DEA to re-schedule cannabis this summer: reports

Posted on June 20th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

THCThe Internet is atwitter over a June 19 report in the Santa Monica Observer with the headline: "US Gov't Will Legalize Marijuana on August 1." The article claims that "weed will soon be legal in all 50 states, with a prescription," thanks to the imminent government action, with cannabis about to be switched from Schedule I to Schedule II. An unnamed DEA attorney is quoted as saying: "Whatever the law may be in California, Arizona or Utah or any other State, because of Federal preemption this will have the effect of making THC products legal with a prescription, in all 50 states." The story also cites a June 17 article in the Denver Post asserting (with no attribution) that the DEA will issue a decision in the matter by July 1.

Some are skeptical, however. The Daily Chronic blog hits back: "No, the DEA will not Legalize Marijuana on August 1." Noting that the account is based exclusively on an anonymous source, they write: "Based on the Observer’s article—and lack of substantiating information from the Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, and major media outlets—the cannabis community should not be duped by this misinformation."

And even if it is true, it will not necessarily mean that medical marijuana will simply become legal nationwide. The MerryJane website warns of "The Downside to The DEA Rescheduling Cannabis." Schedule II drugs—including OxyContin, morphine and opium—are heavily regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, the rescheudling "could annihilate thousands of medical marijuana businesses currently in operation." Brandon Whitley, director of operations at California-based Aquarius Cannabis, warns that rescheduling could squeeze out independent producers in favor of corporate cannabis: "The cost to bring a Schedule II drug to market is enormous, to the level that not a single company in the cannabis industry right now could afford to do so. The knowledge gap between government regulators and outside companies that would come into the industry would be enormous, and the industry as we know it would be dead."

The DEA did issue a statement in April saying it hoped to respond to rescheduling petitions "in the first half of 2016." Initiatives to reschedule last year saw action both in Congress and in the courts. The Supreme Court, however, has let stand the DEA's refusal to reschedule. With action stalled at the DEA, advocates have also pressured President Obama to reschedule, asserting that he has the authority to do so.

Graphic: Lycaeum



Rescheduling imminent: more claims

Bill Weinberg's picture  The Santa Monica Observer has run a follow-up story again quoting the same and still anonymous DEA lawyer. The following quote is plausible enough, but the fact that they render CBD as "TBD" does not inspire confidence in their journalism...

“I’ll tell you how this industry works. The big pharma people take the DEA leadership to dinner to discuss the legalization of Marijuana [sic], how it’s going to really work. They say: ‘Listen, you and I both know that cannabis is much less dangerous, much less addictive than a lot of other Schedule II stuff that we already sell, such as Oxycontin. Why don’t you just let us go ahead and sell a few products, THC extract, TBD oil [sic], so we can all make some money. Instead of all these small time weed clinic guys with their dispensaries banking the cash, let us bank it… And a few years from now, when you need a job, you can come work for me.'”
Comment by Bill Weinberg on Jul 6th, 2016 at 2:41 pm

Medicare prescriptions drop in medical marijuana states: study

Global Ganja Report's picture A study published this week in Health Affairs finds that expenditures for Medicare Part D—the portion of the program that covers prescription costs – are down in medical marijuana states for drugs used to treat conditions ranging from anxiety to chronic pain because patients seem to be gravitating towards the herb as alternative to popping pills. (HT)
Comment by Global Ganja Report on Jul 11th, 2016 at 12:18 am

Marijuana bust rate drops to lowest in 20 years

Global Ganja Report's picture Justice Department statistics show that marijuana arrests dropped 7 percent last year, to about 575,000‚a welcome change from 2007, when 800,000 marijuana arrests were made. (HT)
Comment by Global Ganja Report on Sep 27th, 2016 at 6:53 am

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