dea rescheduling

How DEA Rescheduling Could Destroy the Current Cannabis Industry

Sprout.News recently reported on the possibility of the Drug Enforcement Agency rescheduling cannabis down from its most prohibitive classification. The opinion of that earlier article was that while the change wouldn’t do any harm, it wouldn’t really do us much good either.

“[The DEA’s] classification has no bearing on the federal laws regarding marijuana, so reclassifying marijuana will not directly affect the legal status at the federal level. What the scheduling has done has been to prevent federal funding from being used to explore the medicinal properties of marijuana. But considering that the federal agencies that control that funding are still under the influence of pharmaceutical lobbyists, this will not be enough to open the doors for government funded research. And even if it did, that research takes years, while patients suffer in the meantime.”

And while there is no new evidence that the rescheduling would be particularly helpful, it now appears I may have been wrong to suggest that it would not be harmful. It could, in fact, be catastrophic.

Schedule 1 substances are considered to have no medicinal value. As such, those substances are not subject to the regulations of agencies like the Food and Drug Administration. In places where cannabis has been legalized, the products being manufactured and sold have not been under the scrutiny of federal regulators. But if it were to be reclassified as a Schedule 2 substance, it would then fall within the scope of federal codes.

This would mean that every strain and product currently made from cannabis, as well as the methods of distribution, would become illegal until they passed through the red tape of Washington D.C. And in all likelihood, many businesses and products would be shut down, and those that survived might be hung up in years of bureaucratic and legal jiggery pokery.

This would not just place current paradigms in a disadvantage, it would favor big pharma with its bottomless pockets. Could the entire push to reclassify just be a consequence of secret lobbyist agendas to destroy the current industry and make room for the big time medicine men to take over?

And it is not just the cannabis industry that needs to worry. Schedule 2 classification would also make it illegal to grow your own. This would make medical patients and other users dependent on the state-sanctioned corporations that have, historically, cared far less about health than their own bottom lines.

Unless the DEA decides to drop cannabis from its narcotics schedule altogether, any change will likely lead to increased monopolization and the death of the independent marijuana industry.

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