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Members Of Congress Tell Obama To Remove Marijuana From Schedule 1

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obama marijuana schedule 1Today 18 members of the United States Congress sent a letter to President Barack Obama calling on him to remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. This issue has drawn a lot of press lately and there has been a lot of debate about what such a move would mean. On one end you have people like me that want it removed because it’s sound science. On the other end of the spectrum you have people like Kevin Sabet who think it will have zero impact, yet still want to keep things how they are.

The language of the letter is as follows:

We are encouraged by your recent comments in your interview with David Remnick in the January 27, 2014 issue of the New Yorker, about the shifting public opinion on the legalization of marijuana. We request that you take action to help alleviate the harms to society caused by the federal Schedule I classification of marijuana.

Lives and resources are wasted on enforcing harsh, unrealistic, and unfair marijuana laws. Nearly two-thirds of a million people every year are arrested for marijuana possession. We spend billions every year enforcing marijuana laws, which disproportionately impact minorities. According to the ACLU, black Americans are nearly four times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession, despite comparable marijuana usage rates.

You said that you don’t believe marijuana is any more dangerous than alcohol; a fully legalized substance, and believe it to be less dangerous “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer.” This is true. Marijuana, however, remains listed in the federal Controlled Substances Act at Schedule I, the strictest classification, along with heroin and LSD. This is a higher listing than cocaine and methamphetamine, Schedule II substances that you gave as examples of harder drugs. This makes sense.

Classifying marijuana as Schedule I at the federal level perpetuates an unjust and irrational system. Schedule I recognizes no medical use, disregarding both medical evidence and the laws of nearly half of th estates that have legalized medical marijuana. A Schedule I or II classification also means that marijuana businesses in states where adult or medical use are legal cannot deduct business expenses from their taxes or take tax credits due to Section 280E of the federal tax code.

We request that you instruct Attorney General Holder to delist or classify marijuana in a more appropriate way, at the very least eliminating from Schedule I or II. Furthermore, one would hope that that (sic) your Administration officials publicly reflect your views on this matter. Statements such as the one from DEA chief of operations James L. Capra that the legalization of marijuana at the state level is “reckless and irresponsible” serve no purposes other than to inflame passions and misinform the public.

Thank you for your continued thoughtfulness about this important issue. We believe the current system wastes resources and destroys lives, in turn damaging families and communities. Taking action on this issue is long overdue.

Below is the reaction from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition:

WASHINGTON, DC-Citing high numbers of arrests, billions of dollars wasted, disproportionate effects on black Americans and the relative safety of marijuana, a group of eighteen Congress members today called on President Obama to “delist or classify marijuana in a more appropriate way, at the very least eliminating it from Schedule I or II.” The move comes in light of Obama’s recent comments to The New Yorker that marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol and that it was important to allow legalization efforts in Colorado and Washington to proceed.

Currently, marijuana is listed as a Schedule I drug, a classification for drugs with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Because of this classification, most medical research on marijuana is prohibited, it cannot be prescribed in accordance with federal law and it creates a host of tax and business regulation problems for state-legal marijuana businesses trying to comply in good faith with all relevant laws.

“No drug should be listed as Schedule I, which limits potentially life-saving research into both benefits and dangers of a substance and guarantees a violent, illegal market for the product,” said Law Enforcement Against Prohibition executive director Major Neill Franklin (Ret.) “This is even more true of marijuana right now, when after four decades of failure, states are doing their best to find something that works and federal regulations keep interfering with their ability to do so.”

A bill to allow the Drug Czar to study the legalization of marijuana and no longer require him or her to oppose attempts to legalize marijuana was also introduced today.

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  • painkills2

    Do the three you listed really need such a program (at this point)?

  • MrPC

    If we could use the Santorum program on The Donald, Sarah, Rush and several others as well…

  • painkills2

    Too bad we can’t, somehow, “Santorum” that guy’s name on google :)

  • MrPC

    try looking under “Cruz, Ted”

  • urmama

    Hey y’all, I have been waiting for laws to change since Eisenhower…. I suggest you hold your last toke and not your breath on weed being taken off Schedule 1!!! The political strings attached to all the lives destroyed and people suffering dosen’t mean horse hockey to these heartless criminals in Congress! They’ll just keep kicking the can all the way to the bank with monies for/against any change. Washington State is LOSING the popular vote as we speak. Grow your own and screw these creeps!!

  • PodBoy

    Republic (and I’d encourage you to check out the important differences) but ‘I feel ya’.

  • painkills2

    Are you lost, dear?

  • Rebeka18fl

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  • painkills2

    Public Entertainment Channel. Watch for it.

  • Mr. Bogart

    Hot if it was up to john Boehner it won’t be and like most Repubes in office are just about worthless as it is.
    Make no mind about the legalization of marijuana, it will soon be legal all across the USA, soon enough.

  • Isiah goodnite

    Undoubtedly the medical benefits of marijuana have been demonstrated. Current federal and state laws that reduce those who seek relief with marijuana into criminals are a form of discrimination.
    If a person with terminal cancer or a veteran with no legs uses pot to ease their pain it should be legal in every state. not select cities and states.

  • JON

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  • painkills2

    A meme’s work is never done.

  • painkills2

    I couldn’t find “teatard” in the dictionary…

  • painkills2

    Funny thing about rules and laws — they are easily broken, or loopholes found, for areas of alleged national interest (like banks).

    It’s odd that the government can release something as huge as the NSA on an unsuspecting public, all in the name of national public interest and with no problem whatsoever — but it is unable to release cannabis?

  • mlc

    Just say yes, grow your own. .stop waiting on the politicos to git your “Freedom” vote them all out of office. .

  • Gary

    I will say it again, the republicans see money to be made so they will pass legislation that makes Marijuana legal.

  • Holly Spence

    Absolutely! You have to take into account, as well, the patents the U.S. Government has on cannabis in relation to the treatment of many many illnesses, disorders and diseases! That right there is enough to make you question the validity of this whole “schedule classification”.

  • MrPC

    Maybe, but I expect they are more concerned with creating a lot of new cannabis-based drugs they can charge ridiculous prices for and legally sell all over the world.

  • virgolover

    You’re kidding yourself if you don’t think Big Pharma has something to do with the retention of cannabis’s Schedule One status.

  • virgolover

    The gerrymandered teatard house of reps will certainly be an obstacle.

  • virgolover

    The HW-Bush/ Clinton years were probably the darkest days of the pot-war years. It was during Clinton’s second term (the “BJ” term) that I despaired of the herb ever being fully legalized and let my NORML membership lapse for eleven years.

  • MrPC

    Actually, the President can do it, and my guess is he will before the end of his second term. We are all impatient, but try to remember what things were like during the Bush years (and for those of us old enough, the presidency of “Ronald Rayguns.”)

  • MrPC

    A partially-true comment, at best. Cannabis was declared illegal mostly due to the efforts of Harry Anslinger, a notorious racist who apparently believed Mexicans and Blacks would coax white women into smoking weed, then have sex with them. The idea of big business opposing cannabis is only indirectly true, if at all. Your comment on Obama is about what one would expect from someone who admires Rand Paul and his namesake, Ayn Rand, who were and are simpletons.

  • terrytwotoker

    they will never do it !! By Executive Order, the authority of the Attorney General to actin this area has been delegated to the Administrator of the Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration

  • terrytwotoker

    According to the U.S. Code:

    The Attorney General shall apply the provisions of this subchapter to the controlled substances listed in the schedules established by section 812 of this title and to any other drug or other substance added to such schedules under this subchapter.

    Except as provided in subsections (d) and (e) of this section, the Attorney General may by rule –

    (1) add to such a schedule or transfer between such schedules any drug or other substance if he –

    (A) finds that such drug or other substance has a potential for abuse, and

    (B) makes with respect to such drug or other substance the findings prescribed by subsection (b) of section 812 of this title for the schedule in which such drug is to be placed; or

    (2) remove any drug or other substance from the schedules if he finds that the drug or other substance does not meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule. Rules of the Attorney General under this subsection shall be made on the record after opportunity for a hearing pursuant to the rulemaking procedures prescribed by subchapter II of chapter 5 of title 5. Proceedings for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of such rules may be initiated by the Attorney General (1) on his own motion, (2) at the request of the Secretary, or (3) on the petition of any interested party.21 USC 811 (a)

    By Executive Order, the authority of the Attorney General to actin this area has been delegated to the Administrator of the Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration

  • terrytwotoker

    blumenauer is the man!! we need more people like him up there in W.House

  • Larry Barber

    AFT

  • HCV

    This may be of interest. If you go to the link at the bottom and read the Act. There is a small problem regarding the U.N. convention which is a sticking point. Given the discussion’s that were held at the last U.N. conference. The concession was, it needs to be changed, even Kofi Anna (sp) was on board. and now the Uruguay part makes the convention a non-issue. IMO
    PART B – AUTHORITY TO CONTROL;
    STANDARDS AND SCHEDULES

    § 811. Authority and criteria for
    classification of substances.

    (a) Rules and regulations of Attorney
    General; hearing

    The Attorney General shall apply the provisions
    of this subchapter to the controlled substances listed in the schedules
    established by section 812 of this title and to any other drug or other
    substance added to such schedules under this subchapter. Except as provided in
    subsections (d) and (e) of this section, the Attorney General may by
    rule –

    (1) add to such a schedule or transfer between
    such schedules any drug or other substance if he –

    (A) finds that such drug or other substance has
    a potential for abuse, and

    (B) makes with respect to such drug or other
    substance the findings prescribed by subsection (b) of section 812 of this title
    for the schedule in which such drug is to be placed; or

    (2) remove any drug or other substance
    from the schedules if he finds that the drug or other substance does not meet
    the requirements for inclusion in any schedule.

    Rules of the Attorney General under this
    subsection shall be made on the record after opportunity for a hearing pursuant
    to the rulemaking procedures prescribed by subchapter II of chapter 5 of title
    5. Proceedings for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of such rules may be
    initiated by the Attorney General (1) on his own motion, (2) at the request of
    the Secretary, or (3) on the petition of any interested party.

    Link,,,, http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/legislation/ucm148726.htm

  • Sangres

    Right. That’s our Life and our decision, we are the People! Or it isn’t a Democracy.

  • painkills2

    That’s 18 members of congress out of 535. Less than 2%. Great.

  • wowFAD

    As I understand it, three people have unilateral authority to reschedule any substance in the CSA: the Attorney General, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the President can do so via executive order (or by telling one of those two cabinet members to do so). Congress can do it, too via legislation which the President would then, of course, have to sign into law. The DEA can also reclassify substances, though they only do so when a pharmaceutical company asks them to — the official petition process for anyone *ELSE* is always delayed, ignored, and ultimately rejected.

  • PodBoy

    a) Where did the constitution give the so called ‘federal government’ let alone the executive branch, the power to decide what’s a drug let alone a ‘good drug’ vs a bad drug? It’s not like the president is a doctor or has any real training in the matter.
    b) When you have pussy governors like Tom Corbet who say ‘we’ll make it legal when the federal government tells us we can’ things will never change. States need to stand up and put the feds back in their place.

  • Jj3

    Politicians should be forced to wear suits like nascar drivers then we can see who their constituents I mean corporate sponsers are.

  • Stoner

    Only the executive branch can reschedule a drug

  • Johnny Bloomington

    Blumenauer for president!

  • Sarijuana

    I was under the impression that since Congress set up the Schedule 1 law, so they’re the one who have to change it. Can The Attorney General do it? I’m confused. Why are they asking the Pres. to tell Holder?

  • Dude

    It’s not just the president, people. It’s all elected officiials tthat receive money from big pharmaceutical companies, alcohol companies, big oil, textiles, forestry, cotton, plastics, etc. Cannabis was made illegal by these industries paying politicians. Obama has very little to do with it. It’s a shame this the only decent thing he’s done with his presidency. Oh, and I’m a libertarian

  • Kevin LaBerge

    The best we’ve gotten from a sitting president yet, but I wish he would have been truthful and stated what he really knows; marijuana is safer than alcohol. It is also safer than coffee for comparison. Start telling the entire truth, in its full scope. I would love a president to finally admit to the public that marijuana policy and propaganda has been one the most shameful affronts to this country, and the world. How much misery, death, destruction, and viciousness has been witnessed because of the lies that this, and other governments still perpetrate? All because of power and money. How many people have died so big pharma could peddle their toxins? Enough. Start telling the whole truth, and finally apologize for the damn lies and cruelty we’ve had to endure!

  • Richard S. Bank

    Re-scheduling is the answer. Many states won’t act in defiance of the schedule 1 either because they assume there must be truth in the scheduling or they have political agendas. Why have the libertarians not embraced legal weed? Are they in favor of cops coming into your bedroom to see what you are smoking?

  • Jeanette Elizabeth Mobbley

    I think he should remember that he said that its no more dangerous than alchol.

  • MichMedMJGuy

    Praise Jesus, Mohammed, and Buddha! It’s about time Obama remembers his promises!