Proposed Reefer Reclassification Could Open Even-Further Research Into Weed’s Actual Medical Benefits

April 30, 2024

Crystal-clear skies empowering still-brighter sunshine this late-afternoon Tuesday here in California’s Central Valley.

Off the normal topics of shitty T-Rump-related news — his hush money‘ criminal trial numbed the senses today again in NYC; he explained to Time magazine just how horrid and undemocratic a second term of his would actually be; among a filthy lot of other shit — with the major announcement this morning from the DEA it will reclassify marijuana down into a less dangerous drug, a major shift in the actual, real-life of weed and its numerous benefits — an entity that’s been gaslighted for 50 years, and a situation long, long overdue.
Next month will mark the 50th anniversary of me being introduced to marijuana and its wonders — been tokin’ ever since, and I’m a way-much-better person for it.

First to break today’s pot news:

From the Associated Press:

“Today, the Attorney General circulated a proposal to reclassify marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III,” Justice Department director of public affairs Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement. “Once published by the Federal Register, it will initiate a formal rulemaking process as prescribed by Congress in the Controlled Substances Act.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland’s signature throws the full weight of the Justice Department behind the move and appears to signal its importance to the Biden administration.

It comes after President Joe Biden called for a review of federal marijuana law in October 2022 and moved to pardon thousands of Americans convicted federally of simple possession of the drug. He has also called on governors and local leaders to take similar steps to erase marijuana convictions.

Another BFD for Joe:

Although the proposal must first be reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget, it will be the first time in that noted half-a-century weed will recognized for its medical uses. Pot research has shown it helps all kinds of ailments, from insomnia, pain, and anxiety, to potentially life-threatening conditions such as epilepsy.

Despite today’s move, more action is required to further ‘normal‘ the cannabis world — case-in-point details via High Times:

According to the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), moving cannabis to Schedule III is expected to lift the unfair burden of 280E on thousands of state-legal cannabis businesses. The Legal Intelligencer reported that Schedule III would remove the prohibitions against tax deductions under tax code 280E.

“Moving marijuana out of its absurd classification as a Schedule I drug is long overdue and we applaud the administration for finally acknowledging the therapeutic value that has been widely accepted by the medical community and millions of medical cannabis patients for decades,” said CEO, Aaron Smith. “While this is undoubtedly a very positive first step, rescheduling will not end federal marijuana prohibition and doesn’t harmonize federal law with the laws allowing some form of legal cannabis in the vast majority of the states. In order for this move to be meaningful on the ground, we need clear enforcement guidelines issued to the DEA and FDA that would ensure the tens of thousands of state-licensed businesses responsibly serving cannabis to adults are not subject to sanctions or criminal prosecution under federal laws.”

“Further, it’s imperative that Congress build upon this development by passing comprehensive legislation to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and forge a new regulatory framework for whole plant cannabis products.” added Smith.

“The goal of any federal cannabis policy reform ought to be to address the existing, untenable divide between federal marijuana policy and the cannabis laws of the majority of US states,” he said. “Rescheduling the cannabis plant to Schedule III fails to adequately address this conflict, as existing state legalization laws—both adult use and medical—will continue to be in conflict with federal regulations, thereby perpetuating the existing divide between state and federal marijuana policies.”

A small step, a long time coming, though, better than no step at all.

Doctor, doctor, one more toke before I go, or not, yet here we are once again…

(Image out front: ‘Cannabis,’ by Michael Creese, and found here).

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