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The 67th UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs: No More Silence

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The 67th session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was held in Vienna from March 14 to 22, 2024. The session shed light on several pain points for the cannabis industry, most notably, the disproportionate impact of punitive drug policies on marginalized communities.

This article highlights one side event held on 17th March, 2024 which resonated with urgent concerns regarding racial injustices, in this case the UK.

“No More Silence: Amplifying the Voices of Populations Disproportionately Impacted by Punitive Drug Policies.”

Katrina Ffrench, representing Unjust UK, delivered a poignant account highlighting the alarming consequences of discriminatory practices surrounding cannabis-related incidents. Ffrench recounted the disturbing case of Child Q, a 15-year-old black girl subjected to a humiliating strip search at school after a baseless accusation of cannabis possession; no evidence was found.

The traumatic incident underscored systemic racism within educational and law enforcement institutions.

Ffrench further illuminated pervasive racial disparities in policing, citing alarming statistics. Over 2,000 strip searches of children occur annually, with a disproportionate 20% targeting black children, despite comprising only 3% of the population. Stop and search tactics, often justified by the alleged scent of cannabis, disproportionately target black individuals, perpetuating harmful stereotypes and amplifying tensions between law enforcement and marginalized communities.

Illustrating the dire consequences of such practices, Ffrench recounted the case of Jordan Walker-Brown, whose encounter with police led to tragic paralysis after being tased during a cannabis related raid . Similarly, the unjust treatment of athlete Bianca Williams and her family, subjected to unwarranted stop and search tactics, underscored the pervasive racial biases embedded within law enforcement practices.

The narrative presented by Ffrench encapsulated a broader global issue, emphasizing the need to challenge prevailing stereotypes and dismantle systemic injustices. Despite legislative safeguards, such as regulations prohibiting stop and search solely based on the scent of cannabis, enforcement often disregards these provisions, perpetuating racial profiling and exacerbating social divisions.

The discourse at the 67th UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs underscored the imperative for comprehensive reforms, centering on equity, justice, and human rights. Ffrench's testimony served as a clarion call to action, urging policymakers and civil society alike to confront the entrenched inequalities perpetuated by punitive drug policies and strive for a more inclusive, just, and compassionate approach to drug control.


Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.