A New Attempt to Move Marijuana to Schedule III

While there have been drug laws on the books for many years, it was the inclusion of marijuana as a Schedule I drug on the U.S. Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (USCSA) that has been the biggest obstacle to the cannabis business being treated like the successful business that it is.

marijuana budsA Schedule I drug is considered very dangerous, has a high rate of addiction, and has no acceptable medicinal use.  While this description is clearly ridiculous when talking about marijuana, this is where Congress has scheduled it and doesn’t seem willing to do anything about it, and there have been several attempts. As our Los Angeles medical cannabis attorneys can explain, other drugs on the same schedule as marijuana and cannabis extracts are ecstasy, LSD, methaqualone (Quaalude), and peyote, to new a few.  The next schedule down in the USCSA is Schedule II.  Drugs in this class have a high potential for abuse, are dangerous, and a have high chance of leading to severe addiction, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  Some of the drugs on this list include crystal meth, Demerol, morphine, and OxyContin.

This is, of course, the same crystal meth that created a national crisis, and the same opioid medications that have countless people addicted and have become a major problem for millions of Americans.  However, both of these drugs are considered safer than marijuana, according to the DEA and Congress.

Aside from the fact that it makes no sense to include marijuana a Schedule I controlled substance, it makes it a lot harder for those in the state legal medical cannabis industry to operate.  It makes it illegal for banks to accept money for deposit from those in the cannabis industry, as it is considered proceeds of a crime.  Inclusion on Schedule I also means that it is much harder to do research and prove that there are valid medical reasons for using cannabis.  This creates a Catch 22, because one of the reasons it is on Schedule I is because it allegedly has no acceptable uses.

There have been several attempts to place marijuana on a lower schedule, and they have not been successful.  Some attempts were made to reduce it to Schedule II.  The thinking being that it would be less restrictive, even though marijuana doesn’t belong there either.  There have also been attempts to take it off the controlled substances list entirely.  Again, these efforts have not worked.

According to a recent news article from The Motley Fool, a new bill was introduced by a Democrat and Republican member of the House of Representatives.  This bill would skip over step two and place Marijuana on Schedule III.  These are drugs that have a moderate to low potential for abuse and addiction and have medical uses. While this makes more sense than many of the previous attempts, nobody expects this to go anywhere either.  The reason for this is because many in Congress are simply unwilling to take marijuana off Schedule I, despite the fact that it clearly doesn’t fit the classification description, and a growing majority of Americans support legalization.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:
This Landmark Marijuana Bill Would Move Cannabis to Schedule III, Sean Williams, April 16, 2017, TMF

More Blog Entries:
Marijuana Sobriety Tests Still Elusive, Feb. 28, 2017, Marijuana Attorney Blog