1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Hillary Rodham Clinton has long declined to endorse legalized medical or recreational marijuana at the federal level, but on Saturday, she added more specifics to her proposal to increase research into medical marijuana.

    Clinton said that she supports removing marijuana from a list of schedule 1 drugs, a classification that prevents federally-sponsored research into its effects. As a schedule 1 drug, marijuana is classified among the most dangerous drugs that the federal Drug Enforcement Agency regulates.

    "We haven’t done research, why? Because it’s considered a schedule 1 drug," Clinton said during a town hall meeting at Claflin University in South Carolina on Saturday. "I'd like to move it from schedule 1 to schedule 2."

    The addition to her position on marijuana brings her in line with two other Democratic presidential rivals, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley, who both oppose marijuana's designation as a schedule 1 substance.

    [Sanders proposes nixing marijuana from federal list of dangerous drugs]

    According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, schedule 1 drugs are "defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule 1 drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence."

    Clinton has repeatedly said that she believes states are the "laboratories of democracy" on the marijuana issue and that she would like to see more research into the health effects of medical marijuana.

    "I want to see how it works before we do a national plan for the federal government," Clinton said.

    Specifically, on Saturday, she said that more information is needed to determine safe dosages, the efficacy of certain varieties of the drug, and potential complications with other drugs.

    Before her announcement, Clinton's critics noted that the DEA's classification of marijuana as a schedule 1 drug makes it more difficult for research to be approved.

    Clinton will also lift restrictions on obtaining marijuana for medical studies, by allowing researchers to obtain the drug through licensed suppliers in states where medical marijuana is legal.

    Other marijuana advocates say moving the drug to schedule 2 is not enough. Marijuana users and businesses would still risk federal penalties for using and selling the drug.

    "The rescheduling of marijuana is a step in the right direction, but only going down to Schedule II is mostly a symbolic move," said Tom Angell, chairman of the pro-marijuana group Marijuana Majority. "It may make research slightly easier, but on its own wouldn't do anything to protect seriously ill people who are using marijuana in accordance with state laws from being harassed by the DEA."

    "Only changing the federal criminal statutes can effectively do that," he added.

    O'Malley also supports moving marijuana to the schedule 2 list. Sanders is the only presidential candidate who has proposed removing marijuana altogether from the schedule of controlled substances regulated by the DEA.

    By Abbey Phillip - The Washington Post/Nov. 7, 2015
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. 5-HT2A
    6,000 years of use, hundreds of scientific research, a federal government that will only let you research its dangers, and practically 0 risk of death and she thinks we need more research into weed? Give me a fucking break. She will be the queen of mediocrity some day.
  2. DiabolicScheme
    Screw these politicians, they'll say anything to get into office and do nothing when they get into office.
  3. lerydkat
    All words and no real actions that's politics no matter if left wing, right wing, democratic, republican, radical, liberal or conservative - it's just some folks tryna get their pockets filled, sit back and smile to the world on TV
  4. Joe-(5-HTP)
    This is a pretty calculated political move on Clinton's part.. no real substance nor reflection of value here.

    Downgrading cannabis from schedule 1 is tantamount to admitting the truth. I don't think a politician should be praised for that.

    Still, it shows that whoever the democratic nominee is, the positive trajectory of cannabis laws will likely continue if the democrats win, so that's good.
  5. Bango Skank
    I'm actually kinda pissed she changed her stance on this, as I'm pretty sure she now stands a better chance of winning it. I liked it better when she was uncertain.

    Every four years I find myself wondering what Ross Perot is up to these days.
  6. Beenthere2Hippie
    I concur with the general thread-mood of discontent at Hillary's latest attempt to capture the Democratic Presidential position for the upcoming elections next year. She is not my idea of good presidential material (as I much prefer old Bernie myself), but at least she's added freeing up drugs to the mix, which makes for good reason for any and all Americans to vote Democratic to avoid winding up with yet another hard-line conservative who will:

    1. attempt to apply Federal law to marijuana

    2. continue the drug war

    3. go after citizens who cannot afford actual pain meds and prescribing physicians and are using heroin or drug-dealer opiates to do so

    4. put guns in colleges and everywhere else

    5. attempt to undo Rowe vs. Wade and all related US womens' health concerns

    6. buy more weapons and break standing, hard-won international friendships

    7. find some where(s) to start a war

    8. put their god in our schools and in government

    9. cut extra-help programs for children and seniors

    10. Remake the wheel, conservative style...

    Although I don't want Hillary as our president (she is every bit as sneaky as old Dick Nixon--and we all know how badly that went), she'd still an improvement over any of the ultimately scary Republicans that are currently running for office.
  7. 5-HT2A
    There is nothing truthful about saying cannabis is as dangerous as methamphetamine or oxycodone which both reside in schedule II.

    BTW your signature is funny and true.
  8. Joe-(5-HTP)
    I guess the truth I referred to was that cannabis has an accepted medical use.

    It's still a travesty in every other respect, indeed. All the drug laws are utterly irrational.

    But the way the legalization movement is working, in my analysis, is by taking small steps which overall result in a big change. Each state that legalizes is a step, downgrading cannabis to schedule II would be a step too. So that's why I look for the positives in these things.

    Yeah I'm pretty proud of my sig lol, won't be changing that for a while.
  9. C.D.rose
    How to reschedule marijuana, and why it's unlikely anytime soon

    [IMGR=white]https://drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=46794&stc=1&d=1447025328[/IMGR]In an interview with CBS news last week, new U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy suggested marijuana can be helpful for some medical conditions, and that science should dictate the United States’ policy on the matter. However, under the current system, the Surgeon General’s wishes will largely go unfulfilled.

    What stands in the way of a broad role for medical science in marijuana policy is the Controlled Substances Act. Under this law, marijuana is listed as a Schedule I substance, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and no current accepted medical use. Substances classified in Schedules II-V are still subject to varying degrees of control, but have a recognized medical use and may be dispensed with a prescription under certain circumstances. They are also subject to robust research, testing, and manufacture. For marijuana to enjoy the same benefits, it would need to be rescheduled.

    So, in the tradition of ‘how a bill becomes a law,’ we hope to explain how a drug becomes a legally-defined less dangerous drug. There are two ways by which the scheduling of marijuana can be changed: congressional action and administrative action.

    Congress has the power to reschedule marijuana, either through new legislation specific to marijuana or through tailored amendments to the Controlled Substances Act. The first bill that proposed to move cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule II was introduced by Representative Stewart McKinney (R-CT) in 1981. Similar bills have been introduced perennially since then, most recently by Rep. H. Morgan Griffith [R-VA] (H.R. 4498), all of which died in committee. In 2011, Reps. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced a bill to remove marijuana from the schedules entirely (“de-scheduling”), which also died in committee.

    President Obama has contended that rescheduling marijuana is a job for Congress, while others rightly argue the administration has the authority to do so unilaterally. It is ironic that the president, who is so often criticized for overreaching his authority, is shrinking from the administrative power that Congress has granted him.

    So, how does administrative rescheduling work? It is not as easy as some in the marijuana advocacy community—and critics of the Obama administration’s position on this issue—would have you think. It is a complex process in which scientific, medical, policy and political forces have influence. Below is a flowchart that explains how rescheduling works.

    [IMGL=white]https://drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=46793&stc=1&d=1447024344[/IMGL]In a nutshell, administrative rescheduling begins when an actor—the Secretary of Health and Human Services or an outside interested party—files a petition with the Attorney General or he initiates the process himself. The Attorney General forwards the request to the HHS Secretary asking for a scientific and medical evaluation and recommendation, as specified by 23 USC 811(b-c). HHS, via the Food and Drug Administration conducts an assessment and returns a recommendation to the Attorney General “in a timely manner.” The Attorney General, often through the Drug Enforcement Administration, conducts its own concurrent and independent review of the evidence in order to determine whether a drug should be scheduled, rescheduled, or removed from control entirely—depending on the initial request in the petition.

    If the Attorney General finds sufficient evidence that a change in scheduling is warranted he then initiates the first stages of a standard rulemaking process, consistent with the Administrative Procedures Act. During rulemaking and consistent with Executive Order 12866, if the White House—through the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of information and Regulatory Affairs—determines the rule to be “significant,” it will conduct a regulatory review of the proposed rule—a very likely outcome given the criteria in the EO [Executive Order -- C.D.rose].

    The above process and the associated flow chart simply outline the structural procedures required to reschedule marijuana, but there are other concerns that surround rescheduling and we discuss a few below.

    How do state actions affect federal rescheduling, and vice versa?
    As of right now, state medical and recreational legalization have no impact on federal drug control laws. Although many states have chosen to legalize medical marijuana and four have legalized recreational use, those actions still violate federal law. The Obama administration has chosen to prioritize other aspects of enforcement, and has essentially turned a blind eye to these states’ experiments, so long as the state systems meet basic guidelines.

    There are other avenues Congress can take besides rescheduling marijuana, however, to ameliorate the seeming breakdown in federalism brought about by marijuana policy. Congress could pass a law that would legitimate marijuana activities, but only to the extent an individual or commercial enterprise acts within the letter of state law. This would essentially function as the codification of Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole’s memoranda regarding marijuana enforcement (the “Cole Memos”). A few versions of this concept were introduced in the 113th Congress, including a bill introduced by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher [R-CA] (H.R. 1523), and another by Rep. Diana DeGette [D-CO] (H.R. 964). These adjustments and a variety of others, spanning topics from firearm sales to banking access, all died in committee. None of these is seen as a cure for the dissonance between state and federal law—nor, to be clear, do these proposals consider US obligations to international agreements—but instead, they are congressional efforts to deal with a clear policy problem.

    About two dozen states have legalized medical marijuana in some form. How can there be no current accepted medical use?
    State policies “affirming” the medical value of marijuana have no bearing on the determination of the FDA and DEA. In 2006, the FDA reaffirmed that they find “no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States,” in response to a 2002 petition to reclassify marijuana as Schedule II. In July of 2011, the DEA formally denied this petition, repeating that marijuana has no accepted medical use and would therefore remain in schedule I. In 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for DC upheld that determination.

    The catch-22 in the rescheduling debate is that keeping marijuana as a schedule I drug severely restricts the capacity for scientists to study its potential medical benefits, while the lack of scientific research on medical use is simultaneously offered as evidence for keeping marijuana in schedule I. If nothing else, the Surgeon General’s statements open up the possibility that the administration might make real moves for medical testing in this area—which in and of itself is a big step for marijuana advocates.(It’s worth noting that Marinol ® (dronabinol) is an FDA-approved synthetic cannabinoid that was placed in Schedule III under the CSA in 1999.)

    Finally, it is a bit unclear what rescheduling of marijuana would mean for its production and sale and its “prescription” process in the states. Rescheduling of marijuana could actually complicate how states allow the prescription and delivery of the product, rather than, as advocates would prefer, liberate the process. If cannabis came under the control of FDA as a prescription drug (by whatever process), it would also be subject to tremendous testing and myriad regulatory requirements that are far beyond what states currently implement. That outcome may not be what legalization advocates would want in the end. (For more on other misunderstandings, complications and consequences of the rescheduling process and its relationship to pharmacology, read Kevin Sabet’s recent article on the topic.)

    What about international law?
    Proponents of keeping marijuana within Schedule I have often cited international drug conventions as an obstacle. But moving marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II (the latter being only slightly less restrictive, as described above) would arguably still fall within the realm of possible action under international law. Three international drug conventions to which the US is a signatory allow for the controlled medical use of cannabis. Therefore,federal-level cannabis rescheduling, accomplished for strictly medical purposes and accompanied by sufficient restrictions, might be accomplished in a fashion consistent with US treaty obligations. Although, The International Narcotics Control Board—the body charged with monitoring the conventions’ implementation by member states—has examined state-level medical marijuana regimes, and found their control measures lacking.

    The picture is vastly more complex for recreational cannabis activities—like those contemplated by new state legal regimes for the drug’s cultivation, purchase, sale and consumption within regulated markets. The problem has many dimensions, but the most vexing is likely this: Convention signatories are required to enact and enforce criminal laws against the production, purchase, sale and possession of “drugs,” a category to which cannabis currently belongs under the conventions’ separate scheduling regime.
    Until the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), which itself cannot proceed without first receiving recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO), takes some action on cannabis, the United States will face an obligation to maintain and enforce federal criminal sanctions against most forms of recreational cannabis use, regardless of marijuana’s scheduling. Indeed, the Controlled Substances Act obligates the Attorney General to set controls on cannabis consistent with the requirements of the conventions.

    The politics of rescheduling
    While in an ideal world the FDA, DEA, and Attorney General would make their determinations about marijuana scheduling solely based on scientific, medical, and policy considerations, the reality is quite different. These choices are ultimately made by presidential appointees and others sensitive to political considerations. The politics surrounding administrative rescheduling are unfavorable. It is not a policy priority of the Obama administration. By all appearances, the administration believes the status quo under the Cole Memo is working. While pressure may eventually mount from a medical marijuana-friendly Surgeon General, the likely incoming Attorney General seems to have a less friendly perspective on the issue than either her predecessor or Dr. Murthy.

    In addition, inaction—as well as rhetoric—from Congress suggests there is insufficient support for legislative rescheduling for marijuana. Some in Congress have been quite vocal about their opposition to administrative rescheduling. The interested actors at DOJ and HHS—as well as the White House—may be unwilling to spend political capital on this issue.

    As Congress considers defunding portions of the Department of Homeland Security over the president’s immigration actions, legislators are signaling to agencies across the federal government that there can be serious repercussions for agencies that unilaterally implement policies counter to congressional interests. When Congress is willing to shut down the Department of Homeland Security over such a fight, we should expect them to be just as willing to do the same to FDA or others, and that may tell us much of what we know about the likelihood of marijuana rescheduling.

    By John Huday - The Brookings Institution/Feb. 13, 2015

  10. Beenthere2Hippie
    Nice addition to the thread, C.D. Rose.

    As much as applying more laxed laws to cannabis appears, on the outside, to be daunting or impossible task or quick fix, as an American, I find it impossible to believe that our federal government would have the money, the man-power or the bent to take medical (in the states that have thc in their mmj) and recreational marijuana away from the US people, now that it's already in the hands.

    As much as I understand the complexity of US and international surrounding the legal issues involved in changing such laws, I also understand that no matter what existing drug laws say currently, this is a situation that will have to be addressed fully--and quickly--since I doubt a few years of research followed by a few more decades of high-court debate will satisfy anyone who has skin in the game, at this point.

    Also keep in mind, Canada is ready to drop their war on drugs, as is Mexico, parts of Central and South America and Ireland. Why, then, would those in America--who in many ways inspired this push to get marijuana off of schedule I and who are, remember, already legally imbibing it--not even counting the millions that smoke it now incognito--actually stop doing so?

    I believe now (as I've said before) that the genie is out of the bottle, if the US Federal Government attempts to take away what states rights have granted their peoples, our country would be back in a combination of civil war, tinged by failed prohibition, much like that of the 1920s, and the wretched drug war would continue and escalate instead.

    No. I can't see that happening at this point. Something new will have to be thought of and enacted, if need be. Who knows. We live in interesting times.
  11. Bango Skank
    This really gives me a headache.
    Sanders is the only one with a realistic solution.

    II understand what you mean Hippie, it'd be a nightmare to take away what's already been given to a few states, but that doesn't mean it's out of the question. The states that do allow medical and recreational marijuana use are in violation of federal law. If we get a conservative in office, they very well could decide to go the difficult route and hold those states accountable. Because the federal government is currently turning a blind eye right now guarantees those states NOTHING come 2016.

    Hell, with Clinton's history of indecisiveness and not plainly stating her intentions, it wouldn't surprise me if she decided to take this away from those states and force her own research agenda on the country.
  12. C.D.rose
    I don't generally disagree. It's clear on which side the momentum lies, and I don't think that that is going to change -- regardless of who will win the 2016 election. But that still leaves open the question how it is going to happen, and how quickly. [noparse]

    I think that, for recreational users, there is basically no short term advantage at all to having cannabis reclassified as a Schedule II drug. The FDA would most certainly have no interest in making cannabis available to recreational users, just like they have no interest to do the same with pharmaceutical methamphetamine. A reclassification might indeed entail severe restrictions on the availability of weed for recreational purposes.

    And I think that the same applies to medical use, albeit for somewhat different reasons. In the short term, a reclassification to Schedule II would probably have at least two short-term consequences. For one, the indications for which medical cannabis could be prescribed would probably be drastically restricted. For many of the indications for which medical cannabis is currently used the quantity and quality of scientific evidence is probably far too thin to get an FDA approval. (Of course, the reason for the dearth of scientific data is due to its listing as a Schedule I drug, but after reclassification evidence would not be produced overnight. This stuff takes years, if not decades.)

    But even for the acceptable indications the FDA would be faced with the problem that, as far as I know, none of the medical marijuana states have made serious efforts to produce standardized medical cannabis along the[/noparse] lines of what Bedrocan is doing in[noparse] the Netherlands. The FDA cannot approve a product that contains wildly fluctuating cannabinoid compositions of which noone knows the effects on patients.

    Therefore, launching an approval process for medical cannabis with the FDA might take years before the first product would be sold under the auspices of the FDA. And that isn't even counting the fact that the FDA certainly has some form of ties with the pharmaceutical industry and may not decide on the basis of scientific data alone.

    At this point, both recreational and medical users have much more to lose than they could realistically gain by taking the reform effort to the federal level. That's why I think that for now, and as long as federal officials maintain their hands-off approach, it's in the interest of both user groups to maintain the status quo at the federal level while pushing for progress state by state. It seems like almost every election day increases the number of states that legalize cannabis, and with every state that joins the "club" their bargaining power at the federal level increases further. This will especially be true if (or when?) a traditionally red state is going to make that step as well.

    Of course, in the[/noparse] long [noparse]term, things look differently. What I'm saying here only relates to the short or medium-term.[/noparse]
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!