A report on the global qualitative study

The International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD) has collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) Department for Global HIV, Hepatitis and STI Programmes on a global qualitative study examining the values and preferences of key populations, including people who inject drugs, for HIV, Hepatitis and STIs services. The findings of this study will inform the update of the WHO 2016 Consolidated Guidelines for HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for key populations. These Guidelines will be used to inform countries on the design and implementation of health packages for key populations, making it extremely important that they take into account the specific values and preferences of each key population included in the study (people who inject drugs, gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men, female, male and trans sex workers and trans people).

Across the globe, people who inject drugs continue to be at increased risk of HIV, viral hepatitis (HCV, viral hepatitis B (HBV) and tuberculosis (TB). In order to reduce HIV, HCV and HBV transmissions along with overdose deaths, a comprehensive package of harm reduction interventions must be made available to people who inject drugs. Although such interventions are considered by the WHO and other UN agencies as essential to achieve global targets, access to harm reduction is still limited or non-existent in many countries, with less than 1% of people who inject drugs having sufficient access to services. Structural barriers caused by the criminalisation of drugs and the accompanying stigma and discrimination directed towards people who inject drugs are among the biggest contributors to this problem.

As one of the four key population networks included in the study, INPUD conducted eight regional focus group discussions and ten semi structured interviews with people who use drugs from 27 total countries. This report is a summary of our key findings that will be used to update the Consolidated Guidelines with the values and preferences of people who inject drugs.

The findings of this research emphasise the critical importance of listening to the values and preferences of people who inject drugs to guide services and interventions and ensure there is a primary focus on delivering genuine person centred care.

The report is available following this link>>>.


World Health Organization Recommends Reclassifying Marijuana Under International Treaties

Global health experts at the United Nations are recommending that marijuana and its key components be formally rescheduled under international drug treaties.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for whole-plant marijuana, as well as cannabis resin, to be removed from Schedule IV—the most restrictive category of a 1961 drug convention signed by countries from around the world.

The body also wants delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its isomers to be completely removed from a separate 1971 drug treaty and instead added to Schedule I of the 1961 convention, according to a WHO document that has not yet been formally released but was circulated by cannabis reform advocates.

Marijuana and cannabis resin would also remain in Schedule I of the 1961 treaty—they are currently dual-designated in Schedules I and IV, with IV being reserved for those substances that are seen as particularly harmful with limited medical benefits. (That’s different from the U.S. federal system, under which Schedule I is where the supposedly most dangerous and restricted drugs—like marijuana, heroin and LSD—are classified.)

WHO is also moving to make clear that cannabidiol and CBD-focused preparations containing no more than 0.2 percent THC are “not under international control” at all. It had previously been the case that CBD wasn’t scheduled under the international conventions, but the new recommendation is to make that even more clear.

Cannabis extracts and tinctures would be removed from Schedule I of the 1961 treaty under the recommendations, and compounded pharmaceutical preparations containing THC would be placed in Schedule III of that convention.

A number of countries that have historically opposed drug policy reforms, such as Russia and China, are expected to oppose the change in cannabis’s classification.

Other nations like Canada and Uruguay, which have legalize marijuana in contravention of the current treaties, are likely to back the reform, as are a number of European and South American nations that allow medical cannabis.

Also, while some experts state that this is a step forward towards serious independent researches on use of cannabis, others think that the news is still not good enough for consumers and those using cannabis for medical purpose.