Is the DEA About to Reschedule Cannabis?

There are new rumblings coming out of the DEA.  Attend:


The US Drug Enforcement Administration is prepared to respond in the coming months to an administrative petition calling for the reclassification of marijuana as a schedule I prohibited substance.

Replying to a July 2015 inquiry by US Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and seven other senators, representatives from the DEA acknowledged that they intend to respond to a five-year-old rescheduling petition, filed by then Governors Christine Gregoire of Washington and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, by this July. The petition, filed in 2011, calls on the agency to initiate proceedings to reclassify cannabis from schedule I of the US Controlled Substances Act to schedule II.

The DEA last decided on a similar rescheduling petition in 2011. The agency rejected that petition, alleging, “At this time, the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy.”

I will admit that rescheduling cannabis is better than a kick in the ass, but this train stops at re-legalization. Nothing less.

Read the complete, original post HERE.

But is rescheduling the answer?  Here’s some thinking from our friends over at the Drug Policy Alliance on this topic:

Although rescheduling would be huge politically – the federal government finally admitting marijuana has medical value – rescheduling wouldn’t actually help patients in the short term, and might do more harm than good if it distracts from real reform.
. . .
Rescheduling also doesn’t remove all the barriers to research that prevent the kind of clinical trials needed to move particular marijuana products through the FDA system. If these barriers, such as the DEA / NIDA monopoly on marijuana production, are eliminated, then the FDA could look at research and schedule new marijuana-based drugs accordingly. Removing barriers to research could naturally lead to rescheduling, but rescheduling doesn’t naturally lead to removal of all research barriers.

Rescheduling also doesn’t change federal criminal penalties. It would still be illegal under federal law to possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana. The DEA could still raid medical marijuana dispensaries. The Justice Department could still prosecute patients and caregivers and take their property through asset forfeiture.

The one important thing rescheduling could do is solve the 280(e) tax issue that dispensaries face, allowing them to deduct business expenses from their taxes like any other business. The current tax burden makes it hard for dispensaries to stay in business to help their patients, and it is used as a weapon by the IRS to undermine medical marijuana. The 280(e) issue is only solved, however, if marijuana is rescheduled to Schedule III or below.
. . .
DPA believes that patients must have safe and immediate access to medical marijuana, including the ability to cultivate it in their own homes; that existing state medical marijuana programs, including those with functioning dispensaries, must be protected; that all barriers to marijuana research must be eliminated; that marijuana is of acceptable safety to be regulated more or less like alcohol; and that states which have decided to regulate marijuana for adult use, should be allowed to do so  without federal interference.

To these ends, DPA supports the de-scheduling, or complete removal, of marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act and its regulation for adult consumption in a manner similar to alcohol. De-scheduling can only occur through Congressional action.

Read this entire article HERE.

De-scheduling = re-legalization.  Let’s call it what it is.  Cannabis does not belong on the “scheduled drugs” list.

[image: Google images “DEA”]

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Author: DavidB

a heathen, but hopefully not an unenlightened one

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