In a move that could help smooth out the medical marijuana issues between state and federal law, Governor Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island, Governor Christine Gregoire of Washington and later Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont signed a petition to have the DEA reschedule marijuana as a Schedule II drug so that it will be recognized by the federal government as a drug with some medicinal uses and hopefully end all this madness. While Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper doesn’t plan on signing the petition himself the State of Colorado will send its own request (by January 2012) to have marijuana rescheduled.
“This is a good first step, in that it shows that politicians are catching up with the scientific consensus, which is that marijuana has medical value,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “If it succeeds, federal law will finally acknowledge that fact. Rescheduling marijuana, however, will not change the federal penalties for possessing, cultivating, or distributing medical marijuana,” he said in a prepared statement. “That is the change we really need. These governors should be insisting that the federal government allow them to run their medical marijuana operations the ways they see fit, which should include selling medical marijuana through state-licensed dispensaries.”
Currently on the DEA Schedule of drugs, cannabis is listed as a Schedule I drug that has no medicinal value alongside heroin and LSD. We all know that LSD and heroin are both way more addictive, worse for the user, and actually don’t have any medicinal uses like marijuana does. This seems like a good logical next step in trying to iron out this whole issue with medical marijuana between state and federal governments. Although this will not change the law regarding possession, cultivation and sale of medical marijuana, it will perhaps stop raids from happening and let the states run the programs the way they see fit. As we’ve seen with medical marijuana laws they can vary a lot state by state. Some states like New Jersey have a lot of rules and regulations surrounding the whole thing while California is pretty much the exact opposite, allowing more conditions to qualify for it and also allowing patients to have access to high quality, potent medicine, such as concentrates, edibles, and tinctures.
In any case, this is very good move on their part that probably should have been done 10 years ago but as they say, better late than never.
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