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Really, Dave Neese? You thought we needed “‘Reefer Madness,’ updated” (The Trentonian, 7/15/23)?
Madness is best dealt with by minimizing its impact and severity, not trying to cause a resurgence in it.
But Mr. Neese’s column indicates reefer madness will never die. There is too much money involved in marijuana prohibition, and some people simply refuse to accept any evidence that marijuana is a benign and relatively harmless substance.
However, under the federal Controlled Substances Act, marijuana remains classified as a Schedule 1 illegal drug with no medical uses, on par with heroin and LSD. The Drug Enforcement Agency strictly limits marijuana cultivation for research, frustrating scientists who are unable to investigate its medical benefits and risks under current regulations.
Rescheduling marijuana for research was an oft-repeated promise of President Joe Biden’s campaign, along with a pledge to decriminalize the use of cannabis and grant clemency to people with federal marijuana convictions.
President Joe Biden has tapped Anne Milgram, a former state attorney general and longtime criminal justice advocate, to head the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
In 2009, as the state attorney general of New Jersey, Milgram was quoted as saying that a plan there to legalize medical marijuana was “workable.”
But those comments came more than a decade ago, and it was unclear Tuesday what her current stance is on marijuana policy and reform.
Legalization not really on his radar
So where does that leave the presumptive attorney general?
Throughout his career as a judge and federal prosecutor, Merrick Garland has had very little to say about cannabis.
His most direct comments on the subject date back to 2012, during a federal hearing on the scheduling of cannabis. In that hearing, cannabis advocates sought to challenge the federal government’s classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug—the most restrictive category, reserved for “drugs of abuse” with no proven medical value.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Thursday revealed a long-awaited final rule aimed at expanding the number of authorized growers of marijuana to be used in scientific research.
In a notice set to be formally published in the Federal Register on Friday, the agency said it made “minor modifications” from the initial proposed rule on licensing cannabis manufacturers it released in March.
The DEA is expected to issue a rule Friday morning that will be a serious issue for current marijuana grow operations and a variety of other businesses. Documents obtained by Cannabis and Tech Today detail a significant byproduct of any potential federal legalization.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Thursday unveiled proposed rules for hemp and CBD to put the federal agency officially in compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill.
While DEA stressed that the policies laid out in this interim final rule have already been in effect since hemp was federally legalized, it said the new filing to be published in the Federal Register on Friday will codify those regulations. These “conforming changes to DEA’s existing regulations” will be open to public comment.
Two key House lawmakers sent a letter to the attorney general on Friday, condemning the recent expansion of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) authority amid mass protests and criticizing the agency’s objectives as out of step with the movement to legalize marijuana and reschedule other drugs.
A congressional committee will debate two bills to federally legalize marijuana and several other pieces of cannabis research legislation next week, according to a briefing memo obtained by Marijuana Moment on Friday.
A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee is scheduled to hold a hearing on various reform proposals on Wednesday, with witnesses from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) set to testify.
A group of senators are pressing top federal drug and health agencies to provide an update on the status of efforts to increase the number of authorized marijuana manufacturers for research purposes.
A letter from the lawmakers—led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and addressed to the heads of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Office of National Drug Control Policy and Department of Health and Human Services—emphasizes the need to expand the supply of research-grade cannabis as more states opt to legalize the plant for medical or recreational use.