- Christopher Smith, Editor-in-Chief
Hatch and Harris: Unlikely Allies in the War on Prohibition
A bipartisan group of US Senators have stepped up to loudly challenge the Attorney General over cannabis research restrictions, calling for the Justice Department to stop blocking the DEA from approving new suppliers.
The core issue – reported here in the American Cannabis Report many times since our inception – is the bizarre Catch-22 that puts cannabis on Schedule 1 of the DEA’s Controlled Substances List (classifying it as more dangerous that cocaine and meth-amphetamine - ha!). the Schedule 1 designation does not allow cannabis to be tested – at all – for negative or positive effects such as its apparent lifesaving abilities for children with epilepsy, or it's statistically demonstrated reduction of opioid deaths.
As reported in High Times:
On Thursday, Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) sent a letter to the DOJ demanding action on the more than two dozen applications the DEA has yet to review.
In their letter, Harris and Hatch expressed concern that Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department was sitting on a number of requests from growers looking to supply FDA-approved research on medical cannabis.
While the DEA wants to increase the number of authorized marijuana manufacturers, Sessions’ DOJ appears to be holding them back.
We've reported on the extremely conservative Utah Senator Hatch's unexpected but spirited entry into the debate about ending Prohibition last year.
As surprisingly, he was joined on the barricades this week by another unlikely, formerly powerful Republican politician (former House Speaker John Boehner, who joined the board of Acreage this week with former MA Governor William Weld).
Harris's stance on cannabis has also evolved, though she has been forward thinking and creative on the fringes of the issue for more than a decade. A former San Francisco Attorney General, then California State AG, she toed the law-and-order line on most issues, HOWEVER, in 2005, as district attorney of San Francisco, she helped create "Back on Track," a comprehensive reentry initiative for first-time, nonviolent drug offenders." At the 2015 Democratic State Convention, where she said, "Standing up for the people means challenging the policy of mass incarceration by recognizing the war on drugs was a failure. Now is the time to end the federal ban on medical marijuana, the now-California Senator has found her voice on the issue of cannabis legalization.
The War on Drugs has been an abject failure, especially in the case of cannabis.
We are grateful to have these powerful people join us on the barricades for justice in the War Against Prohibition.
Image Source: High Times