Democratic Senators Push DEA to Downgrade MJ
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Democratic Senators Push DEA to Downgrade MJ
Posted by CN Staff on June 24, 2016 at 14:15:23 PT
By Kate O' Keeffe
Source: Wall Street Journal 
Washington, D.C. -- A group of Democratic lawmakers is renewing pressure on the Drug Enforcement Administration to remove marijuana from its current position on a list of the most dangerous drugs, a category that includes heroin and ecstasy.Marijuana’s classification as a “Schedule I” drug is “a main barrier” to research on its potential health benefits and conflicts with a decision by half of the states to approve medical marijuana laws, eight Democratic senators wrote this week in a letter to the DEA and the Department of Justice, its parent agency.
DEA spokesman Russ Baer said in an interview that the agency is in the “final stages” of its deliberation on the issue, and he said a decision on whether to reschedule marijuana is expected “sometime soon.”Mr. Baer said he did not expect an answer by June 30, however, despite previous guidance from DEA officials that they hoped to make a decision in the first half of the year.An increasing number of states now allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes, but the drug remains strictly illegal according to U.S. law. The federal government has adopted a practice of not prosecuting those who use marijuana according to their home-state laws.The senators argued that this “dissonance” between state and federal laws has “wide-ranging implications for legitimate marijuana businesses, including access to banking services, the ability to deduct business expenses from taxes, and access for veterans.”Signers of the letters are Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Barbara Boxer of California, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, and Cory Booker of New Jersey.After the Food and Drug Administration determines whether a substance has a medical use, the DEA performs its own analysis and classifies a drug under one of five categories that also take into account their abuse potential.The DEA received a binding assessment from the FDA about whether marijuana should be considered to have a medical use nine to 12 months ago, Mr. Baer said.That decision, which neither the DEA nor the FDA would discuss, is the controlling factor in whether the DEA will remove marijuana from Schedule I, said Mr. Baer. But regardless of the FDA’s decision, the DEA is required by law to do its own analysis, he said.Drugs under Schedule I, which includes marijuana along with heroin, LSD and ecstasy, are considered to have a high potential for abuse without any offsetting medical use.If marijuana were switched to a Schedule II drug, for example, it would join a group of prescription painkillers including oxycodone and fentanyl, which are considered to have medical benefits despite their high potential for abuse. Cocaine is also on that list.The DEA’s categories extend to Schedule V, which has the least potential for abuse and includes such substances as cough syrup and anti-diarrhea medication.Congress recently passed bills to combat the country’s growing problems with painkiller abuse and heroin use, which health officials say are now causing more Americans to die from drug overdoses than traffic accidents.Source: Wall Street Journal (US)Author: Kate O' KeeffePublished: June 24, 2016Copyright: 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.Contact: wsj.ltrs wsj.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #8 posted by HempWorld on June 26, 2016 at 18:56:45 PT
Yes, I agree, but...
We...Rumble on!(Led Zep)
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on June 26, 2016 at 17:53:24 PT
Storm Crow
Very good!
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on June 26, 2016 at 16:43:53 PT
speaking their langauge
Yes Storm Crow it would appear that being a huge pharma company and hiring 3 lobbyists for each senator moves you from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3.
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Comment #5 posted by Storm Crow on June 26, 2016 at 13:18:07 PT
Funny thing is, Marinol, a pure synthetic THC is only Schedule 3! Now why is the synthetic "safe" and able to be prescribed, yet the natural THC is Schedule 1 and a "dangerous drug"? Since they are supposed to both be the same drug, THC, one is greatly mis-scheduled. And since Marinol is approved by the great and all-powerful FDA, it CAN'T be the Marinol that is erroneously scheduled! lol Logically, cannabis should be completely DE-scheduled, like other herbal medicines, such as ginseng or St John's Wort.
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Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on June 25, 2016 at 09:37:42 PT
Dangerous Plants
Still waiting for Poison Ivy to be scheduled!  cannabis is way safer than cough syrup or Immodium.  Banning plants is silly. They're not even banning the right ones.
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Comment #3 posted by John Tyler on June 25, 2016 at 07:58:32 PT
Willie Nelson Job opportunities 
Now Hiring: Willie Nelson Needs You to Work for his Weed Company, Starting Salary of $65,000
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Comment #2 posted by John Tyler on June 25, 2016 at 07:46:25 PT
Some history
Back in the early 1970’s when Nixon was president, he had a big study done that determined that cannabis was not harmful and that it should at least be decriminalized. Nixon rejected the study and insisted on keeping cannabis illegal so he and his administration could use it as a weapon to oppress political dissent and minorities. 
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on June 24, 2016 at 19:51:04 PT
OMG, inane, insane, done the same thing over n ovr
Insanity at its best!Yes, marijuana/cannabis, is just like fentanyl, cocaine is also on that list. Uh ha... yes, makes perfect scientific sense (or am I off?)Do I need to say more... (with a Brexit accent)
I am sorry to be so repetitive? Empirical evidence is now abundant!
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