Wednesday, April 6, 2016

DEA deigns to consider rescheduling marijuana

High time.
The Drug Enforcement Administration says it will make a decision in the coming months that could prove to be a watershed moment for the burgeoning legal marijuana industry.
In a memo to lawmakers this week, the DEA announced plans to decide “in the first half of 2016” whether or not it will reschedule marijuana, according to The Washington Post. Cannabis is now listed under the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule 1 drug, a categorization it shares with other drugs, such as heroin and LSD, which the U.S. government defines as “the most dangerous drugs” that have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
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Should the DEA decide to reschedule marijuana, bumping it down with supposedly less dangerous drugs such as cocaine (Schedule 2) or ketamine (Schedule 3), the move would likely open the door for expanded research of cannabis’ potential for medical applications. As it stands, the government has an exclusive contract with a University of Mississippi research lab to grow marijuana for the purpose of medical research, and the DEA notes in its letter that the government supplied an average of just nine researchers with marijuana for research purposes per year between 2010 and 2015.
Rescheduling could also have a major financial effect on the legal marijuana industry, which some estimates suggest will hit $6.7 billion in sales this year while expanding to nearly $22 billion by 2020. While more and more states have voted to legalize marijuana in some form over the past several years, the drug remains very much illegal on the federal level—an inconvenient fact for a rapidly expanding industry that has led to a range of issues for marijuana-related businesses, from a lack of banking options to federal tax issues.
I'm guessing they will bump it to schedule 2 (ketamine is schedule 3? Rilly? My friend wikipedia tells me that schedule 3 drugs:
  1. The drug or other substance has a potential for abuse less than the drugs or other substances in schedules I and II.
  2. The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
  3. Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
Whatever.

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