On this historic day, June 25, 2018, the Federal Government effectively recognized that cannabis no longer belongs on Schedule I of the US Drug Enforcement Administration's Schedule of Controlled Substances.
Eighty one years after the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 effectively made cannabis illegal in the United States, and forty seven years after the Nixon Administration created The Schedule of Controlled Substances, cannabis can no longer be included on Schedule I with the most dangerous drugs.
Schedule I was purported to include the worst-of-the-worst: Heroin, morphine, LSD, and dozens of others, because they fit two (2) criteria. From the DEA website: "Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse."
Today, the first criteria to keep cannabis on Schedule I was definitively debunked.
Today, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a federal agency with a mandate from the US Congress to define and enforce federal laws and regulations, approved Epidiolex, a cannabis-derived drug, for use in treating two types of epileptic syndromes:
"Dravet syndrome, a rare genetic dysfunction of the brain that begins in the first year of life, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a form of epilepsy with multiple types of seizures that begin in early childhood, usually between [ages] 3 and 5."
Quoting the FDA Commission, Dr. Scott Gottlieb: “This is an important medical advance... Because of the adequate and well-controlled clinical studies that supported this approval, prescribers can have confidence in the drug’s uniform strength and consistent delivery.”
And there you have it: for the first time, the US Government has plainly admitted that cannabis-derived drug is not only safe for doctors to prescribe, but to prescribe for children as young as 3 years old.
It ain't over yet, folks, but there is no more reason to keep cannabis on Schedule I.
Our prediction at the American Cannabis Report has always been that once Congress is ready to move cannabis from Schedule I, a rationalizing of other mis-Scheduled drugs will occur (methamphetamine and cocaine will move up to Schedule I (duh...), and cannabis will find its logical place on Schedule III, whose criteria are:
The drug or other substance has a potential for abuse less than the drugs or other substances in schedules I and II.
The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence
Moving cannabis to Schedule III should have the following secondary effects:
Cannabis banking will become allowed in FDIC-insured banks
Cannabis will no longer be overtaxed through IRS 280E
De-criminalization will occur nationwide
Legalization of medicinal and recreational cannabis should become easier until all 50 states allow, regulate, and tax cannabis like prescription medications and/or alcohol.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The day after this article was published, the US Senate approved The Senate OVERWHELMINGLY passed a bill funding the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2019 by a vote of 86 to 5 including a provision in the bill that would allow VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana to veterans in states where it is legal. The bill would also prevent veterans from losing their benefits if they use medicinal cannabis legally.
This bill is not yet legally binding (The House would also have to pass it and the President would have to sign it into law)... but can you feel how close...?
image source: Roaming Robert