A recent petition has surfaced on WhiteHouse.gov calling for the rescheduling of marijuana. Currently, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has no medicinal merit.
As a Schedule I Drug, marijuana joins the ranks of Heroin, LSD, and Ecstasy as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. In comparison, cocaine, meth and OxyContin are all labeled as Schedule II drugs with less potential for abuse then Schedule I drugs. With empirical evidence showing that marijuana has efficacy in the treatment of a variety of epileptic conditions, it is shameful that our government believes that the drug has less medical value than cocaine and methamphetamine.
The reclassification of marijuana would likely be dictated by the DEA who have received numerous petitions in the past. As recently as 2011, Washington state Governor Christine Gregoire and Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee petitioned to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug.
The petition on WhiteHouse.gov need 100,000 signatures by December 6 in order to provoke an official response from the White House. As of today, the petition has collected just over 600 signatures. With only 25 days left, the petition is in strong need of attention in order to get a reply from the Obama Administration. However, acting Attorney General Eric Holder has said publicly that he would gladly reexamine how the drug is scheduled. Holder said:
“It is something that ultimately Congress would have to change, and I think that our administration would be glad to work with Congress if such a proposal were made.”
The timing is right for the Obama administration to make changes to marijuana’s classification, even though AG Eric Holder is on his way out of office. Marijuana support is at an all-time high in the United States and Washington D.C. just voted to legalize recreational marijuana. When President Obama appoints his new Attorney General, there is a strong chance that he will appoint someone who shares many views with Holder.
What does Congress think? Back in February, 18 congress members wrote a letter to Obama asking him to delist marijuana or “at the very least,” reclassify it to a Schedule II Drug. The newly elected Republican majority may prove to be detrimental to forward progress for the rescheduling, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. The tides of change are sweeping across the nation and whether it happens state-by-state or through federal action, marijuana policy will be changed. If you would like to make a difference you can sign the petition by clicking the banner below.
Photo Credit: Huffington Post