaimer: Please note that this text was originally written in Portuguese and is translated into English and other languages ​​using an automatic translator. Some words may differ from the original and typos or errors may occur in other languages.]

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