Hillary Clinton wants to remove Cannabis Marijuana from Schedule 1 Federal Classification. Taking it off the same schedule as such dangerous recreational drugs with the highest potential for abuse and addiction, among them heroin and cocaine. This is what the MMJ industry has been waiting for! Getting weed off of Schedule 1 should be a boon for the Cannabis industry, right? The likely Democratic nominee who is churning inevitably closer to the nomination of the same party that brought us 8 years of President Obama and state level legalization in Colorado, Washington, Oregon with several more putting initiatives on the ballot that would involve some sort of legalization of recreational cannabis use on a state level.
Even in states where recreational use has been approved, Marijuana remains federally on the Schedule 1 level and punishments for possession, sale, transportation can be severe and on similar levels as substances that one traditionally views as much “harder drugs.”
So the idea that Secretary Clinton wants to get Marijuana of Schedule 1 sounds pretty good on the surface right? Well, let’s dig a little deeper on this. Is Hillary Clinton bluffing on her marijuana policy stance? As Mrs. Clinton has slogged her way through a particularly challenging primary season she’s been dogged by a crotchety old, progressive, atheist Jew from Burlington, Vermont by way of Brooklyn – none other than fiercely liberal, Independent Senator Bernie Sanders. While Secretary Clinton has maintained a significant lead in terms of how the Democrats award delegates for several months; young people across the country, who feel Clinton and those aligned with her represent the very establishment against which they have grown so disillusioned. As Senator Sanders, and his supporters are eager to point out, Secretary Clinton’s ties to large pharma, Wall Street, and other significant corporate entities have inevitable and unavoidable effects on the policies the Secretary would look to implement should she, come January 2017, become the most recent (but not newest) to take up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
By putting Marijuana on to Federal Schedule 2 every medical grower becomes subject to FDA (federal) regulation. Would those regulations be enforced? Only time would tell. Every dispensary is going to now require a pharmacist on hand. Last time we checked PharmD’s don’t come easy and they don’t work cheap. This could spell disaster for the local business owner who simply can’t bear those regulatory burdens and costs. It is about as friendly to small business as WalMart and Target. Big box retailers don’t sweat those regulatory burdens for a second. But you can believe your local dispensary likely can’t swallow those expenses and expect to keep the doors open and lights on for very long.
By shifting Marijuana to Schedule 2 alongside Meth, and Opioids like OxyContin recreational cannabis runs into yet another hurdle from those whose cannabinoid drug patents would find themselves battling on another front and competing with OTC recreational marijuana.
This also speaks nothing to the private prison industry and the Secretary’s ties to it. This very industry naturally is bound to view any scaling back of the drug war as “bad for business.” However, perhaps the most frightening of all is there is simply no precedent for an FDA regulated substance to have a state level recreational designation. We don’t have any legal recreational Adderral or Vicodin. What evidence do we have that points to this new Schedule 2 designation not being used to kill recreational where it currently stands?!
With that said, the path may be narrow, but there are still ballots to be cast and delegates to be awarded. I urge you, check your voter registration and your state’s party format and make sure that you are casting a vote for progress and that you’re “feeling the Bern” so we can all look forward to a day where we can all burn one without fear of Federal consequence! Most importantly, make sure your voice is heard and cast your vote loudly and proudly on election day!