As the world of cannabis legalization expands, so does the recognition of the DEA’s growing role in it. This year marks the 35th anniversary of a Judge of the DEA’s own calling on the government to reconsider marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I drug. Now, the DEA is conducting a new review which will determine whether the agency’s long-standing opposition to the legalization of marijuana will be reconsidered. As advocates mark this historic milestone, we take a look back and look forward to the future of cannabis law.
1. Celebrating 35 Years of Advocacy: DEA Reschedules Marijuana Review
On November 10th the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has taken a monumental step forward in the cannabis debate. For the first time in 35 years, the DEA has officially granted a long-sought review for marijuana rescheduling. This news is seen as a major victory for advocation groups, as this review may potentially reduce or even declassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug.
Since the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana was classified as Schedule I, implying that cannabis was seen as having no medical benefit and a higher potential for abuse than other drugs. With 35 years of efforts from advocates and researchers alike, the DEA is finally taking the step no one believed was possible. Advancements in medical cannabis research and numerous requests filed by advocacy groups have finally pushed this cannabis review over the line.
- The DEA is granting a long-sought review for marijuana rescheduling.
- Marijuana has been classified as Schedule I since the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.
- Advocacy groups have advanced medical cannabis research and many requests were filed.
2. How the DEA Rescheduling Initiative Could Benefit Patients
The DEA rescheduling initiative could be of great benefit to patients who currently rely on medications containing certain controlled substances for their treatments. By rescheduling certain drugs, access to them could be simplified and their use encouraged in a more open and positive way. Here are some of the key advantages this move could bring about.
- Improved patient safety: Rescheduling could make it easier to monitor drugs and ensure that they are being used safely and responsibly.
- Increased availability: Rescheduling could make it easier for patients to access the medications they need, which could lead to better overall health outcomes.
- More effective treatments: Rescheduling could make it easier for doctors to develop more effective and personalized treatment plans for their patients.
The DEA rescheduling initiative could go a long way toward making it easier and more cost-effective for patients to access to the medications they need. With improved safety, increased availability, and more effective treatments, this move could both improve patient outcomes and give patients greater peace of mind.
3. Looking to The Future of Legalizing Marijuana
An Opportunity for Reform
With the momentum of successful marijuana legalization campaigns picking up across the country, reformers have plenty to be optimistic about. However, as states continue to plant the seeds of legalization, it’s important they consider the lessons of other legal states when crafting their own laws.
In order to create a model system, marijuana laws should strive to empower small businesses, be inclusive and promote equity, create smart regulations to prevent use by minors and better address environmental and public health and safety concerns. Additionally, it’s paramount that legal markets come with reinvestment into the communities that have been hurt by past criminalization.
The effort to reform marijuana laws is still in its pioneering stages, but as supporters continue to push for equity, education, and inclusion in the industry, legalizing marijuana is becoming more and more realistic. The progress made so far will provide direction for now and future legal marijuana laws so they can build up their protocols and regulations to make for a sustainable foundation.
4. Time to Re-Examine Cannabis: What the Experts are Saying
As more and more of the world’s experts share their opinion on medical marijuana, public sentiment has shifted towards re-examining the drug. In recent years, both public health and medical authorities have been advocating for the decriminalization and decriminalization of cannabis for medical purposes. Here’s a sampling of what the experts have to say:
- The World Health Organization (WHO): The WHO has stated that cannabis has a low potential for abuse and should not be placed in the same category as more dangerous drugs like cocaine and heroin.
- The American Medical Association (AMA): The AMA has called for more comprehensive research into medical cannabis, noting that it could provide some relief from a variety of conditions.
- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM): NASEM has found that cannabis can be an effective treatment for a variety of conditions, including chronic pain, nausea, and loss of appetite.
While these expert opinions suggest that cannabis should be re-examined by lawmakers, the question of full legalization remains. Despite the move toward decriminalization in certain states, various legal issues stand in the way of full legalization of marijuana on a federal level. However, these same experts are hopeful that, with more research, a full understanding of the potential therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana could be reached. This could open up new horizons in terms of medical treatment for those who are affected.
As the DEA continues to review the status of marijuana and whether to reclassify cannabis from Schedule I, advocates are hopeful that the agency will take into account the views of the late Judge Mary Ellen Bittner, who made a passionate call 35 years ago for the federal government to reassess its marijuana policy. Perhaps with the spirit of opening dialogue in mind, the DEA will ultimately move towards a more sensible — and just — cannabis classification system.