The UN: The Real Culprit Behind Cannabis Prohibition

APRIL 6, 2024 BY K.W.H. OLIN

There are many components as to the reason cannabis is illegal. But what is overlooked by most, is the power the UN has over drugs. We hear dozens of activist groups protesting the DEA, DOJ, and Congress to legalize cannabis or de-schedule it from Schedule 1. But the fact is these agencies are only enforcers of  laws that the UN creates. What many don’t know is that when the UN convention treaties of 1961 and 1971 were passed, this was in fact one of the real reasons Cannabis became illegal and many other drugs came under the control of the UN. Not only did the U.S. have to obey these draconian rules, but so did any other country that agreed to be part of the UN.

“As the treaty enforcement body under the 1961 Convention and the 1971 Convention, the CND decides – based on WHO recommendations – on the classification of the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances under international control.”

The UN has two primary branches the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The CND is above the WHO and actually creates the rules and has the power to schedule or reschedule drugs.

“Under the 1961 and 1971 Conventions, the WHO is responsible for making recommendations to the CND on the classification of substances.”

In the UN convention of 1961, Article 3 grants the WHO the power to create a classification of a substance and then recommend that clarification to the CND. Because Cannabis is under a Schedule 1 classification, it’s claimed to have no medical value and research is prohibited at the federal level. And since the WHO relies on scientific data to even consider making a recommendation to the CND, any progress is halted at these two branches. Basically blocking the public’s effort to utilize its medicinal properties and creating a perpetual never-ending loop that goes nowhere.

“The 1961 Convention requires a simple majority vote among CND’s 53 member states to adopt a WHO (re)scheduling recommendation…”

 Even if the Federal government allowed medical research to be done and the WHO actually brought forth this data to the CND for reclassification; the CND only consists of 53 members who don’t even possess the scientific knowledge and/or expertise to be making any final decisions on these drugs. These members use political tactics to make their decisions rather than making decisions that are based on actual facts and on subject knowledge.


Article 23 of the 1961 convention, lays down requirements for countries to create a government agency to control the cultivation of medicines and drugs. This framework would later lead to the creation of the DEA, here in the United States.

If American activists truly want the public to gain awareness for Cannabis legalization and/or rescheduling, they must educate the public on who the real culprit and big bully truly is. By gaining awareness of the UN’s insidious involvement in drug classification and criminalization, hopefully in the future, we may remove ourselves from these unconstitutional UN treaties. Without the UN, the DEA would crumble onto itself.


The UN Drug Control Conventions

Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961

Convention on Psychotropic Substances. 1971

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