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Cannabis placement in international law was done in the absence of scientific evaluation and has provided the basis for a moral-only address of drugs for many decades. Among governments and non-state actors, there are relatively few who still deny the failure of the drug prohibition and thus advocate for its continuation.Cannabis policy reform, in fact, helps create a model and forge the tools necessary to address the outdated or missing evidence, as well as scheduling issues for a wide array of plants, products or substances liable to generate harms or dependence in humans.Because of its characteristics, widespread cultivation and use, and the diversity of these applications, the Cannabis sativa L. plant and its policies directly relate to at least 62 of the 169 targets among 14 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Surprisingly this plant affects the SDGs both positively and negatively.The non psychoactive-related uses of the Cannabis sativa L. plant – called “hemp”, “industrial hemp” or “industrial cannabis” in this context – have accompanied humankind over Centuries, in particular for the provision of food from the seed (Goals 1 & 2) and of numerous products derived from its fiber among which efficient building materials can be locally produced. (Goals 9 & 11). More recently, the plant has continued to be explored for the soil-cleaning property of its roots, contributing to clean water and oceans (Goal 13). The significant biomass produced by stems of cannabis has revealed itself to be both a promising source of energy (Goal 7) and a renewable source of recyclable vegetal plastic (Goal 15), etc.Yet, not only the non psychoactive-related uses of Cannabis sativa L. can contribute to the efforts to meet these Goals (1, 2, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15) in addition, reforming the current repressive prohibitive and marginalizing policies concerning the psychoactive uses of Cannabis sativa L. is indispensable to meet Goals 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 16 and 17.The psychoactive uses of Cannabis sativa L. Witnessed throughout History – are very diverse and include what is known as “therapeutic” or “medical use”, “recreational” or “adult use” as well as “religious” or “spiritual use”.Overly restrictive public policies addressing the psychoactive uses of the plant have hindered availability for medical purposes and prevented implementation of sensible regulation of non-medical use. In many countries, and under the influence of international institutions, these policies eventually took the form of a “War on drugs” that targeted the cultivation/distribution of the Cannabis sativa L. plant (among others), its psychoactive uses, and all related activities, with an objective of eradication. These policies turned themselves into a destructive spiral – nowadays demonstrated as being a major historical failure.This attempt to create a “drug-free world” through prohibition and proactive law enforcement, strengthened State violence while generating or reinforcing criminal groups, in particular in regions with historical presence of the Cannabis sativa L. plant. Non-democratic, repressive and authoritarian approaches to supply and demand reduction policies have systematized corruption (Goal 16), increased arrests and imprisonment rates (Goals 1, 11 and 16)), and augmented factors of social and health risks for people who use cannabis (Goals 1, 3 and 10) by hindering access to appropriate prevention and education to safe consumption (Goals 4 & 12) ultimately generalizing human rights violations (Goal 16) in particular among women (Goal 5), minorities (Goal 10) and the poorest (Goal 1).All the individual and collective conditions targeted by these latter Goals are deeply affected, making it impossible, in practice, to reach the Agenda by 2030 without adopting radically different regulations, of all aspects and activities, linked to the psychoactive uses of the Cannabis plant.

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