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The agency was responding to a 2015 letter from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and seven other Democratic senators urging the federal government to stop blocking research into the medicinal benefits of cannabis.
If marijuana is reclassified at all, it would have to be moved to a “less dangerous” category, because it is currently considered Schedule I under federal law, the category of drugs considered the most dangerous of all. Schedule I drugs, by definition, supposedly have no medical value and a high potential for abuse. The insanity of including cannabis — which, of course, can be used to treat hundreds of conditions — should be obvious.
There are five categories (schedules) classifying illegal drugs. Marijuana has been considered Schedule I since Nixon’s War On Drugs kicked off in 1971. That means the federal government officially considers marijuana to be just as dangerous as heroin — and it means the government thinks pot is less dangerous than either cocaine or methamphetamine, both of which are considered Schedule II drugs.
This reporter’s prediction is that the FDA — under the close supervision of Big Pharma — will recommend that cannabis be moved to Schedule II on the Uniform Controlled Substances list, effectively handing its control over to the pharmaceutical giants. What we’re seeing here is a money-grab by the big corporations, who become acutely uncomfortable when they see Mom-and-Pop businesses (like medical marijuana dispensaries) cutting into their profits (because cannabis works better than most of the harsh chemical garbage peddled by Big Pharma).
Tuesday’s hearing of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control was light on actual facts and fully of heavy-handed rhetoric. At one point — and I’m unfortunately serious in reporting this — Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) said “this drug is dangerous, you cannot play with it, it is not funny, it’s not something to laugh about … good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
This seems to be a new low even for the dim-witted Sessions, who says stuff his constituents back in the Heart of Dixie really should be embarrassed about — in 2014, he said providing healthcare to veterans is an “entitlement” we “can’t afford” — but who knows; they keep electing his dumb ass.
The hearing, hosted by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dianne Feinstein (D-California) was ostensibly held to investigate whether the Department of Justice has been enforcing federal marijuana laws harshly enough. What these yahoos did was bring forth a parade of anti-marijuana witnesses, not bothering to counter their testimony with anyone who actually knew what they were talking about.
“The Department of Justice decided to all but abandon the enforcement of federal law relating to the possession, cultivation, and distribution of marijuana,” Sen. Grassley gravely pronounced.
A Kennebec County Superior Court judge on Friday ruled that state officials may have improperly invalidated thousands of signatures of registered Maine voters and unlawfully denied citizens their constitutional right to vote on a proposed ballot initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol.
Justice Michaela Murphy found that state officials invalidated more than 5,000 petitions —which included more than 17,000 signatures from Maine voters that were validated by town clerks — without actually reviewing every petition in question. The Secretary of State’s Office must now review all of the disputed petitions and place the initiative on the November ballot if it determines enough valid signatures were collected.
On March 2, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap informed the campaign that its proposed initiative did not qualify for the November ballot. With 61,123 signatures of registered Maine voters required, state officials determined that initiative backers submitted 51,543 valid signatures.
In a document explaining his determination, the secretary of state said his office invalidated more than 5,000 petitions, which included more than 26,000 total petition signatures, solely due to its finding that the signature of a single notary did not “match” the signature the state has on file.
Professional motorcycle racer Johnny Rock Page and marijuana industry media company Hemp American Media Group have together made history via a sponsorship deal that makes for the first time a professional racer has ever been sponsored by a marijuana company. The sponsorship is for Page’s 2016 MotoAmerica Superbike season.
“This deal conveys the public’s improving perception and acceptance of marijuana,” said Colby Ayres, co-founder and marketing director of Hemp American Media Group. “We are ecstatic that Johnny Rock Page and MotoAmerica are progressive in their views towards marijuana.
“Although I no longer use marijuana, I truly believe that it can help cancer patients and those who need it for other medicinal purposes,” Ayres said.
On Saturday, April 2 at 2 p.m., DCMJ — the organization that played a critical role in passing Ballot Initiative 71, which legalized marijuana in our nation’s capital — along with leaders, activists, advocacy groups and citizens gathered along Pennsylvania Avenue directly north of the White House to demand that President Obama use his authority to reschedule cannabis now.
Why on April 2nd? “The Obama Administration has been a big ZERO on cannabis reform,” according to DCMJ, so the organization is rescheduling and actively removing the “ZERO” from “4/20.”
DCMJ has officially requested that President Obama reclassify cannabis as a less harmful substance multiple times since he has taken office in January 2009. However, no action has been taken to reschedule cannabis to date.
Meanwhile, the placement of cannabis in the same category as drugs like heroin — which brutally kills thousands of Americans each each year — remains not only irresponsible, unjust and unfitting, but also makes a continued mockery of the Controlled Substances Act.
Toke Signals Must Read of the Week
Like many people serving egregiously long sentences for marijuana, Parker Coleman is the victim of America’s conspiracy laws, where it takes no actual evidence to get a conviction, just the testimony of others who are “cooperating” in order to avoid prison time themselves.
He was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
At trial, no witnesses testified they had ever bought marijuana from Coleman. There was no violence involved in this case, although the police recovered 3 licensed guns from others in the case (who had concealed weapons permits). The guns did not belong to Coleman and he even passed a DNA test (with a 99 percent negative result) to prove that.
Out of those 21 people indicted, Parker was only acquainted with two of them.