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Attorney General Grilled For Not Reclassifying Cannabis

Attorney General Eric Holder holds his hands up in a session in which he failed to reschedule marijuana
Photo Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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Attorney General Grilled For Not Reclassifying Cannabis

Last week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government is considering rescheduling cannabis out of the Schedule I classification, but only with the support of Congress.

In February 18 members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama urging him to reclassify cannabis. Comparing the schedule classifications, they pointed out that as it stands now, cannabis is listed as more dangerous than methamphetamines and cocaine, but the President himself stated he “[doesn’t] think it is more dangerous than alcohol,” a fully legal substance.

This call from Congress may have convinced the feds they were willing and able to move forward on reclassifying cannabis. So, for Holder to put the ball back in the court of Congress didn’t settle well for some representatives. As a result, this week two representatives have addressed Holder’s statement, one in Congress and the other directed at Holder himself.

During a House Judiciary Committee Holder was grilled by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn) as to why the feds have not used executive action to reclassify cannabis as they had on other issues.

Cohen stated he believes Congress will not act because they are like “tortoises” and wouldn’t stick their necks out. He asked Holder why he didn’t use Title 21, Chapter 13 to request a study by the Secretary of Scientific and Medical Evaluation to look into the classification of cannabis and change it, telling Holder “it has medical benefit and to be Schedule I says it has no medical benefit, well that’s just fallacious,” and that a wrongly placed Schedule I classification “breeds contempt for our laws.”

Holder’s response was that the feds have acted properly with their limited resources and was content with the actions they have taken. When Cohen pressed him on the lunacy of cannabis’ classification, Holder stated, “what is obvious to one perhaps is not obvious to others”.

This roundabout approach to answering Cohen’s questioning proves that the feds will need a much harder shove if they are going to take the next step forward. On that same day, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore) also called out the Obama Administration’s lack of action for reclassification, adding to the much needed shove.

Blumenauer believes the time for examination has ended and now it is time to act. He pointed out how meth, a lower classification than cannabis, has ravished communities and caused many acts of violence, yet cannabis has not. He also explained how Congress has already acted with bipartisan bills to tax cannabis, to introduce industrialized hemp, and protect state laws from federal interference.

And just as Cohen stated, Blumenauer blamed the dysfunction of Congress for the lack of passing these bills as of yet. He urged Holder to at least “move marijuana off the Schedule I or Schedule II of controlled substances. This is something they can do on their own initiative.”

With pressure from state governments, the public and members of Congress, the feds may act on Holder’s announcement soon. With the option put forward by Rep. Cohen of requesting a study to re-review cannabis, the feds have a easy and cost effective way to decide if cannabis should be rescheduled without waiting for Congress to drag their feet toward change.

Do you support these U.S. Congressional representatives? Is marijuana one of your primary voting issues? Tell us in the comments below!

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Jimmy

    May 12, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Don’t they realize that this is a chance to make history like, “Tear down that wall”. This is the wall that needs to go this time for the people of America.

  2. John Grace

    May 12, 2014 at 11:12 am

    The Government’s policy is based on a lie. The majority of people in Government know that it is based on a lie. Hundreds of thousands of American citizens are harmed by the policys based on these lies every year. Sounds very much like a conspiracy to illegally discriminate to me. Therefore the lie must be acknowledged, the policies must be rescinded and reeducation must begin. This Rescheduling is the logical first step and should be done with an across the board decision and notice to re-negotiate any treaty that covers cannabis or any of its variants.

  3. lynn

    May 12, 2014 at 7:42 am

    A law based on a lie. How do we trust the lawmakers when the lie is proven a lie and nothing is done to make it right?

  4. J. O Neal

    May 12, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Yes ! What are they waiting for ? Congress could have used a boost in their approval ratings. Too bad some are scared to act without a leader. Peoples lives and freedom are on the line. Just do it !!!

  5. Ozark Aggie

    May 12, 2014 at 6:59 am

    This gutless scab couldn’t prosecute the criminals on Wall Street, but he allows his Assistant US Attorneys to prosecute MM providers and send them to prison. Of course Obama has been hinting at rescheduling through proxies to gain the Millennial vote since 2008, and now I’m hearing that it will happen after the 2014 election. I’m thinking it is just more of the same old BS. We need to educate the public, and start generating mass protests for rescheduling and finally for legalization.

  6. J. O Neal

    May 12, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Yes, Reclassify. OMG ! What are they waiting for ? As for congress, they could really use a chance to raise their approval ratings…don’t you agree ? Peoples lives and freedoms are at stake Let’s get on with it.

  7. Debbie

    May 12, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Cannabis has been human tested for thousands of years by millions of people, some did it legal, some committed a crime with no deaths or no side effects ever. It is only realistic that it be used as medicine. I have done research on cannabis and am amazed at what Science says about the plant. Patients in 16 other states in the United States have access to the benefits of the Cannabis Plant. The people in The United States “Land of the Free” have suffered long enough!

  8. Jeff

    May 11, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    It is absolutely ridiculous that we even need to have this conversation. In my humble opinion the only reason it’s still illegal is bc the government makes so much money from stealing from their own people bc they are so GREEDY and they can pad the pockets through innocent civilians causing no harm to others. I’ve heard way too many horror stories and lived through a few small ones that has made me loose all faith law enforcement. Not saying they are all bad but there is too much of it going on and many pick an easy target to collect $$$. It’s time to stop ruining lives over greed.

  9. chuckdaleallstar

    May 11, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Until the Feds see the amount of money they will lose by medical states refusing to pay the taxes because the law wont allow them to without incriminating themselves as in illegal activity, they will reclassify.

    Until the Feds come out and say they were wrong about the plant and allow it as a reschedule of classification people will continue to use the black market. Many people have gotten so tired of dealing with the shady side deals they have started growing there own.

    If you can drink fermented hops and drive a car and kill someone you should be able to burn cannabis and kill a steak and potato siting on your patio… Its your quarter america time to make the call.. Petition Washington to Reclassify Cannabis now!

    12.6 million dollars in 3 months is not fiction it is fact. x that by 9 then again by 50. If you want us to continue to be a super power world leader then change is needed. Or you can get use to vodka and chocolate. And learn Chinese.

  10. Shena Barnes

    May 11, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Absolutely! If you or I kept medication from a child or senior citizen, we would be persecuted and prosecuted, but the US government is doing it. They need to beheld accountable too.

  11. Justin Tatum

    May 11, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Yes i support the reps on marijuana re classification because it does have medical value and as a patient that could benefit from it it will also sway my voting

  12. Stephanie Raney Smalling

    May 10, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    I was prescribed oxycontin for over 13 years for a work injury. It was decided out of the blue without loking at any up-to-date xrays that I needed to be weaned off (this drug has horrible crippling physical addiction). I am still in horriffic pain and suffer from seizures because of my work injury. They gave me lithiun twice a day when I voluntarily went to what I thought was a rehabilitation center but instead a psych ward for all sorts of mental dideases such as schizophrenia, and was also treated like a criminal by being strip searched for willingly trying to get off a drug prescribed to me by my physician, approved by the FDA. Now I hear the FDA is going to put a new heroin pill out there for pain. The rehab center did not withdrawal me I withdrew from oxycontin on my own. I literally prayed for death. There is a plant that is not physically addictive, relieves pain like no other.I an 53 yrs old and because marijuana is not leegal and I’ve been blacklisted by pain mgmt specialists because of not just one but so many prejudices against this life-changing alternative to their debilitating choices they’ve made for us. From being in bed all day on their drug vs living as functioning individual by using marijuana. Because it’s not legal and I’m raising my grandchildren I’m basically screwed unless I break the law and end up like the pior lady above without my kids. I know I m not making much sense but I can’t function in this type of pain.. For sure someone needs to pull their heads out of their asses and help the sick. Normally not so mean-spirited just hurting. Tell you what how about those folks go and take oxycontin for a yr and then try marijuana for only six months. Better do it visa versa because your pain meds your putting out on the market now is the scurge of our country.

    • Jimmy

      May 12, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      They want to keep people on something that is addictive.

  13. Shane S. Doull

    May 5, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    As much as I do not like the ‘standard non-answer, answer’…they are still talking and an out has been suggested.
    Keep your fingers crossed that your government will keep your health atop their list of concerns.

  14. Paul Katherman

    April 28, 2014 at 9:45 am

    I need these laws to change ASAP. It will effect my life and my families lives in way I can’t explain. My dad is currently fighting cancer and it’s not medical in pa. So he can get the use of this amazing plant to help with his fight because of the legal issues he won’t even try. If it was a lesser charge federally then the states would change there laws accordingly. Allowing him to get the much needed medication. I am also looking at major jail time right now for bringing people there medication. So a change in the laws now before I am charged would give me a chance at a lesser sentence. Also
    I am not aloud to see my children because I used marijuana in the past. I’m currently getting fingernail and hair firsts to show in not using marijuana. It’s rediculous. The laws need to change for all Americans. Quickly before we have more good people prosecuted and locked up in our prisons. I own two businesses and pay taxes. I’m not a low life. I contribute to society. It’s not right that myself or other hard working Americans should be locked up for a plant that does so much good. Thank you for what you guys are doing. It means the world to me and my family.

    Paul Katherman
    KatgermanGlass
    7172782094

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