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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden and New Jersey’s Cory Booker released a letter Thursday asking senators whose states have legalized marijuana and those who sit on committees with oversight of federal drug policy to share their thoughts as the three attempt to perfect the legislation.
“Hundreds of millions of Americans live in states that have legalized cannabis in some form while it remains illegal at the federal level,” they wrote.
About six years into my career with the NFL, a trainer told us that we would all start getting blood tests to check our liver function. We were all healthy football players, mostly in our twenties. Why did we need liver function tests?
The trainers knew the medications that soothed our aches, pains and injuries could take a toll on our internal organs, such as the liver and kidneys. There were opioids. There were also nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Some were prescription pain relievers, some over-the-counter.
American voters may be sharply polarized over many political issues of the day, but they are increasingly unified on one policy: legalizing marijuana.
Just look at the results of November’s election — every statewide measure to relax marijuana prohibition won. Arizona, Montana and New Jersey voted to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older. Medical marijuana was approved in Mississippi. South Dakota voters backed both recreational and medicinal use.
I’m a baby boomer/grandmother who lived in New Jersey most of my life — until four years ago when I moved to Colorado to assist family that lived out here.
I am not a marijuana user myself, but I’ve been around people who enjoyed what drinkers might call “happy hour,” which amounted to a bud in a tiny pipe or maybe a joint. It’s never been my experience to see someone “stoned” on marijuana, but rather relaxing after a hard day of work, just like my parents did with their own one-drink “happy hour” at home.
Under the USDA-approved hemp licensing program, business opportunities in New Jersey are being further promoted by developing commercial markets for farmers and all qualified participants to produce, sell, and manufacture hemp. The organization of the legislation and the business/marketing infrastructure plan, in sync with one another, create an opportunity for long-term profit and success.
This situation is common for a “cannabis-related legitimate business or service provider” (CRLB) operating in New Jersey and other states, because the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, creating a conflict in authority. Schedule 1 classification defines marijuana as having (i) a high potential for abuse, (ii) no currently accepted medical use, and (iii) no accepted safety standards for its use under medical supervision.
In his 40 years in the Senate, as is now well known, Biden was a key architect of harsh criminal penalties for nonviolent drug users. Undoing much of his own work was one way to make sense of a large part of the criminal justice plan his presidential campaign recently released. Finding a centrist's safe-and-happy medium on weed in particular, Biden has not embraced legalization—a.k.a. commercialized, recreational pot use—but has claimed to back decriminalization, or removing at least most pot offenses from the criminal justice system.
In a press release Friday, the Cannabis Control Commission reminded residents that even possessing, much less consuming, cannabis on federal waterways remains illegal, due to its continued (albeit controversial) classification as a prohibited Schedule 1 drug.
“The Commission expects adults who choose to consume cannabis in Massachusetts to know the laws, including the federal restrictions that are still in place,” CCC commissioner Jennifer Flanagan said. “If you are planning to take a boat ride this summer in federal waters, leave your cannabis at home.”
Much of the stigma regarding cannabis can be tied to its classification as a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Cannabis is considered, along with heroin and LSD as substances that “have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse.”
And yet, it’s a drug that depending on its form can be classified anywhere from Schedule II to V that may be the reason cannabis ultimately is rescheduled or de-scheduled and loses the stigma surrounding its use.
Sherrill, a Democrat from Montclair who is replacing retired Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen in the 11th District seat, was cautious in her support.
“I’d have to see [the bill]. I certainly am interested in that … I can tell you that immediately what I would like to do would be to take marijuana off the Schedule 1 controlled substances list, which I think should be the first step.