Eric Holder the Attorney General has revealed that the Obama administration wants to work with Congress on rescheduling marijuana. Currently, cannabis is a schedule narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act- with LSD and heroin. Under schedule I you will find drugs that have a high potential for abuse and they have no medical value. Holder said during a House Appropriations Committee hearing,” We would be more than glad to work with Congress if there is a desire to look at and reexamine how the drug is scheduled”.
Currently, the Obama administration wants to work with Congress if, the lawmakers want to take marijuana off the list the federal government considers to be dangerous drugs.
There have been members of Congress that have called on the administration to down grade cannabis without waiting for congressional action. But under the federal Controlled Substance Act, the authority to remove any drug or substance form the schedules the drug or substance must be found to not meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule. Holder has not admitted if he is willing to do this unilaterally.
There, is no documentation of deaths due to over dosing on Marijuana, still the federal government treats marijuana as a Schedule I Drug with a “high potential “ for abuse sharing the spot light with Heroin, LSD, and Ecstasy.
By re-categorizing marijuana is not going to legalize the drug under the federal law, but it will make research into the medical benefits of marijuana much easier and allow the marijuana businesses to take tax deductions. Easing the restrictions on research, and rescheduling will allow tax deductions for the businesses of the cannabis industry. Even if marijuana is not legalized the rescheduling of marijuana will change the federal classification, allow it to be somewhat closer to being accepted and a part of reality.
Some Republican lawmakers question Holder’s decision granting Colorado and Washington the right to legalize and regulate marijuana and for taking the state’s actions into consideration when prioritizing marijuana prosecutions.
To-Date any move to reschedule marijuana is probably encountered with resistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, which Holder “over sees”. Michele Leonhart Chief DEA believes with the growing acceptance of marijuana it will only make her agents fight that much harder against the problems that will be born to the legalization of marijuana. Even with DEA pressure the Obama Administration has decided not to interfere with recreational legalization laws in Colorado and Washington.
Many say that Congress needs to make this change, and the administration would be happy to work with Congress, but what they do not say is the “Attorney General” is the one who has the power to reschedule or remove a drug from the schedules without Congressional support. Even if it looks as though the administration is unwilling to reclassify marijuana without broad consensus.