Most people know that cannabis wont kill you. Most people know cannabis is not highly addictive. Most people would say that cannabis is a much less harmful drug than say, heroin, or fentanyl. Unfortunately for American citizens, the federal government doesn’t agree with most people.
What Does Schedule One Mean?
The federal government still classifies cannabis as a schedule one drug. According to the DEA, schedule one drugs are substances, or chemicals that are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. The DEA lists cannabis alongside drugs such as ecstasy and heroin as schedule one drugs.
The DEA Is Dead Wrong
Cannabis has been demonized for far too long and one of the biggest contributing factors towards that portrayal is the government’s view of the plant. The DEA considers cannabis more dangerous than many drugs it has classified as schedule two. Some of the drugs the DEA classifies as schedule two (drugs less dangerous than schedule one drugs) are methadone, opium, codeine, and fentanyl. In 2016, nearly 60,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, with the majority of those deaths coming from opioids, fentanyl and heroin. In 2016, not a single life was taken by a cannabis overdose. In fact, in states that legalize medical use of cannabis, opioid overdose rates actually drop. So, how can the DEA classify cannabis as a more dangerous drug than the drugs it helps people get off?
We The People Must Demand Change
The hypocrisy exemplified by this situation is not likely to disappear anytime soon. Other than a small group of lawmakers attempting to change the current federal laws and regulations, the federal government’s stance on cannabis is not likely to change anytime soon. What can and probably will happen soon, is more states legalizing medical marijuana. As that occurs, the pressure on the federal government to re-evaluate its outdated cannabis policies will rapidly increase.
What Needs To Happen
The goal of pro-progress cannabis policies is to re-schedule marijuana to schedule two or three, which would mean that the federal government agrees with most educated individuals who believe that cannabis has at least some medicinal value. Until this occurs, people will continue to be unnecessarily thrown in jail and patients will be prevented access to the medicine they need.
Lane is based in Southern California and is a content curator for Medical Marijuana 411. He focuses his research into finding informative stories that can help medical marijuana patients better understand their diverse medicine.