U.N. Narcotics Board Calls for Additional Study of Medical Marijuana
Marijuana should not be legalized, but its medical uses warrant additional study, the U.N. International Narcotics Control Board stated in its annual report, which was released yesterday, the Washington Times reports. The INCB called for additional research into "the possible therapeutic properties and medicinal uses of cannabis or cannabis extracts," although it stated that any decisions regarding medical marijuana should be based on scientific and medical evidence. "We have to decide this on the merits, not on whether Aunt Sally wants to light up," Herbert Okun, the U.S. representative on the INCB, said (Pisik, Washington Times, 2/27).
Heroin Use Increasing in Parts of Africa
The INCB also stated in its report that the rise in heroin use in parts of Africa is likely to prompt an increase in HIV infection, Agence France-Presse reports. The report noted that the number of injection heroin users in South Africa has risen by 40% in the past three years. The INCB stated that injection drug use will likely continue to rise among young people and the poor in Africa because of the "major economic, political and social problems" present in many African nations (Agence France-Presse, 2/27). The INCB report can be viewed online.