Cannabis & Politics: Declassification, Gary Johnson, And A Busted Bill

This week, I touch upon a few other things that are just as important; the rescheduling of cannabis, Gary Johnson, and a crisis in congress.

Aug 7, 2016

Welcome back to this week in Cannabis and Politics! Last week I spoke about Debbie (downer) Wasserman Shultz, who inadvertently helped cannabis advocates by simply being booted out of the Democratic Convention. Sucks to suck, am I right? This week, I’d like to touch upon a few other things that are just as important, such as; the rescheduling of cannabis, Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, and a crisis in congress (I know, I’m shocked too.) So let’s start with, what I think is the hottest topic out of the three, the rescheduling of cannabis.

Reclassification is coming

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For quite some time we’ve been hearing that the DEA will soon be moving cannabis from the list of Schedule 1 substances to a Schedule 2.

Why should you care? Well, in case you didn’t already know, cannabis has stayed put on the list of Schedule 1 substances right in between its friends, heroin and LSD since 1970.

While a lot of research has been done on cannabis over the past 45 years, its finally time to declassify its current status, and as much as the DEA doesn’t want to admit it, they’re no stranger to the fact that the War on Drugs was a complete failure and that change is inevitable.

Earlier this year, we received information that DEA officials were planning to release a decision in the first half of 2016, yet there’s been no word on the process until now.

DEA spokesman, Russ Baer, reported that the DEA is now in the “final stages” of coming to a decision, but added that the DEA’s position on research and other factors certainly come into play while making a decision this significant.

For cannabis activists alike, rescheduling cannabis could mean big things for the medical cannabis industry. Tom Downey, a regulatory attorney noted,

The real impact would be the ability to conduct research; that would be the single biggest thing. Rescheduling would have no immediate impact.

Regardless of its immediate impact or not, the fact that the DEA is getting closer towards revealing a decision that will forever change cannabis politics is significant in itself.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Cheers to Gary Johnson

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For all my fellow Americans out there who are either a part of the #NeverTrump or #BernieOrBust movements, you might have the opportunity to vote for someone else, and that someone else is a huge advocate for legalization.

Former New Mexico Governor and cannabis advocate, Gary Johnson, has decided to run for president under the Libertarian Party ticket. Johnson truly believes that cannabis should be legalized, I mean, the dude even stopped smoking pot so he could run for president, so clearly we know he’s not messing around.

In an interview with the International Business Times, Johnson made it clear that he is the highest-ranking official in the U.S. calling for an end to prohibition and had a lot to say on the subject.

Marijuana products, from a medicinal standpoint, directly compete with legal prescription drugs that kill 100,000 people a year. There has not been one documented death due to marijuana. So [it’s] a whole lot safer and arguably as effective.

On the recreational side, I have always maintained that legalizing marijuana will lead to less overall substance abuse because people will find marijuana as such a safer alternative than everything else that’s out there – starting with alcohol. The campaign to legalize marijuana in Colorado was a campaign based on: Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

Preach, Gary, preach!

So, now you know a bit about how some other candidates feel about legalization, and maybe now you’ll have an easier time choosing a candidate when you hit up the polls this November.

House Republicans get sneaky

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Surprise, surprise. Congress has picked yet another fight in an attempt to keep cannabis illegal, and this time, it’s even more ridiculous.

For awhile now, Congressman Earl Blumenauer has been pushing his fellow congressmen (and congresswomen), to allow Veteran Affairs doctors to discuss medical cannabis with their patients. Earlier this year, Blumenauer was successful in passing a military spending bill allowing VA doctors to talk with their patients about medical cannabis, but only if they lived in a legal state. Still, this is good news.

Blumenauer, who is extremely passionate about helping veterans had a lot to say on the matter,

Our veterans are returning home with injuries that are both visible and unseen – experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, brain injuries, chronic pain, and more. These wounded warriors should be treated with dignity, respect, and concern, and we should be helping them access the care they need.

However, when the law was finalized, the language was apparently not included (uh, what?) and House Republicans did what they always do and stripped the measure, which just happened to occur the same night that House Democrats staged a sit-in advocating for gun control. Coincidence? I think not. Needless to say, Blumenauerwas pissed.

I’m just absolutely committed to the public knowing what happened. There’s going to be some political price that’s paid by this. … People need to understand that this is a very serious issue that makes a great deal of difference to America’s veterans.

Yet, the final bill has still not been resolved but Blumenauer made a point to mention that he will not be giving up on assisting veterans to get the help they so desperately need.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. 2016 is and will continue to be a huge year for cannabis law reform, I mean, we even have a presidential nominee who is all for legalization… Not to mention, the rescheduling of cannabis could aid scientists in conducting more research, which could indirectly fix congress’ screw up of redacting a bill to help American veterans.

Are there any political issues within the cannabis industry that we might have missed? Let us know on social media or in the comments below.

Aug 7, 2016