Recreational Marijuana Initiative qualifies for the California's November Ballot. Will it be pre-empted by action of the DEA?
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will reclassify marijuana as a "Schedule Two" drug on August 1, 2016, essentially legalizing medicinal cannabis in all 50 states with a doctor's prescription, said a DEA lawyer with knowledge of the matter.
Update 6/28: The Recreational Marijuana Initiative qualifies for the California's November Ballot. Will it be pre-empted by action of the DEA?
The DEA Lawyer had told the lawyer representing a DEA informant of the DEA's plan to legalize medicinal cannibis nationwide on August 1, 2016. When questioned by our reporter, the DEA lawyer felt compelled to admit the truth to him as well.
"Whatever the law may be in California, Arizona or Utah or any other State, because of Federal preemption this will have the effect of making THC products legal with a prescription, in all 50 states," the DEA attorney told the Observer. Federal Preemption is a legal doctrine that where the US Government regulates a particular field, State and local laws are overridden and of no effect.
He explained that "there are five DEA schedules. Nothing on Schedule One is ever legal, and that is where Cannabis is today. Schedule Two drugs are available with a prescription."
On Schedule Two, marijuana will join drugs like Percocet, Aderall, Oxycontin, Hydrocodone and other drugs that are legal, even common, with a prescription. There are also other drugs that are not on any schedules but that are illegal on a federal level, he said. Drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen are available over-the-counter.
He opined that the 135 medicinal cannabis clinic owners in Los Angeles will no doubt oppose this move by the Federal government, because the rule change will eliminate any reason for people to visit medical marijuana clinics. But they needn't worry. "In my opinion, CVS pharmacy, Rite-Aid and Walgreens will sell Schedule Two THC products similar to what users call "edibles," but will not sell smokable weed because of the health risk smoking anything entails," said the DEA lawyer.
The Los Angeles based DEA Attorney who spoke to us, asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak to the press about the matter. He speculated that this action will be taken in the closing days of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, so as to motivate the Democratic base to turn out and vote for Hillary Clinton, and other down ballot candidates. She will certainly not reverse this policy decision taken in the waning days of the Barack Obama administration, he said. But Donald Trump might.
"Marijuana enforcement is a big drain on DEA resources," he said was another reason for the change, noting that 75% of the American public favor the legalization of marijuana for medical use.
Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is in favor of legalizing marijuana and in fact owns a business which peddles pot in New Mexico.
California will vote on November 7th, 2016, whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Because of Federal preemption, the DEA's reclassification of cannabis as a Schedule Two drug, will have the legal effect of requiring a prescription in California--i.e., it will continue the status quo.
Since the Golden State legalized medical marijuana almost 20 years ago, Federal authorities have occasionally raided medical marijuana clinics here. They have forced major banks, like Bank of America, to close clinic bank accounts. The Feds have even seized real estate belonging to landlords who rent space to pot clinics. The Federal war on medicinal marijuana will abruptly end on August 1, 2016.
UPDATE 6/19 9 a.m. PDT: The Denver Post is now reporting that the DEA could reclassify Marijuana as a Schedule II drug, as early as July 1, 2016. https://www.denverpost.com/2016/06/17/how-the-dea-should-classify-marijuana/
UPDATE 6/22: The DEA wants to remove the barriers to cannabis research, a spokesman told aNewDomain in a lengthy interview. http://anewdomain.net/2016/06/21/on-cannabis-rescheduling-questions-the-dea-responds-exclusive/
8/01 is the new 4/20!
Medical cannabis, or medical marijuana, can refer to the use of cannabis and its cannabinoids to treat disease or improve symptoms; However, there is no single agreed upon definition, says Wikipedia. The use of cannabis as a medicine has not been rigorously scientifically tested, often due to production restrictions and other governmental regulations. There is limited evidence suggesting cannabis can be used to reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, to improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, and to treat chronic pain and muscle spasms. Its use for other medical applications, however, is insufficient for conclusions about safety or effects.
In California, there are "weed doctors" who will write a prescription for cannabis to anyone claiming to suffer from anxiety, which means they passout prescriptions for pot like chocolate bars at a Halloween party. As with so many other trends that started in California, expect to see medicinal marijuana sold in your town soon!
Medical cannabis can be administered using a variety of methods, including liquid tinctures, vaporizing or smoking dried buds, eating cannabis edibles, taking capsules, using lozenges, dermal patches or oral/dermal sprays. Synthetic cannabinoids are available as prescription drugs in some countries; examples include: dronabinol and nabilone.
Recreational use of cannabis is illegal in most parts of the world, but the medical use of cannabis is legal in certain countries, including Austria, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands (where it is also legal recreationally), Portugal and Spain.
In the United States, federal law outlaws all cannabis use, while 25 states and the District of Columbia no longer prosecute individuals for the possession or sale of medical marijuana, as long as the individuals are in compliance with the state's medical marijuana sale regulations.
The DEA lawyer gave us his legal opinion that if you happen to live where recreational marijuana is now legal, i.e. Colorado or Washington State; after August 1, you will need a prescription, as you would need throughout the U.S.
However, an appeals court ruled in January 2014 that a 2007 Ninth Circuit ruling remains binding in relation to the ongoing illegality, in federal legislative terms, of Californian cannabis dispensaries, reaffirming the impact of the federal Controlled Substances Act.
As explained above, moving marijuana from Schedule One to Schedule Two, would have the effect of legalizing medicinal marijuana, throughout all 50 States, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. This action may be taken by the DEA unilaterally--i.e., without specific Congressional authorization -- because Congress has previously granted the DEA rule-making authority over what drugs are on which schedules.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is a United States federal law enforcement agency under the U.S. Department of Justice, tasked with combating drug smuggling and use within the United States. Not only is the DEA the lead agency for domestic enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act, sharing concurrent jurisdiction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), it also has sole responsibility for coordinating and pursuing U.S. drug investigations abroad.
Update: DEA Source Confirms Story, 7/04/2016. http://www.smobserved.com/story/2016/07/04/news/dea-source-confirms-that-schedule-ii-marijuana-is-in-the-works/1562.html