Remove Cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act – read why

Below on some interesting facts about weed and Schedule I. Do we really need it on Schedule I? Read some of the below and a lot of the crazy political stuff making marijuana illegal. Hopefully, it is food for thought regarding the removal of cannabis from being classified as a Schedule I drug.

How did marijuana become federally illegal and become a Schedule I drug?

Various states in the United States started prohibiting cannabis in the early 20th century. Ironically, one of the first state to prohibit cannabis in 1913 was California. It was one of the first state to make medical weed legal once again in 1996. Cannabis wasn’t really made federally illegal until the marijuana Tax Act of 1937 what’s still allowed medical marijuana but doctors were being taxed very heavily for prescribing it to people. It wasn’t until 1970 and the War on Drugs that would create the Controlled Substances Act by our infamous President Nixon. Nixon was definitely not a big fan of pot-smoking hippies so it’s no surprise that cannabis ended up as a Schedule I; the same classification as meth and heroin. It is interesting to note that marijuana was only supposed to be Schedule I temporarily.

What does Schedule I mean for weed?

Schedule I of the controlled Substance Act defines cannabis as having absolutely no medical value to people. The removal of cannabis from a schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act has been a long time coming and has been in sort of a proposal process since 1972. Given all of the information that people know now in 2018, it is hard for many people to see how the US government can justify that there is not enough medicinal value in cannabis to remove it from Schedule I.

Who was Army veteran, Matthew David Stewart, and why was he murdered for growing weed?

Many opponents of legalizing marijuana believe that cannabis is too dangerous to remove a schedule I status. I guess history has shown me that prohibition on weed could kill people more than it could it help them. Army combat veteran,Matthew David Stewart, from Ogden, Utah (near Salt Lake City) had to die for growing a handful of cannabis plants in his basement by the hands of the SWAT team. Prohibition on alcohol did not work and the War on Drugs was a massive failure, even tragic when it came to weed. In fact, the War on Drugs really just enriched criminals that have had no problems operating in the black market to supply people pot and anything else people desire.

How did paper help make marijuana illegal?

The war on cannabis was really instigated by William Hearst and his buddy Henry Anslinger. These two were crucial in the beginning usage of the word “marijuana” (well, more like “Marihuana”). It is well referenced with William Hearst’s yellow journalism propaganda spun by media companies that he also owned. This was a strategic objective to associate it with Mexicans and make it easier to ban. William Hearst had an incentive the keep hemp from being a competitor to his paper industry.He was also in control of media interest that helped fuel the propaganda to demonize cannabis.

What would have happened if hemp was used for bio-plastics?

Cutting down trees to make paper instead of growing hemp would have disastrous consequences to come for future generations. Another  interesting environmental fact is that plant cellulose was used and the first plastics invented and were bio-plastics. What if hemp wasn’t made illegal? Who knows what kind of bio-plastics would be available to us for our packaging?

Who still wants the war on cannabis?

There are winners and losers on the whole War on Drugs but that is a different topic. There are obviously parties that want to keep getting funding for the War on Drugs. I don’t think they should using that funding to persecute people that are abiding by state cannabis laws though. There is also the unfortunate fact that there are people who could benefit from weed live in states that might not have any access to medical marijuana. This is especially sad in the situation of opiates that have been killing many Americans every year but is still very much legal. Ironically, industries that have to do with law enforcement/incarceration or pharmaceuticals have not really been pro-cannabis but this really has to do with financial incentives more than the safety of Americans.

How is marijuana still on Schedule I when we have pharmaceuticals that try to do the same thing?

Schedule I means there is no apparent medical use or value as far as the federal government is concerned. This makes no sense since there are FDA-approved drugs which mimic the cannabinoids found in marijuana like Sativex and Epidiolex. The difference is that these pharmaceuticals will mimic the effects of cannabis and charge far more money than the real cannabis sativa or indica.

Why is Israel the leader in medical marijuana research?

Rescheduling cannabis from schedule I just opens up more opportunities to allow our government to research cannabis for its medical value. Right now, Israel is the leader of medical marijuana research for this reason and not the United States.  Israeli Ministry of Health funds cannabis research to the tune of 8 million shekels a year. Israel is one of the three Countries in the world where their government funds research for medical marijuana. It was an Israeli by the name of Raphael Mechoulam that first recognized the psychoactive cannabinoid, THC, found in cannabis.

How does the Israeli military use cannabis to help their soldiers?

Another interesting fact about Israel and medical marijuana is that since 2004, the Israeli military has been using THC for the treatment of PTSD of their soldiers. Ever since 2014, medical marijuana was authorized for Israeli military members that are in reserve status and have prescriptions for cannabis  to treat PTSD.

When was the first attempt to remove cannabis from Schedule I for the Controlled Substances Act?

The first petition to the DEA  for the rescheduling of cannabis was filed in 1972. The initial petition was to allow weed to be prescribed by doctors. It took 22 years of pathetic court denials and a synthetic pill form of THC for the rescheduling of marijuana to be considered again. In August 2016 the DEA still maintained it’s original position of keeping marijuana on the schedule I classification. To it’s defense, the DEA did mention that it would loosen restrictions for medical cannabis researchers which is better than nothing I suppose.


 

What are top 3 funniest DEA quotes regarding marijuana?

This brings me to the most interesting and humorous quotes by our DEA when it comes to discussing it’s ridiculous policies on cannabis. These funny quotes are from the head of the DEA, Robert Patterson. They surfaced during discussions with the DEA and lawmakers pertaining to cannabis and how it could help with the opioid crisis in the United States

1 – “The reason why it remains in Schedule I is the science.”

This is not at all consistent with the DEA’s simultaneous decision to allow more marijuana for medical research. This is also a catch-22 because the DEA will not allow scientists to research medical marijuana enough to remove it from the schedule I classification. Science is the reason why cannabis is showing to help people in many ways we didn’t know before it became accessible in some way. The reason why it remains in Schedule I is money and has nothing to do with science…otherwise, pharmaceuticals wouldn’t try to artificially replicate cannabinoids naturally found in the cannabis plant.

“At what point did we determine that revenue was more important than our kids?”

This does not make sense at all for two reasons. One, alcohol abuse causes more problems for kids and family life in comparison to stoner parents. Two, most cannabis state tax revenue is used to fund school-related initiatives. Extremely tragic to say for me to say…but I have known more kids that have died from opiates and other pharmaceutical-related fatalities than I care to say.

Opioids and marijuana are “not comparable”.

This was an interesting admission by the head of the DEA when discussing the number of deaths cannabis overdoses cause every year. In a sense, he is right because there has never been an overdose resulting in a fatality from marijuana. In contrast, overdoses related to opioids are killing over a hundred and ten Americans on the daily.


 

Are the majority of Americans in favor of the legalization of cannabis in 2018?

What’s crazy about of cannabis and Schedule I is that Oklahoma is the most recent approval at the writing of this article which makes it 30th state to legalize medical marijuana.There are also 9 states that allow  recreational cannabis including California starting in 2018. A recent Gallup poll in 2017 finds that an all-time high of 61% of Americans are in favor of the legalization of marijuana.

Why is the pharmaceutical industry so anti-pot?

The US federal government stands firm on its schedule I classification of weed and one has to wonder why? This is such a travesty considering so many people are dying over opiates. There are many political lobbies but do not want to see this change. The pharmaceutical industry does not want to lower profit margins because of competition from cannabis. Well, maybe at least 1 pharmaceutical company is pro-cannabis and that would be a British pharmaceutical company by the name of GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH). It is the same pharmaceutical company that brought you Sativex and Epidiolex.

Does the DEA get more money if cannabis remains a Schedule I drug?

There is also a great deal of money in terms of funding that gets awarded every year to law enforcement for fighting weed grow ops and combat trafficking. Due to the federal legal classification of Schedule 1 for weed, extra money is given to the DEA to fight cannabis-related operations. This is funding the DEA will lose if they don’t have fight weed around the nation!

How does Schedule I for cannabis impact federal taxes for marijuana dispensaries?

Due to the  federal legal limbo regarding marijuana, the IRS strictly dictates how many businesses in the cannabis industry including marijuana dispensaries do their federal taxes. This includes IRS tax code 280E which prohibits marijuana dispensaries from writing off any normal tax deductions such as Cost of Goods Sold. Cannabis companies and accountants have used smart business structuring for ways around this issue. Any other legitimate business would be able to do so and not being able to do so results in an extremely high and unbearable federal tax rate for many dispensaries that just claim one business that also cultivates weed.

How can Article 5 of the US Constitution be used to federally legalize marijuana?

Article 5 of the U.S.Constitution was put in place as a legal precedent by  the great men who were the founding fathers of our country. In summary, this part of the Constitution says that two-thirds of the states can propose amendments to the Constitution. The proposed amendment would later need to be ratified by 3/4 of the state legislative bodies and then a congressional convention.


 

All of this information has to come to my final point. It is possible that people can make a change and it’s weird saying that because I have been mostly cynical regarding our general political process. I am a military veteran and people always ask me who I vote for. Ironically, I haven’t voted that much which is becoming evident that that this is wrong. People in cannabis industry have shown me that they actually can make a change. These petitions are actually no joke and they really do work!

Petitions for cannabis work and this was shown in Michigan in this election cycle in November 2018. Michigan Proposal 1 was also known as the Marijuana Legalization Initiative. This initiative was approved by voters and it legalizes recreational marijuana for people over 21 in Michigan. It was only possible due to what was called an “indirect initiated state statute”.

What is an indirect initiated State Statute and how can we use it to legalize weed?

Three things have to happen for an indirect initiated state statute :

  1. It is initiated by citizens through a collection of signatures which sounds like a petition to me.
  2. all the signatures are collected and the proposed law is sent for review to the state’s legislature.
  3. the third step is dependent on that specific state law  but they can choose to do a quite a few things: \which includes: a) do absolutely nothing at all,  b) pass the law as written,   c) amend the law before passing it,  d) or come up with some of their kind of law regarding the same topic.

What has the Americans for Safe Access Now organization done for medical marijuana?

Americans for Safe Access Now is an organization based in Washington D.C. fighting for the legal right to access cannabis for medicine. They work on all levels of the government which includes federal state and local.  This organization was started in 2002 by Steph Sherer. It was because of the federal raids on cannabis dispensaries and medical marijuana patients in California.

These guys are absolutely awesome in my book!  they have gone up against the DEA For the removal of cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act in the US court of appeals in the Washington DC district. They did not win that case but I have a lot of respect for this organization!


PETITION TO CONGRESS FOR THE REMOVAL OF CANNABIS FROM SCHEDULE I OF THE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT

This is a petition to Congress. It is to get marijuana declassified from Schedule 1. It is on there because from an antiquated law from the Nixon administration and it was only was supposed to be there temporarily. Maybe it never got declassified because of how the Nixon Administration ended but marijuana has continued to be doomed ever since. It  is a very tragic case of Catch-22 for weed!

It is Schedule I because apparently there are no additional benefits the Cannabis but no researchers can actually get a hold of cannabis to prove that it doesn’t belong on schedule 1.

If you ask me, that’s pretty slimy political maneuvering to make weed illegal indefinitely. This is the same plant that has been recorded to be used as an anesthetic for a Chinese surgeon in China well over a thousand years ago. The cannabis plant has been helping various societies around the world for centuries way before it was viewed as having no medicinal value in the United States.

Click here to sign this petition to congress for them to say that marijuana actually does have medical benefits for people and we should remove it from Schedule 1 . (url – https://www.petition2congress.com/ctas/remove-marijuana-from-its-current-schedule-1-status)


PETITION FROM BERNIE SANDERS FOR ENDING THE DRUG WAR

Bernie Sanders is a US senator from Vermont and has been since 2007. He is the longest-standing independent in Congressional history. Whether you agree with the guy’s politics or not, that is a pretty impressive long-standing record!

I absolutely agree with this email. Here are some very rationale excerpts and food for thought about the drug war and weed.  Full text can be found on this link from marijuanamoment.net.

Of course, marijuana prohibition is part of a larger failed war on drugs that has led to the great national crisis of mass incarceration. Some 1.5 million people were arrested for a drug related offense in 2016 – over 80 percent of which were for possession alone. We need to stop criminalizing addiction. We need to stop criminalizing recreational marijuana use.

…..

Here’s why:

Millions of Americans have had their lives impacted by the federal prohibition on marijuana – arrests, convictions and even jail time. Even when people don’t go to jail, the criminal record they receive makes it harder for them to find a job, get housing or go to college. Is this a widespread problem? It sure is. In 2016 alone, over half a million people were arrested for marijuana possession.

…..

Of course, marijuana prohibition is part of a larger failed war on drugs that has led to the great national crisis of mass incarceration. Some 1.5 million people were arrested for a drug related offense in 2016 – over 80 percent of which were for possession alone. We need to stop criminalizing addiction. We need to stop criminalizing recreational marijuana use.

The criminal justice system is not the answer to drug abuse. Addiction is a health problem and we should start treating it that way. While communities all across the country lack adequate resources for treatment or prevention, we are spending approximately $50 billion a year on the war on drugs. That’s absurd. We need to get our priorities right.

Words to make you ponder what our country is doing related to weed. Click here to sign Bernie Sander’s petition for ending the failed War on Drugs and divert more funds to the prevention of drug abuse.

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