There’s some momentum in Washington D.C. to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II or III drug , a move that could help ease at least some of the pressure on the medical cannabis industry.
A half-dozen members of Congress – mostly Democrats – recently sent President Barack Obama a strongly worded letter urging him to reschedule marijuana as a “legitimate controlled substance for medicinal purposes,” or at the very least publicly support efforts to do so.
Currently, cannabis is listed as a Schedule I substance, which means the government doesn’t think it has any legitimate medical use. That puts states that have legalized marijuana for medical reasons in a precarious position, as they are at odds with the feds.
With that as the backdrop, the Obama administration has started cracking down on the MMJ industry, particularly in California. The government’s recent actions have had a chilling effect on medical marijuana across the nation. All businesses involved in growing and selling medical marijuana are technically illegal, meaning they could be raided and forced to close at any time.
Reclassifying marijuana as a Schedule II or III drug, however, could give a little more protection to MMJ businesses operating under states laws.
“No longer should the federal government’s laws supersede the wishes of local citizens who have decided that their fellow neighbors ought to have the right to legitimately use medical marijuana,” the Congressional leaders wrote in the letter to Obama.
Colorado is gearing up to officially ask the federal government to reschedule marijuana as well.
But don’t expect the Obama administration to back the idea anytime soon. Reclassifying marijuana would create a firestorm of controversy, which is the last thing an incumbent president wants as an election year approaches.