As of right now, cannabis is considered a schedule 1 drug in the United States. The government has it listed with other drugs such as heroin and LSD. But an ambitious Senator thinks that should change, and proposed legislation to remove cannabis from the Schedule 1 list.
With no known overdose amount, cannabis should be the furthest thing from a schedule 1 drug. Schedule 1 narcotics are described as a drug or other substance which has a high potential for abuse, a drug or other substance which has no currently accepted medical treatment use in the U.S., and a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or substance under medical supervision.
But putting it in the same category as dangerous drugs such as heroin has made the government massive amounts of revenue in the continual war on drugs. Even though that should all change, it probably won’t.
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On Tuesday a Democratic senator from New Jersey proposed legislation that would remove marijuana from the federal list of controlled substances. The proposal, if adopted, would also financially punish states that fail to decriminalize marijuana if they have racial disparities in their arrest and incarceration rates connected to marijuana.
If the boneheaded politicians didn’t take our freedom to begin with, we wouldn’t need legislation allowing us the permission to consume a plant. This legislation is bound to make Attorney General Jeff Sessions go into pure panic mode.
Senator Cory Booker announced his legislative maneuver in a Facebook post.
The measure would withhold criminal justice federal funding to anti-marijuana states if data shows a racially disproportionate prison and arrest rate for marijuana. An American Civil Liberties Union study in 2013 found that African-Americans are four times more likely to be charged with marijuana crimes compared to whites—even though the rate of usage is similar between the two groups.
The legislation also creates a $500 million annual “Community Reinvestment Fund” grant program to “reinvest in communities most affected by the War on Drugs.” –ARSTECHNICA
Despite the proposal’s zero chance of being passed (because of the vast amount of money the bill would require annually), the measure highlights that marijuana use has become more mainstream. Just a few years ago, not a single state had legalized pot for recreational purposes. Now eight states have done so and 29 states and the District of Columbia have pro-medical marijuana laws on the books.
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Booker’s inability to draft a simple bill that would remove cannabis from the Schedule 1 list will be its downfall. Would it really have been all that hard to write a one-page bill only removing marijuana from the list? Is that too much to ask that we don’t waste more money?
Contributed by Dawn Luger