Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level and is classified as a Schedule 1 drug. That means that, in the eyes of the government, marijuana is just as bad as heroin and worse than cocaine and opium. Super sensible.
But this may not be true for much longer! Before the first half of the year is over, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will be deciding whether to reschedule marijuana to a less severe classification – perhaps down to Schedule 2 alongside cocaine and opium, or maybe even down to Schedule 3 with ketamine. The news comes from a letter sent by the DEA to lawmakers stating that they are investigating the issue and plan to come to a conclusion soon.
It’s nice to see that they’ve stopped dragging their feet, given that the state of Colorado asked them to consider rescheduling marijuana four years ago and didn’t get a response for nine months (and the eventual response was no).
Effects of Rescheduling Marijuana
A Schedule 1 drug is essentially a drug with a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use. Given that there are 23 states that allow medicinal use of marijuana as well as a dearth of research on the medical benefits…well, we don’t have to explain why marijuana doesn’t exactly fit the profile.
If the DEA does the smart thing, this could lead to a renaissance for medical marijuana research to determine whether the drug might have greater medicinal value than we currently know of. There’s only one college in the United States that is allowed to grow marijuana for medical research (the University of Mississippi), so rescheduling could help get other schools in on the action. It would also help other states reap some of the amazing financial benefits of legal weed, like those sweet sweet sales taxes.
Whether your drugged driving charges are related to marijuana, prescription drugs or something harder, discussing your case with a drugged driving defense attorney can help you get your penalties reduced or dismissed.