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DEA Denies Petitions to Reschedule Cannabis, Again

Although the cannabis community has been waiting all summer long for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to announce that it was finally exercising some common sense by downgrading the Schedule I classification of the cannabis plant to a ranking less threatening to the grand scheme of public health and safety, a recent report from NPR indicates that the federal government’s anti-drug henchman have made the decision to continue defining marijuana as a substance that is just as dangerous as heroin.

On Wednesday, reports began to surface that the DEA was preparing to announce its long-awaited rescheduling decision for marijuana. However, the agency fed a story to the New York Times that suggested that its verdict had nothing to do with the fabled reschedule, but a separate issue altogether that was intended to allow more universities to get into the business of cultivating cannabis for research purposes. The Times’ report went on to say that while the DEA was tossing around the idea of removing the herb from its list of the most dangerous drugs in the world, “this week, the agency did not take such a step.”

But come to find out that was all just hype, as a report from the folks at NPR would soon reveal a discussion with acting DEA administrator Chuck Rosenberg, who told the news source that the agency had denied the rescheduling requests submitted by a couple of Democratic governors because the federal government was unable to determine that cannabis did, in fact, come with some therapeutic benefit. It seems that the recommendation provided last year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was that cannabis has “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”

Interestingly, Rosenberg wants the cannabis community to know that the DEA’s decision to continue labeling marijuana as one of the most harmful substances known to man has nothing to do with the fact that cannabis has never contributed to the death of a single person.

“This decision isn’t based on danger,” he told NPR. “This decision is based on whether marijuana, as determined by the FDA, is a safe and effective medicine… and it’s not.”

There was apparently a letter fired off to the lawmakers who petitioned the federal drug agency for the rescheduling that said, “Evaluating the safety and effectiveness of drugs is a highly specialized endeavor,” and that the opinions of doctors all across the nation carried no weight in the decision to continue classifying marijuana a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

What appears to be true is that the DEA is gearing up to officially announce that it will expand the amount of federally regulated cannabis to be grown in the United States for research purposes beyond the grips of the University of Mississippi. Although it is not known exactly which universities old Uncle Sam plans to let into his pot cultivation game, there does not appear to be any limits on the number of potential cultivators that could qualify under the updated policy.

Many researchers have complained in the past that the University of Mississippi’s monopoly on federal pot cultivation was preventing them from accomplishing any real work.

“If you were a researcher who thought a product with high THC would help someone with a painful cancer, you were out of luck,” John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brooking Institution, explained to the Times. “You couldn’t access high THC marijuana in the same way you could buy it [legally] in a market in Colorado.”

Rosenberg told NPR that as long as all of the new policies regarding marijuana research go off in a suitable manner, the agency might eventually reconsider its decision to reschedule the cannabis plant.

“As long as folks abide by the rules, and we’re going to regulate that, we want to expand the availability, the variety, the type of marijuana available to legitimate researchers,” Rosenberg told NPR. “If our understanding of the science changes, that could very well drive a new decision.”

National cannabis reform advocacy groups were clinched-fisted Wednesday night by the time it was revealed that the DEA was, in fact, passing on the opportunity to downgrade the herb to at least a Schedule II.

“It’s really sad that DEA has chosen to continue decades of ignoring the voices of patients who benefit from medical marijuana,” Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority, told HIGH TIMES. “President Obama always said he would let science — and not ideology — dictate policy, but in this case his administration is upholding a failed drug war approach instead of looking at real, existing evidence that marijuana has medical value.

“This unfortunate decision only further highlights the need for Congress to pass legislation curtailing the ability of DEA and other federal agencies to interfere with the effective implementation of state marijuana laws,” he continued. “A clear and growing majority of American voters support legalizing marijuana outright and the very least our representatives should do is let states implement their own policies, unencumbered by an outdated ‘Reefer Madness’ mentality that some in law enforcement still choose to cling to.”

As it stands, the only hope for a less restrictive national marijuana policy is for the DEA and FDA to come to terms on whether cannabis is medicine or for Congressional leaders and the President of the United States to stop pussyfooting around and pass legislation that liberates the leaf once and for all.

But for now, not much is changing with respect to the cannabis plant.

53 Comments

53 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Christy2030

    August 11, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Malia Obama Smoking pot in Lollapaloozahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPXJMH1acTI If she was our kid she would be arrested. But she is rich and above the law. Our kids don’t matter.

    • Avatar

      Waldo Slack

      August 11, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      True. The hypocrisy of those in DC is ridiculous. “Do as we say do, not as we do…” We see this all the time!

      • Avatar

        Beau

        August 18, 2016 at 2:42 pm

        When, and how about some facts instead of blasting your dumb bs on internet forums?

        • Avatar

          Waldo Slack

          September 6, 2016 at 3:24 pm

          The pot calling the kettle black. Hypocrite…

          • Avatar

            Beau

            September 6, 2016 at 3:29 pm

            So still no facts then, right?

            That’s what I thought.

  2. Avatar

    mkboater1

    August 11, 2016 at 11:21 am

    There you have it. HighTimes editors have been pushing us to “think” voting for a democrat would help promote re-scheduling and legalization of cannabis while demonizing non-democrats. Really? Obama and his minions set the DEA after California dispensaries shortly after he said he would leave them alone. Now this…so is your favorite democrat or republican helping our cause or is money influencing their decisions once again…you decide.

    • Avatar

      Waldo Slack

      August 11, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      The only way to fix this is to root out the corruption. Trump will begin this process.

      • Avatar

        hatfielj

        August 12, 2016 at 8:16 am

        You are sadly mistaken. Trump will not begin any process other than destroying this country. He is the definition of corruption and will make Washington a complete mess. Fortunately he won’t get elected because he’s such a loud mouth

        • Avatar

          Waldo Slack

          August 16, 2016 at 1:57 pm

          Mainstream media influenced I suspect…

          • Avatar

            Beau

            August 18, 2016 at 2:40 pm

            Mainstream media, wtf does that even mean? Common sense more like it and if you’re such a demented POS to think a racist, self-serving con man is going to help you out, some nobody from nowhere Murica you’re a bigger idiot then you sound like. When it’s over, you all can crawl back under your rock, hold up in your shit stained gun shack and leave the world to those not pandering hate, racism and idiocy and we’ll take it from there. Thanks.

          • Avatar

            Logan Lorn

            September 3, 2016 at 9:11 am

            “demented POS” “you’re a bigger idiot” “crawl back under your rock” “shit stained gun shack” and the kicker “leave the world to those not pandering hate, racism and idiocy and we’ll take it from there.”

            Yeah, you are just a big barrel of love and humble observation aren’t you. How about you practice what you preach oh mighty one? At least in the same paragraph!

            Cannabis is a non-partisan issue. I’m neither Republican nor Democrat. ALL cannabis supporters no matter their political leanings, need to break with the crusty elites that (follow the money) want the inhumane war on cannabis users to continue. Both parties have tried it THEIR WAY for decades. And their nanny empire has failed the people for decades.

            In the end, I know that we all should have learned something from the Bush dynasty. We should have at least learned to stop propping up DYNASTIES! Bush, Clinton, or otherwise.

            If we want to change the laws on cannabis, we need to do it from the ground up (like we always have and got us this far) and with respect and education for the ignorant.

            Either we can be good examples of respectable use, or we can be part of the problem that helps give the crony elite an excuse.

          • Avatar

            Beau

            September 3, 2016 at 10:21 am

            Trump and his supporters are a threat that needs to be stopped, and hugs and kisses isn’t going to do that, is it? And nothing else I said has to do with your little rant, but good on you for the smug hippy speech.

            And your crusty elite DYNASTY rant makes no sense, put the tin foil hat back on.

            Thanks.

          • Avatar

            Logan Lorn

            September 3, 2016 at 7:03 pm

            Too bad you view simple remarks as smugness. But, whatever. You see what you want to see. And if something as simple as a remark about dynasties is going to throw you, perhaps you should try less hate if you want to convince people you have something worth saying.

            Seems like we are done here if that is all you can do.

          • Avatar

            Waldo Slack

            September 6, 2016 at 3:21 pm

            The evidence is clear from your response beau. You are the hater… Wake up son.

          • Avatar

            Beau

            September 6, 2016 at 3:24 pm

            I did and found the internet covered in fools and idiots with keyboards.

            Keep up the good fight kiddo.

  3. Avatar

    Modest Residente

    August 11, 2016 at 11:54 am

    lol, if you think voting for a Democrat is going to get you legalization of cannabis, you’re sorley mistaken. Obama at the stroke of a pen could re-schedule cannabis and legalize it, but he won’t. Big Pharma has bought and paid for your politicians in Washington. Do you really think that Big Pharma is going to allow a drug that will demolish their profits get legalized… lol, yeah right.

    • Avatar

      Waldo Slack

      August 11, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      The booze industry is full force against legalization, as they are “all in” with the opposition.

      • Avatar

        Justin_Khase

        August 21, 2016 at 6:38 pm

        Sure he will.

    • Avatar

      Charles Knows

      August 12, 2016 at 7:43 am

      Obama is a POS ..

      • Avatar

        Justin_Khase

        August 21, 2016 at 6:39 pm

        I’m sure there are some who could reliably describe you the same way.

  4. Avatar

    Indica Ape

    August 11, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Well fuck the dea and fuck this country. Me and my family served this country for what to live in fear and be demonized by our government for wanting to medicate with cannabis. Fuck all of them. I won’t shed a fucking tear when this country falls.

  5. Avatar

    Waldo Slack

    August 11, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    If you think about it. Obama is a globalist puppet. Personally he may approve of the change to sched2, heck, he & his daughter have used it, but professionally his hands are tied. Thus, because he is under their thumb, it’s business as usual. Corruption is the rule within this Luciferian controlled system, love of money rules… Like the scripture shows us, Prayer changes things. One with Christ is a majority! Time to choose sides folks. It’s the only way to see true change & a thwarted globalist agenda.

    • Avatar

      Beau

      August 18, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      Oh your a Bible freak, now it all makes sense.

      Luciferian? You’re the evil on earth, your voting for a man pushing it out of every hole in the his body, takes support from KKK members and wants a tax cut for the rich.

      Jesus thinks you’re an asshole.

      • Avatar

        Waldo Slack

        September 6, 2016 at 3:23 pm

        Sadly, you are deceived Beau. Trump will win the election. Stew on that one…

        • Avatar

          Beau

          September 6, 2016 at 3:39 pm

          And when he loses, you and the other pathetic excuse for Americans can keep shouting your hate and BS in whatever rat infested basement you “stew” in.

          You’re disgusting, your knowledge of the Constitution is disgusting and 20 years from now you’ll still be the sad POS that almost got the next Hitler elected.

          And I’ll be here, to remind you of that come December.

          • Avatar