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Members of Congress Ask Obama to Remove Cannabis from Schedule I Classification

A hand signs a document that will hopefully remove marijuana from a schedule 1 status with the DEA.

Politics

Members of Congress Ask Obama to Remove Cannabis from Schedule I Classification

A letter from 18 individual members of Congress requesting that the President Obama “instruct Attorney General Holder to delist or classify marijuana in a more appropriate way, at the very least eliminating it from Schedule I or II,” was delivered yesterday.

The letter cites the ethical and financial failures of the drug war, including the disparity in arrests for black cannabis users and the president’s own statements on cannabis in comparison with alcohol and tobacco. The letter goes on to say that cannabis is scheduled higher than both cocaine and methamphetamine, two examples President Obama has cited as harder drugs than cannabis.

“This makes no sense,” the letter says.

The congressmen also argue that the current schedule is an impediment to cannabis businesses in legal states.

“A Schedule I or II classification also means that marijuana businesses in states where adult or medical use are legal cannot deduct business expenses from their taxes or take tax credits due to Section 280 E of the federal tax code.”

The members of congress signing the letter to the president include 17 Democrats and one Republican.

Many of the signees on the letter are from regions that tax cannabis. Four of the congressmen who signed the request represent districts in Northern California, the birthplace of the medical cannabis industry. In addition, signee Jared Polis (D- Boulder, Colo.) was an outspoken proponent of Amendment 64, which legalized recreational use and sales of cannabis in the state of Colorado in November 2012.

The lone Republican, Dana Rohrabacher (R- Huntington Beach, Calif.), has been an outspoken proponent of the cannabis industry, introducing legislation in April 2013 asking that the federal government respect state marijuana laws. Rohrabacher’s bill, HR 1523 never made it to the House or Senate floor for a vote.

Through the Feb. 12 letter the congressmen also condemn the administration’s response to public interest surrounding legal and recreational sales in more than half of U.S. states.

“Statements such as ones from DEA Chief of Operations James L. Capra that legalization of marijuana at the state level is ‘reckless and irresponsible’ serve no purposes other than to inflame passions and misinform the public.”

The letter aims to play off momentum towards changing federal policy on cannabis, a legal reality that has continued to impede growth of the fastest growing industry in the United States today. In January, the Obama Administration announced plans to commute non-violent drug offenders’ sentences and reexamine mandatory minimum sentencing laws.

“Thank you for your continued thoughtfulness about this important issue. We believe the current system wastes resources and destroys lives, in turn damaging families and communities,” the letter concludes. “Taking action is long overdue.”

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Rucko

    February 24, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Marijuana should have never been listed as a schedule 1 drug from the start .

    • Jacob Underwood

      September 4, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      Cannabis should have NEVER been titled under “Drug” in the beginning.. Let alone “schedule 1/2 drug” .. The only type of title it should have ever been under is “Medication”!! Forever and Always..

  2. Dylan Davis

    February 17, 2014 at 5:52 am

    why would cannabis be illegal? Cannabis has not caused a single death or sickness. Tobacco and Alcohol, two leagal substances that kill hundreds of people a year are still legal. Cannabis has a plethera of medicinal uses. Yes, cannabis is fun for recreational uses, but it is amazing in the medical world! Cannabis can/is changing many things and fixing many problems. Cannabis made california rich! If a less wealthy state like south carolina legalized cannabis and open dispenserys, they would boost there economy greatly. They could make places nice and also the crime rate would drop. That is an absolute fact! why would you keep drugs that destroy lifes and famies be legal? why not legalize a all natural healthy medicine that will not tear sombody apart? why not legalize a medicine that will not destroy families? why does the D.E.A target a plant that does nothing but make you happy and calm instead of Crystal Meth or Crack? Why? That is the question.

  3. Michael Miller

    February 14, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Free the herb Mr. President. It truly is the healing of the nation. The people want it. It’s safer than alcohol. It promotes peace, love, and tranquility and heals the sick. People don’t smoke weed and beat their wives and kids yet this is coxmmon behavior with alcohol. This plant can save the nation and you can go down in history as the man that allowed it to be. Do the right thing Mr. President. All of us know the country will be a better place and that to continue prohibition is nonsense that only prohibits freedom and liberty.

    • Bill Johnson

      February 27, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      Years ago, the powers that be, thought that the prohibition of alcohol was a good idea…uh huh right. Instead of turning everything into what the powers that be, THOUGHT that it should be, the only thing it did, was make 2-bit murderous thugs into rich guys…

      …does ANY of THIS sound even vaguely familiar????

      They didn’t win the war on alcohol, no matter HOW hard they tried. Not only THAT, but it didn’t make any sense to do it, since the majority of people couldn’t have cared less & only 18 states spent a dime to enforce the law against it. I say cut the crap about pot, put the issue of whether or not it should be legalized for rec or med use, on each states ballots & let the PEOPLE decide, NOT politicians!!!!

  4. Danny

    February 14, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Chris you also forgot that the oil from hemp can be used to make plastic, when you mix hemp with limestone you can create stronger building materials than steal, aprox 4x more haha! Then you got the superfood, one of the only foods that grow naturally to provide you with omega 3 and I think 6, as far as memory serves me its only fish, its also high in protein and is a massively good supplement for people without taking stupid pills that do nothing for you!!!

    You need 1 acre of hemp to produce 4 acres of tree for paper and that’s in 1 season (queue the wtf) so not only would we be helping paper but we’d be adding in the oxygen etc and we can keep the AMAZING wildlife that is currently being destroyed, also the current plants that are being cut down for shitty medicine don’t have to anymore with the astounding healing properties of cannabis. Namely CB1, CBD and I think CBB, THC is only getting you high which even then we have THC receptors in our brains. For those that don’t know either google it or keep reading.

    Our brains are full of receptors that are needed to transmit and receive electrical signals, so if you add THC (Tetrahydracannabinol) into our brains it helps your brain link up better! This is mainly where the ‘creativeness’ from smoking comes from, cannabis is the most mind opening substance and is one of the reasons why its illegal.

    Though people who want the world to be free and get in power are the countries/area’s that are slowly legalising it. Do your research and don’t stop on 1 page, go through at least 10 or more

    • Bill Johnson

      February 27, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      Not religious by ANY stretch, but Amen to your comment Sir!!!

  5. Chris Issa

    February 14, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Marijuana needs to be legalized due to many reasons listed here..
    (1) it solves and helps out with a lot of health issues like cancer, epilepsy, PTSD, and eating disorders, and anger disorders
    (2) it is and has been proven that marijuana is not harmful in anyway at all, it is not a drug like alcohol or pills or anything dangerous like heavy drugs like heroine or crack
    (3) it is 100% natural and organic and was created in the brining of time when God and Mother Nature teamed up and created the world that we live in
    (4) it is not harmful to the ozone layers
    (5) it will lower the crime rate and create more jobs for our fellow Americans and immigrant workers
    (6) it has many different uses like for medical purposes like numbing the pain and slowing the heart rate to help out with surgeries and difficult wounds and or cuts, it can be turned into cheap clothing, paper for books and sometimes even helps someone who can’t cook very well to make their food better and tastes better
    (6) it will help save our planet and to eliminate the need of constantly destroying our forest and will help bring the animal population back up to where it’s suppose to be and oils in it can be used to provide healing properties and it will help bring an end to all the chaos and wars in different countries and in the process it will help reduce the number of human losses..
    So stop and think about what is more important saving our planet and improving the way of life and saving the ppl we love and care about, or continuing to be greedy and destructive and to continue letting our ppl die in pointless and endless wars and continue to let the chaos reign over all of us because of greedy ppls negligence and refusal to see the truth about how to solve our problems in the world

  6. Jordon cadwell

    February 14, 2014 at 5:42 am

    Cannabis is a natural healing plant..No reason for it to be any schedule . it’s not a drug…pills are drugs..

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