Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Cannabis to be Reclassified by the DEA

Cannabis AKA Marijuana AKA Pot and countless other nicknames has been in a legal gray area for some years. Classified as a Schedule 1 Drug for decades, that means it has no medical benefit in the eyes of the law and is at the same level of danger as stuff like Heroin. That's at the Federal level, but a number of States have taken steps to allow medicinal and recreational use of Cannabis to the point where more than half the states in America allow some form of cannabis to be smoked/vaped/ingested. There is ample evidence Cannabis has medical uses and is a lot less dangerous than other Schedule I drugs (or even Schedule II stuff that can be prescribed but is heavily controlled such as Oxycodone, Ritalin, and so forth). Hence, in a move a long time coming the DEA (with approval from the Biden administration) is looking to reclassify Cannabis as a Schedule III substance, easing a multitude of restrictions regarding the substance and helping make the aforementioned muddy legal rules a lot more clear.

This wouldn't especially impact states with cannabis but would help make the way we tax it and handle the finances of the substance a lot more streamlined. It would also assist with legal matters as Cannabis right now is something that the police wouldn't blink twice at if they saw it in your home in some states but could arrest you and get you serious jail time in others. Making Cannabis a Schedule III drug won't fix everything--it will still be illegal in States that forbid it (with less severe consequences) but more research will be possible and doctors will be able to discuss more openly with patients about Cannabis too without technically violating any laws. Considering how laws regarding Cannabis unfairly often target and impact those who are less wealthy or a person of color this is a step towards more social justice as well. It isn't decriminalization and it won't free people unfairly spending long sentences in prison for marijuana of all things, but it is a step in the right direction.

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