Yo, peep this, fam. So, there’s some wild drama goin’ down in the political world. A group of Republican lawmakers, led by Senators James Lankford and Representative Pete Sessions, is straight up blocking any changes to the scheduling of marijuana. They want it to stay locked up in the most hardcore category under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
These politicians are sayin’ that any decision about marijuana should be based on scientific evidence, not public opinion or state laws. They claim that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been pushin’ for a change in scheduling without enough scientific backing.
Now, the HHS has been investigatin’ this for almost a whole year and they actually recommended movin’ marijuana to Schedule III. But these Republican lawmakers ain’t havin’ it. They brought up data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) talkin’ about the supposed increase in cannabis use disorder and the high potency of THC in weed products. They think these “facts” show that marijuana has a high potential for misuse.
They even cited a letter from 2016 where the DEA declined to reschedule marijuana. The DEA said that there weren’t enough benefits proven by controlled clinical trials to outweigh the risks. And these Republicans say that assessment still holds true today.
Now, let’s talk about these Republican lawmakers who signed this letter. We got Senator Lankford, who’s always been against marijuana reform. He opposed a bill to advance research into medical cannabis for veterans, and he told Oklahoma voters to say no to legalizin’ weed.
Then we got Representative Sessions, who’s been blockin’ every cannabis amendment that comes his way as chairman of the House Rules Committee. It’s like he’s tryna shut down any progress on weed.
The other signatories include Senators Tom Cotton, James Risch, Mike Crapo, Marsha Blackburn, Ted Budd, Markwayne Mullin, and Michael Rounds. We also got Representatives Andy Biggs, Robert Aderholt, Buddy Carter, Hal Rogers, and Chuck Edwards.
These politicians are sayin’ that the facts haven’t changed since 2016, if anythin’, they’ve gotten worse. They don’t want HHS advisin’ the removal of marijuana from Schedule I, and they definitely don’t want the DEA actin’ on that recommendation. They’re basically tellin’ the DEA to keep doin’ what they’re doin’ and enforce the current drug laws.
But let’s not forget about President Biden. He hasn’t personally said anything ’bout the HHS recommendation yet. But his press secretary did mention that he supports legalizin’ medical marijuana. But let’s be real, Biden has a complicated history when it comes to cannabis. Back in the day, he was all for rampin’ up the war on drugs.
Now, if marijuana does get moved to Schedule III, it won’t legalize it federally or change any existing state medical cannabis programs. But it will make it easier for research to happen and have some big impacts on the cannabis industry.
There are lawmakers from both sides of the aisle who are supportin’ this recommendation from the HHS. Some see it as a step toward federal legalization, while others see it as a win for their efforts in cannabis reform. It could give President Biden a chance to claim a major achievement in cannabis policy.
But we gotta remember that this is just one step in the process. It won’t fulfill Biden’s promise to decriminalize weed. But it could build momentum for other changes in federal cannabis laws like the marijuana banking reform bill.
So there you have it, folks. The battle over marijuana scheduling is heatin’ up in the political arena. These Republican lawmakers are standin’ their ground, sayin’ that science should be the only thing drivin’ this decision. Will they succeed in keepin’ marijuana locked up in Schedule I? Only time will tell, but stay tuned for more updates on this wild ride.