Thursday, October 11, 2012

Drug Lesson

I didn't know about Schedule I and Schedule II drugs. I just always assumed that the Fed classified them into some kind of schema that basically translated to: I. Bad, and we're gonna get you for using them; and II. Also Bad, and we're gonna get you for using them. Well, it turns out there is a little more to it than that. Schedule I drugs have "high potential for abuse" and "no currently accepted medical use in treatment." Marijuana, heroin, and LSD are so classified. I would argue that all of these have potential medical uses, but let's lay that aside for the moment. Just to complete the circle, Schedule II drugs as you might suspect also invite abuse, but have "some accepted medical use." Opium, methamphetamine, and cocaine are in this category.

So here's the story. Marijuana is finally going to get its day in court. 
It started with a coalition of disgruntled Americans, then a handful of governors took up the cause last year, and now -- for the first time in nearly 20 years -- a federal court will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the classification of cannabis as a dangerous drug without medical benefits.
In the case, Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration, the court will be presented with scientific evidence regarding the medicinal effects of marijuana, and is expected to rule on whether or not the Drug Enforcement Administration acted appropriately in denying a petition to reclassify cannabis, filed by a collection of public interest organizations back in 2002. (Source)
For years, the DEA has stonewalled all attempts by the sane to get pot officially reclassified to a schedule II drug. But it appears they are not going to be successful this time  in at least the issue getting a hearing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit next week. The list of prestigious backers is impressive: "The American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians, support medical access to the drug or its reclassification, while the California Medical Association has called for full legalization."

Amazing things are happening. There's an increasing movement not only for sanctioning medical use of marijuana, but for full legalization of the drug, period. Colorado, Washington, and Oregon voters will all vote in November on the issue. Can I vote "yes" by proxy?
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