Should the DEA Reclassify Marijuana as a Schedule 2 Substance?
Posted on June 01, 2016 by Jeffrey FeilerThe debates continue on whether or not the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) should reclassify marijuana from Schedule 1 to a Schedule 2 controlled substance. The DEA will again consider this reclassification this year. The difference does not directly affect businesses, as it would not legalize or decriminalize marijuana. The most pertinent difference would be in the realm of scientific research. Presently, only the University of Mississippi is permitted to do cannabis research. Rescheduling would open the door to greater institutional research, as is occurring in nations such as Canada, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, and Israel. This move would constitute one more step in the direction that the entire nation is taking toward decriminalization or ending prohibition. Although a small step, in reality, it would be a leap forward for the foremost governmental opposition agency, the DEA, to liberalize their position.
What Is the Difference Between a Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 Substance?
Schedule 1 substances by definition are those with no medicinal value and a high risk of abuse or dependency. It is mind-boggling that 22 States have legalized medical marijuana already, and 14 more States have medical or recreational marijuana initiatives on the November 2016 ballot, yet the Drug Enforcement Agency does not recognize cannabis as having any medicinal value. Indeed, the Federal Government provides medical marijuana to a number of citizens each year and holds numerous patents on medical marijuana. The American Medical Association and numerous other major medical associations believe there is medical value.
So, Why Does the DEA Fail to Acknowledge This?
Ironically, drugs such as Cocaine and Methamphetamine are categorized as Schedule 2 substances because they have medical value. Humans have an endocannabinoid system with CB 1 and 2 receptors in the brain, central nervous system, respiratory system, and gastric system. Cannabis is proven to affect these receptors. Even though research is almost wholly curtailed, there is still enough data to prove that CBD's and other cannabinoids assist patients with seizure and epilepsy disorders. Notwithstanding this logic, the DEA seems entrenched in the notion that cannabis/marijuana is a dangerous drug, which presents the utmost danger. I doubt that their view will change.
Memoranda for Enforcing Marijuana Laws
Since 2009, the Department of Justice has issued Memoranda directing their United States Attorneys not to allocate prosecutorial resources in States where marijuana laws exist, and the States have a robust enforcement of those laws. The most recent Memoranda make it clear that the size of a commercial business is not an issue. There is a list of 8 types of conduct, which are not excused (i.e. Sale to Minors). Congress has defunded law enforcement from investigating and prosecuting marijuana cases. Homeland Security and its integrated Agencies are now focusing on keeping Americans safe from terrorists instead of dedicating limited resources toward the marijuana businesses in states that enforce their own laws.
Prospective Scientific and Medical Breakthroughs
With greater access to research, the likelihood of scientific and medical breakthroughs would increase exponentially in this age of information and in the most inventive nation on earth. This could positively affect the lives of many Americans who would benefit from non-addictive and less toxic pharmaceutical pain medications, which are the only legal options at present. Even recreational marijuana would serve as a better option than alcohol and tobacco, which have a proven record of causing death and destruction. I believe that marijuana should be regulated and taxed (like alcohol and cigarettes) and that criminal laws be used to prevent undesired conduct (such as DUI).
Contact me at (305) 662-5663 to get prepared if Florida legalizes medical marijuana in November!
Business Insider: The DEA is getting dragged 'kicking and screaming' into the new world of marijuana.