It seems Federal legalization of marijuana will come about only after we pry it from the cold, dead hands of the DEA:
On August 12, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), despite much speculation to the contrary, published in the Federal Register its long-anticipated decision rejecting two petitions, pending since 2009 and 2011, seeking to reclassify marijuana from its current Schedule I position to Schedule II under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). With input from the US Food and Drug Administration 1 and the National Institute on Drug Abuse 2 (both within the US Department of Health and Human Services), the DEA concluded in a lengthy decision that “marijuana does not have a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” and “at this time, the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy.” By maintaining marijuana as a Schedule I drug, it continues to be classified as a drug with “high potential for abuse” and “no currently accepted medical use,” thus making its use—even in states that have legalized medical and/or recreational use of marijuana—still illegal under federal law. But the DEA did loosen restrictions on the supply of marijuana for medical research, which could have a longer-term effect on the public policy debate regarding marijuana’s medical benefits and continued criminalization.
The DEA’s refusal to re-schedule marijuana is an obvious ploy (à la Prohibition) 3: they’re afraid of losing their budgets, toys and jobs.
Those running the DEA know full well that marijuana should have never been under schedule 1; it’s addition was one of the most cynical things the Nixon White House ever did. In addition the DEA is fully aware a majority of Americans would rather see Congress criminalized rather than pot. And those of you who have followed WNBTv’s reporting on marijuana and the war on drugs know for a fact the DEA is lying through its clenched teeth. However, in this generations’ take on Forrest Gump’s famous uttering (“Shit happens”), it is what it is.
Though drug decriminalization has been shown to work in other nations, America has always been willing to cut off its nose to spite its own face. Or, to update that expression a little, America has always been willing to allow the massacre of it’s children to keep its “right” to bear military assault weapons.
Guess the sensible among us will continue to do what we’ve always done: ignore the government.
- Who just allowed food makers the right to decide for themselves which additives are safe. Because…teh stoopid. In fact, food makers aren’t even required to inform the FDA of GRAS changes. And we’re supposed to take their views on marijuana seriously why? ↩
- Which lately has been pooh-poohing research –this time by the John Hopkins School of Medicine— that shows psychedelics can curb addictive behaviors, something one would presume to be a desirable outcome by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. But, there we go thinking again. ↩
- A quick aside: prohibition was the primary catalyst of the development of organized crime in this country; anyone see any parallels to the narco cartels? Anyone…anyone? ↩