Just when it seemed that federal marijuana policy might be on the right track, with the Drug Enforcement Agency currently considering rescheduling marijuana, and the Supreme Court recently ruling that cannabis-related businesses can receive banking services, a Republican Congressman from Oklahoma has raised concerns that moving marijuana to Schedule III could lead to it being controlled by big pharma companies. Read on to find out more about why Representative Robert Kern worries that reclassifying marijuana has far-reaching implications..
1. GOP Congressman Cautions on Marijuana Rescheduling
Republican Congressman Markwayne Mullin is sounding off on the growing movement to reschedule marijuana at the federal level. According to reports, he has raised the following concerns:
- Research: Mullin cautions that while progress has been made on medical marijuana, there is still much need for advancement in areas such as addiction research and treatment.
- Reclassification: Mullin also believes that surgical reclassification of the drug would be premature at this point according to the available evidence and data.
- Prioritization: He believes that the policies surrounding the drug need to be carefully considered and prioritize the safety, security and health of the American people.
Mullin’s comments come at a crucial moment for marijuana policy. The Trump administration recently altered cannabis policies by exempting its banking ordinances from Congressional review. These reforms, however, have yet to address federal rescheduling of marijuana. As lawmakers, activists, and regulators continue to debate the fate of marijuana, many are looking to Congressman Mullin’s warnings on this issue.
2. Moving Marijuana to Schedule III: A Cause for Alarm?
Marijuana has been on the radar of governments around the world for centuries, with its legality standing in a state of flux. The move by the US into scheduling marijuana as a Schedule III drug is causing many to raise their eyebrows. Those in the medical marijuana field are aware of the negative implications, and long-time marijuana users are feeling the stress of a major shift in their lives.
Advocates of medical marijuana accuse the FDA of using Schedule III status to suppress their cause. The new classification puts marijuana in the same category as anabolic steroids, which puts it under tighter restrictions than even traditional painkillers. Not only does this mean the drug is harder to acquire, but it also places stringent limits on research. Since Schedule III drugs are subject to greater levels of regulation, testing to prove medical efficacy becomes more difficult. This threatens the availability of the drug for medical use across the nation.
- Federal Regulation: Patients may face difficulty in obtaining medical marijuana due to increased government regulation.
- Access to Care: Scheduling of marijuana as a Schedule III drug establishes barriers to access care.
- Research Restrictions: Testing of medical efficacy becomes more difficult and can limit availability.
Individuals who rely on medical marijuana to manage pain and other symptoms are worried about the potential increase in restrictions. The FDA must take into account the impact of the new classification on those in need of the drug for medical purposes before any further action can be taken.
3. Fear of Big Pharma Monopolizing Marijuana
The Looming Danger
With marijuana slowly becoming legalized across the U.S., there is a growing concern that Big Pharma will monopolize the industry. Big Pharma is known for using strong tactics to influence governments in the past and take control of potential markets. Having them take control of the marijuana industry could be disastrous for its future.
What This Could Mean
Firstly, the quality of marijuana produced by Big Pharma companies could be very poor. These companies’ main priority is always the bottom line, meaning they are willing to skimp on quality and safety, putting consumers at risk. Secondly, Big Pharma could set monumental markups on medical marijuana, making access difficult for those who need it. Finally, it could stifle the growth of small marijuana businesses, thus preventing innovation and the continual improvement of the industry.
- Poor quality marijuana products
- High medical marijuana prices
- Stifled growth of small businesses
4. Assessing the Risks of Rescheduling Marijuana
When considering the rescheduling of marijuana from a Schedule I controlled substance to a less restrictive category, it is essential to assess the risks associated with such an action. The following outlines a few of the possible risks with shifting marijuana regulation.
- Legalisation: Any move to reschedule marijuana could potentially lead to complete legalisation in some states, although this is not a given.
- Accessibility: cannabinoids, a class of drugs that includes marijuana, could become more accessible when rescheduled.
- Misuse: Legalising marijuana runs the risk of increasing its misuse, although this can be controlled through effective regulation.
Additionally, there is the risk of a consumer’s health being adversely affected by marijuana use. Rescheduling cannabis could ultimately lead to a higher risk of addiction and mental health issues through overconsumption. As such, it is important to consider the health implications of rescheduling marijuana.
Republican Congressman Barry Brinson’s objections to reclassifying marijuana as a Schedule III substance are certainly valid given the conduct of Big Pharma in other industries. This issue is certainly not just a matter of political affiliation, but rather a necessary consideration to ensure that public safety and consumer interests are kept in tact. While the debate over the possible benefits of marijuana continues, it’s wise to consider all possibilities of how this drug might be regulated if it were to be made more widely available – and that includes the potential role of Big Pharma.