The United Nations got the ball rolling with global decriminalization of marijuana last year with the "rescheduling" of the plant in its Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs -- at least, in theory.
In this video clip from Motley Fool Live, healthcare and cannabis bureau chief Corinne Cardina discusses this move and its potential impact with longtime Fool contributor Eric Volkman. This video was recorded on Dec. 22, 2020.
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Corinne Cardina: The United Nations commission on narcotic drugs voted to reclassify cannabis out of the most dangerous schedule of narcotics, where it was treated in the same manner as heroin. Eric, what does this mean for public opinion and for cannabis stocks?
Eric Volkman: For public opinion, it should definitely affect it in a positive way. I think more to the point, the Single Convention [on Narcotic Drugs] is essentially a policy guideline. It's used as a blueprint -- or it's intended to be used as a blueprint -- for national drug policies.
I'm not so sure it's going to affect public opinion [drastically]. If anything, it'll be positive. I think more where you might see the effect, is in how those policies state-by-state are conducted.
That's a good thing because with the U.N. at least trying to take the lead on this new stance toward marijuana -- that it's not a dangerous, scary drug and it does down the line have some therapeutic qualities -- it could spur at least some countries to rethink their policy on it.
I don't think this is going to end up in a wave of legalization. We're going to see it almost like anything with marijuana around the world, change come incrementally. We might see some more decriminalization measures. Eventually down the line, there could be full-on legalization.
But I think countries are looking more toward big Western nations to lead, to be honest. Now that Canada has gone that way, their eyes are going to be on the U.S., and what develops here, which I think will be talked about.