MARIJUANA IS STILL A SCHEDULE-I DRUG UNDER FEDERAL LAW
- December 9, 2018
Looking back on the great marijuana debate, the little green plant has left quite an unusually large impact on our country, hasn’t it? From the first staunch arguments about medical marijuana in the 1970s to the push for recreational use today, lawmakers and civilians alike have been clashing or agreeing over the prospects for legalizing and consuming this strange, fragrant herb. What have the results been to date? A total of 33 states have legalized the drug for medical use (based on qualifying conditions), with an additional 8 state fully allowing adults (21 and older) to use this drug in public or in the privacy of their home without the need of a medical pot license. So, overall, this sounds like a victory on that front, right? In short, the answer is “no.” Despite the fact that over half of the U.S. has allowed the drug, these legalizations have been occurring at the state level. On the federal level, our little green plant is still 100%, no-questions-asked, completely illegal. Let’s take a closer look at the complex puzzle of American pot politics.
A Complex Conundrum of Cannabis
At a conference about opioid addiction (in Boston), U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams informed a gathering of police leaders that lawmakers should definitely revisit the American drug classification system. Although he applauded the scheduling system for being effective, he believes it could be performing a lot better than it currently is. So, what is his main concern? Adams also believes that medical researchers are struggling to conduct research on the properties of marijuana due to one big buffer: federal restraint. At this time, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule-I drug (potentially addictive or harmful).
Not What Europe Is Doing
Nevertheless, Adams has rigorously defended U.S. policies and has not condoned the legal actions taken in European nations. Rather than resorting to total decriminalization, the United States should urge local jurisdictions to create effective drug policies that work for each city or county. Rather than having a big body control the drug, the power should be granted to the states entirely, according to Adams.
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