Marijuana advocates and prohibitionists alike are eagerly awaiting the verdict of a U.S. District Judge’s hearing on the classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug. Being listed as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act means that is has no accepted medical value in the United States, among other criteria. It is strange that a plant that has been legalized for medicinal use in nearly half of the United States could remain classified as having no medical value.
The ruling is being made by Federal judge Kimberly J. Mueller from Sacramento, California. Her decision will likely be released later this year.
California’s largest and most influential editorial board at the LA Times has given the judge a boldly worded editorial in the past week.
The piece titled, “Is marijuana really as dangerous as heroin and LSD? Finally, a welcome legal review,” offers encouragement for the future of marijuana’s scheduled status.
This discussion is a welcome one. Whether the Drug Enforcement Administration’s classification is constitutional or not, it shouldn’t take a judge to point out that lumping marijuana in with heroin and deeming it to have no medicinal value at all is unreasonable and unnecessary.
The LA Times editorial recalls the July 2014 New York Times’ editorial board piece where they stated, “The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana,” and the obvious double standard that currently exist.
Frankly, government policy on marijuana is a mess. Federal law says marijuana has no accepted medicinal value, yet 23 states have legalized it for medical use. It has been put on the list of drugs that carry the most severe penalties for drug crimes, but Congress and the Obama administration have also passed legislation that blocks funding for the enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that allow medical marijuana.
Continuing their thoughts of recreational marijuana, the editorial reads,
That law, passed in December, in effect ended the prohibition of medical marijuana in nearly half the states. Meanwhile, Colorado and Washington have been unofficially allowed by the federal government to legalize recreational pot.
Culminating with a strong command of their endorsement to reclassify marijuana.
But the country’s drug laws should not be decided in the courts. It’s long past time for Washington to revisit the war on drugs, and officials can begin by reclassifying medical marijuana so it can be regulated more as a prescription drug.
Head over to the LA Times to read the full piece.