Attorney General Holder Announces Administration Will Consider Rescheduling Cannabis

gty_eric_holder

In response to growing national momentum towards cannabis re-legalization as well as an increasing number of politicians joining the chorus of voices pushing for an end to prohibition, the Obama Administration has responded by saying they are willing to work on the issue of rescheduling cannabis federally—but only with the support of Congress.

As Attorney General, Eric Holder, who made the announcement Friday, has the power to reschedule any drug federally, but says he will not move on marijuana until he gets support for it.

“We’d be more than glad to work with Congress if there is a desire to look at and reexamine how the drug is scheduled, as I said there is a great degree of expertise that exists in Congress,” Holder said during a House Appropriations Committee hearing. “It is something that ultimately Congress would have to change, and I think that our administration would be glad to work with Congress if such a proposal were made.”

Such a proposal has been made. In February, a bipartisan backed letter from members of Congress was delivered to President Obama asking that he instruct Attorney General Holder to “delist or classify marijuana in a more appropriate way, at the very least eliminating it from Schedule I or Schedule II.”

The concept of “drug scheduling” was introduced in the United States in 1970, when Congress and the Nixon Administration enacted the Controlled Substances Act. The Act served as the nation’s legislation to enact American compliance with the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (SCND) Treaty created by the United Nations in 1961.

The SCND was an international treaty signed by 73 nations, including The United States, Mexico, Canada, Afghanistan (the world’s largest opium producer), Uruguay (which just legalized marijuana), Portugal (which decriminalized all drugs in 2001), Peru (the world’s top producer of cocaine), Israel (which can be credited with the most advanced cannabis research in the world) and the Czech Republic ( which was known as Czechoslovakia at the time of signing and is currently undergoing drug policy reforms, including lessening offenses for marijuana possession).

The treaty’s purpose was to regulate and control the international illegal drug trade. Because the United Nations has no authority to actually enact international laws, the treaty was an agreement of these nations to enact domestic legislation to further the goals of the treaty. The United States used the drug schedules created in the SCND to draft its own domestic legislation, The Controlled Substances Act.

The Controlled Substances Act created five drug schedules and tasked both the DEA and the FDA with determining how drugs were scheduled. Schedule I drugs are classified by the DEA and the FDA as having a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical value.

Although most Americans know cannabis to be safer than even sugar, it was listed as a Schedule I drug alongside GHB (the “date rape” drug), heroin, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), MDMA (ecstasy) and LSD. Today, researchers are studying the effects of drugs such as MDMA, psilocybin and LSD as safe and natural alternative mental therapies.

Drugs such as Marinol, an isolated and synthesized form of THC, are listed as Schedule III drugs, meaning they can be prescribed by physicians and distributed in pharmacies. Other Schedule III drugs include Ketamine (an animal tranquilizer), Hydrocodone (vicodin) and Suboxone (a legal pharmaceutical heroin replacement).

While I applaud Eric Holder’s announcement, I think as educated drug policy activists we should be calling for a removal of the drug scheduling system entirely in favor of something that makes more sense—and takes into account 40 years of research, use and progress of these drugs and the effects they have on the general population.

The Schedule I status of cannabis is what has prevented domestic research and is the reason so many Americans have lost their freedom, lives or general wellbeing.

Legitimate research has proven many of the maligned drugs to be safe and the safe drugs to be incredibly harmful, particularly opioid pharmaceuticals such as Vicodin and Suboxone, which actually have a high potential for abuse and can severely damage or kill humans.

Having the nation’s largest prohibition special interest group—the DEA—create and enforce drug scheduling is like asking bankers to just “do the right thing”. The system is broken, let’s completely overhaul it.

Furthermore, Congress has already asked Eric Holder to work on this issue, throwing the ball back in their court would just create a meaningless game of ping pong.

The true end to the War on Drugs is an end to the current regulation and enforcement scheme in this nation. We tried it for 40 years and it isn’t working—Obama, you don’t have to apologize for mistakes that weren’t yours, but we expect you as a former cannabis user and vocal opponent to the Drug War to do the right thing, these breadcrumbs just aren’t enough.

Do you agree with me, should we abolish the current drug scheduling system? Tell us in the comments below?

Angela Bacca is a San Francisco Bay Area-based writer, journalist, photographer and medical cannabis patient. She has been published in a wide variety of print and digital publications including Cannabis Now Magazine, Alternet, SFCritic Music Blog, Skunk Magazine, West Coast Cannabis, Cannabis Culture Magazine, Ladybud Magazine and Opposing Views, among others. She has a Bachelor's in Journalism from San Francisco State University and a Master's in Business Administration from Mills College.

109 Comments

  1. kathy marriott

    April 17, 2014 at 4:06 am

    It’s a bottle neck situation…stopped up….by Re-arranging a couple of grains of sand it flows properly. Congress is in need of re-arranging there grains of sand…Representatives, Congress, Feds, and Obama. This country can benefit from cannabis right now. Change substance 1 to substance 2 or decriminalize or legalize…PLEASE WHITE HOUSE JUST DO SOMETHING. Respectfully this whole thing is so wrong on cannabis laws in this country. The dragging of the feet will not solve the problem. Make this right White House!!! right now. Thank you

  2. Jeremy Daw

    April 9, 2014 at 6:17 am

    This is utter BS. As your article correctly notes, the Attorney General has plenary authority to remove cannabis from the schedule of drugs – today, with no approval from anyone. And who gave him that authority? Congress, of course, back in 1970. Holder claims he’s waiting for a green light, when the light has been green for 54 years.

  3. Caadfael

    April 9, 2014 at 4:15 am

    Get raising petition after petition after petition guys, eventually someone will not just listen, but grow a pair and act!
    The potential of cannabis in all its forms is simply HUGE!!
    I think our politicians in Scotland are more progressive and after we break free from Wastemonster and become independant, the raising of a petition may very well give rise to a plebiscite demanding its legalisation.
    At the moment a small UK firm, GW Pharmaceuticals has a cannabis based drug undergoing trials in the US, hopefully thiswill be the spearpoint that finally bursts this stupidity’s bubble!
    As a protest,grow hemp wherever you can!!

  4. Larry

    April 8, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    DUH – 40 years late, better than never…
    Future generations: “WTF were they thinking?!!”
    Also: Free Hemp!

  5. Javier

    April 8, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    It’s about time we make progress as a society and end the ridiculous injustice against marijuana users.

    • Moirraine

      April 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm

      Cannabis.

      The name of the plant is cannabis.

      There is no such thing as “marijuana” as a genus.

      Why don’t we all start from scratch and learn :)

      Cannabis isn’t a poison.

      Chemical drugs kill millions a year.

  6. Ryan

    April 8, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Its horrible that it is illegal and people on probation for it have gone the route of this K2 crap. I know from experience that K2 or anyrhing like it is HORRIBLE FOR YOU!!! gave me pneumonia and I still have difficulty breathing 6 months later and have spent 1000s and 1000s at the e.r. and doctor because of it. It ruined my life! When cannabis has never had a negative effect like this! Open your eyes to this issue and get that crap eliminated and make marijuana legal! THE TAX ALONE!! Wow ok rant over.

  7. jarell hicks

    April 8, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Yes lets get rid of this system.

  8. Thomas

    April 8, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Is this a dream, or a scam. O It would be so great to be able to buy cannabis legally. I believe that it helps keep people calm in stressful times, and it helps with body pains. I know it takes off the edge of the craziness in my life, and it helps me sleep better.

  9. Susan

    April 8, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    We need to regulate and tax marijuana as Colorado and Washington has,
    like alcohol, and take it out of the hands of criminals and drug cartels. Cannabis has plenty of verifiable medical uses yet it is still a schedule 1 drug…why? Because prohibitionists continue the
    lies of our fathers in favor of big business. When there is a natural medicine that cures cancer stops seizures and has so many more benefical effects available but when the government wont allow it, it is criminal.
    As it could and would save many lives! Millions of people have died horrible deaths and in many cases, families exhausted their savings on dangerous, toxic and expensive drugs. Now we are just beginning to realize that while marijuana has never killed anyone, marijuana prohibition has killed millions.

  10. Kodi

    April 8, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Couldn’t agree more!

  11. angelic

    April 8, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    I AGREE!!!

  12. Toggi3

    April 8, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    “Furthermore, Congress has already asked Eric Holder to work on this issue, throwing the ball back in their court would just create a meaningless game of ping pong.”

    A letter from 18 house representatives is hardly indicative of congressional approval. I don’t think Obama is ready to touch this issue politically because it would get heavily used against the democratic nominee in 2016.

    • Thomas

      April 8, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      That’s politics 101. Why i hate it, and why it will be the fall of civilization as we know it.

  13. steven

    April 8, 2014 at 10:40 am

    the government still continues to sell addicting drugs that kills people everyday Gets new users hooked everyday the government to me are drug dealers the only drug that should be legal is cannabis the only way it can be a drug is if you add chemicals to it other then that its a plant by the way doesn’t some pills come from plants. Until you add stuff to something its not a drug

  14. troy harper

    April 8, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Total legalization, prohibition is unjust and unfair.

  15. Steve

    April 8, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Mr. Holder,

    I would like to thank you for your recent comments to Congress on April 4th. The willingness of your department to begin the discussion of reclassification of marijuana with Congress is historic.

    The Controlled Substance Act could have worked but Richard Nixon made that impossible by forcing marijuana into Schedule I. If the United States had been allowed the chance to implement the Shaffer Commission’s recommendations our country might not be faced with the drug epidemic it has today. I wish to be clear this was never a war as propaganda claims but is an epidemic and I believe it is time we treated it as such.

    During the 1980’s when Nancy Regan was telling us to just say no my friends and I were actually saying yes. We looked at your scheduling posters as a to-do list not a warning. Once someone knows the truth that marijuana is not as damaging as the bureaucracy propaganda claims then it throws the entire system into doubt. Why not try all those other fancy sounding drugs?

    If marijuana is a gateway drug it is because federal law has made it into one. The CSA and Schedule I have created an archway to chemicals that cause addiction and death and in front of this archway it has placed marijuana.

    It is wrong to have a law that encourages ignorance and I believe that is actually what the CSA does with Schedule I. Not allowing a department that is trying to enforce a prohibition to not be able to do any science on the substance in question is ludicrous and ignorant. Nixon wasn’t a good man but he was a good bureaucrat.

    January I saw President Obama say he did not believe marijuana to be as damaging as alcohol and most people agree. February I watched the Director of the National Office of Drug Control Policy get beat up and his lunch money taken away from him by Congressman Blumenauer and Congressman Cohen. I was amazed to discover that I knew more about the history of marijuana prohibition then the man in charge of enforcing it.

    Marijuana prohibition was started by Harry Anslinger as a program of discrimination financed by the timber industry. Richard Nixon was just as bad as Anslinger and slapped a new coat of paint on it in the form of the CSA. Unfortunately by using the CSA to enforce marijuana prohibition he warped it from a cure for our nation’s drug epidemic to actually being the cause.

    Please sir end this failed prohibition and remove marijuana from Schedule I. In fact I would prefer you treat it like alcohol. That was the original finding of the Shaffer commission. The commission said marijuana was not worth the effort of prohibition. Guess what? They were right.

    I agree with you sir there is a lot of experience in Congress and in the White House. But most importantly there is common sense in the Department of Justice.

    I am sending this letter to the President, the Vice-President, my Senators and my Representative and to anyone else willing to read it. Please work with Congress immediately to fix our failed policy. It is 2014 not 1937. The only problem our nation has had with marijuana in that time is the law. It is time to fix that law and cure our nation’s epidemic. Whatever I can do as a citizen please let me know. Thank you.

  16. Andrea

    April 8, 2014 at 9:06 am

    I was pulled over and even honest about the .4 in my cellophane, in my wallet. I’ve been to jail 4 times and have 2 years of probation. I owe the court about $1700 plus $25 dollars a drop and $60 for counseling at the same place I drop. For 2 years. They say they want to help and I don’t believe them because it doesn’t help. They just want our money. What they don’t get it they’ll make more money legalizing it. So many good points have been made in all these comments. It’s not a drug its a plant and you took other plants, turned them into worse drugs and prescribed them to everybody. Theres not one good point why marijuana use isnt legal.

    • Tammy

      April 8, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      i so agree with you

  17. marlon myles

    April 8, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Make marijuana legal because it is a herb not a drug. Drugs are chemical mixed together while marijuana grows natural. Marijuana is way healthier than these drugs on commercials thats getting sued because they injured people love ones. IT isnt near as dangerous as the drug “molly” which is mixed with cocaine
    METH
    Herion

    • pete

      April 8, 2014 at 10:53 am

      Don’t take this line of thinking. Marijuana is a drug, and everyone knows it. A better approach is “Coffee, alcohol, paracetamol, tea, sugar and lots of others are drugs. Should these be illegal”

    • David Hart

      April 8, 2014 at 11:52 am

      Sorry to be pedantic, but cannabis is both a herb and a drug – a drug is just a substance which has an effect on the functioning of the body when ingested – there’s nothing to stop that from including both natural plant-based drugs like cannabis, coca leaves, peyote, coffee beans, drugs extracted from plant materials, like THC, cocaine, mescaline, caffeine, and synthetically built molecules like methadone, mephedrone and MDMA.

      Of course, cannabis, generally is safer than the other drugs you mention, but that’s not because it isn’t a drug; it’s simply a drug that is safer. I think we do ourselves a disservice if, in the effort to legalize, we are seen to be making anti-scientific statements like ‘not a drug’. If we want honesty and scientific accuracy from the prohibitionists, we ought to be able to extend the same courtesy.

  18. Heather

    April 8, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Agreed with everyone above!^^

    #Legalize

    • Heather

      April 8, 2014 at 8:00 am

      Oops I meant everyone below

  19. Dennis

    April 8, 2014 at 6:02 am

    I have tried for years to figure out why the government would willingly look like such lying asses by continuing to stand up in public and quote Reefer Madness. Their lies have become more and more ridiculous as research has exposed the truth and yet the fools fight medical marijuana by screaming, “What will the children think?”
    They will think the same thing they have been thinking for the last forty years — that you can’t trust the government and the police are not your friend.
    This idiotic prohibition has done more harm to the social fabric than all the drugs in the world.

  20. Britt

    April 8, 2014 at 5:55 am

    It should most definately be Legal! Anyone like myself with epilepsy should have a fair and fighting chance at a better quality of life that expensive anti epileptic drugs can’t give us! Marijuana is the only thing that comes close to controlling my seizures…I’ve been on many different AED’ssince being diagnosed at the age of 18, by the time I turned 20 I was dealing with so many disabling side effects that my family started recomending marijuana to get through them, that’s when I discovered that it not only lessened side effects but also controlled my epilepsy enough to come off the AED. If TN won’t do something I will pack my family up like many others with epilepsy in this state and move to CO!

  21. Tina

    April 8, 2014 at 5:33 am

    legalize already!!! government is damn stupid is as stupid does!!

  22. Luis vega

    April 8, 2014 at 5:17 am

    Hands down, across the board revamping of our “Controlled substance act”. Congress must respond 2 The people of our United States. We have more than enough evidence to the contrary of popular beliefs of marijuana as well as our very own FDA approvals in many of our common medicines. In closing I’d like to add that it would be a boost in our economy, a plus in taxation & revenues as well as advances in medical science. To further broaden there research into marijuana applications & other beneficial uses. A better quality of life……..

  23. bill

    April 8, 2014 at 3:30 am

    cannabis should have never been wrong to use in any manner just a few up tight a hole squares with power abuseing the power to make laws and more money making us sick with drugs they prefer bunch a pill poping boozers. I would rather have a guy with a joint in his hand on the road over a beer or a flipping cell phone anyday. it helps with migrains upset stomach depression pain aggression anger list goes on not the same for all but that is why there is so many pills this for this that for what that one causes when puff puff give takes place of half of your meds list and the money the country would make no more det

  24. Charity K

    April 8, 2014 at 2:13 am

    Ok I agree cannabis should be declassified but I do not agree with doing away with the schedule system all together. That is like seeing rain and saying this is a tornado. No I say declassify cannabis only. Those laws are there for a reason. Do you really want people running around high on Mdma and killing people?? I am tired of the Fed GOv passing the buck. :(

    • pete

      April 8, 2014 at 11:00 am

      Please don’t say things like “high on Mdma and killing people”. It makes you sound like you have done the same amount of research as the congress pretends it has. They only get away with that lack of knowledge because we all know they don’t want to change anything yet, and if they let us know they had researched all drugs properly they would have no excuses to legalise or reduce the sentence on a lot more things.

      To save you doing a bit of reseach you probably won’t bother with, MDMA is probably one of the least likely drugs to be on then kill somebody. It gives you feelings of empathy and happyness, while still a hell of a lot more in control of yourself than on alcohol. People not researching shit is what got us in this mess in the first place, so surely knowing your stuff would be a good place to start in getting ourselves out

    • Dennis

      April 8, 2014 at 11:19 am

      Lets say they decriminalize heroin for example, do you really honestly think people are just going to go, “oh it’s not illegal anymore, why don’t I try it?”
      Of course they are not going to do that, the same people using now will still be using if it were decriminalized, no more, no less. Well maybe less if we could focus more on education and treatment for addiction then just tossing people in a cell and calling it good.

    • David Hart

      April 8, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      The laws are there for a very bad reason: namely (taking them at face value) the mistaken belief that punishing people for using or selling a drug will cause less harm than allowing their sale and use under a sensibly regulated market (or, reading between the lines, outright racism, fearmongering and sadomoralism) … but that applies to other drugs no less than cannabis.

      The sensible position is to evaluate each drug on its own merits; determine what its actual risks are, determine what added risks prohibition adds, determine how best to reduce those risks in a regulated market, and then only criminalize the use and sale of a drug if there is strong evidence that doing so actually saves lives and reduces harms overall. Of course we don’t want people running around killing people (although I’m surprised that you pick MDMA as an example – a drug which typically makes the user more peaceful, joyful and loved-up, and one which I don’t think I’ve ever read of in any case where it was alleged that an otherwise neurotypical person was driven to murder by its effects) … but there’s no reason to think that the current laws are doing that with any great reliability, and there is plenty reason to think that allowing criminals to control the drug industry is promoting violence, as well as causing death in other ways such as allowing drug contamination and unpredictability of dosage, and of course, the serious harms to one’s life prospects when an otherwise law-abiding, productive citizen is arrested and convicted of a non-victimising crime.

      We are all in this together; those who enjoy MDMA, alcohol, speed, psychedelics, even those who enjoy heroin or crack, just as much as those who enjoy cannabis. In each case, legal use and regulated production and sale under a system calibrated to minimise public health risks should be the default position, and prohibition resorted to only if it overwhelmingly clear that there is no less coercive way of managing the risks. You should look up Transform Drug Policy Foundation’s ‘Blueprint for regulation’ (free pdf on their website) for useful info on how such regulated systems might best work in practice.

    • Anthony Gonzalez

      April 8, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      You made an excellent point! We shouldn’t do away with the Scheduling system cause that would declassify all drugs. We don’t want people tripping out and acting crazy!

  25. Desiree E Ortiz

    April 8, 2014 at 1:29 am

    THC….. best replacement of a pill!!! If medical marijuana was legal in TEXAS, it would drastically reduce the number of harmful (man-made) pills prescribed. There is an alternative, we just need to make and take this matter seriously and legalize it already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. will paice

    April 8, 2014 at 1:20 am

    i am from the uk and use cannabis to help with cronic back pain,i have seen many drs and none can find a problem but one has just upped my legal meds from synthetic opium to morphine while telling me its only torn ligaments and muscles tissue(try living with just that mr dr)I DON’T WANT TO TAKE MORPHINE PEOPLE,i want to be able to take the best med which is ganja for me.America has been the driving force on the war against cannabis so if your country softens its views then hopefully mine will as well.i feel real sorry for the people looking at jail time for using a plant given to us the human race by mother nature,i have been prosecuted 3 times by the uk government but have never been to jail(yet) for smoking cannabis and i don’t care,i work and pay $700 DOLLARS A MONTH IN TAX TO THIS GOVERNMENT and its ganja that helps me do this,without it i would be on morphine based drugs unable to work pay no tax and cost the state money.Cannabis is not DRUG its a PLANT with many many useful properties, FREE THE WEED

  27. I want to feel better

    April 7, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    According to research legalized marijuana is estimated to bring in about $10 billion dollars within the next 5 years to the United States. People are gonna smoke if its legal or not so why not have the money that is getting spent on marijuana put back into our economy rather then it get sent over seas. I understand that there is a lot to work out with the “system” but the more time government waits to get the ball rolling on legalization the more money we are losing for OUR economy.

    • Dennis

      April 8, 2014 at 11:23 am

      Your forgetting about the for profit prison industry. Over 60% of all inmates are incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses, if you remove all those prisoners the giant for profit prison system we have built up will not have enough inmates to keep the money flowing.

  28. Rose

    April 7, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    LEGALIZE IT!!!

  29. faye medlock

    April 7, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    It is a God given gift a perfect gift(James1:17) our creator gave it to us to heal with knowing he created us with an endocannabinoid system. what best medicine to treat our bodies with other than the cannabinoids that comes from cannabis. Prior to prohibition cannabis was used and found in every pharmacopoeia. We did not have any where near the diseases we have today that big pharma has caused. We need to go back to our roots and back to our medicine a plant that we know works. If you read the bible it is mentioned through out it known as kaneh or kanehbosm(sweet flower of cannabis). our creator is the supreme law and mans law should never dis credit that. According to the US Constitution we are not to obey unjust laws, and this is one law that is very unjust!! De list cannabis and let us have our medicine without fear of prosecution..Let us grow what the creator has given us seeds to grow and flourish.

  30. LynnLynn

    April 7, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    I believe marijuana should be legalized it helps with chronic pain cancer epilepsy manic depressive disorder personality disorders just to name a few things…it is a medication and not legalizing Denys people the right to their medication… like myself I have chronic pain and do not believe in pharmaceutical man made drugs such as pain killers like Vicodin methadone oxycontin oxycodone just to name a few That cause you more problems in the long run because of all of the side effects but because marijuana is not legal I can’t use it I could go to prison if I have a dirty UA for marijuana and not because I’m some huge criminal or did something that was extremely wrong my daughter who is 17 almost 18 years old has scoliosis and kidney failure her back bothers her so much that she has a hard time walking some days but cannot take the pain pills because they affect her kidneys so I allowed her to smoke marijuana which has no ill effect on the kidneys whatsoever so I was deemed a bad parent and put on probation and now and no longer allowed to have my medication

  31. bambi

    April 7, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    I say legalize it but they are to stupid for that. Its not a man made drug its all natural. Given to us by God. Not only that but they are worried about all these drugs when this one thing is awesome for so many conditions. Not only that but let everyone smoke and crime may go down.plus we could be out of debt so fast if they would legalize it

  32. Harriet

    April 7, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Yes.I think if we legalize it. It will help with the economy.

  33. bobby groover

    April 7, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Free the leaf

  34. Moe

    April 7, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Yes, Legalize marijuana so, we can tax the sales like alcohol. I see nothing wrong with the recreational use. The way I see it is that, alcohol is worse than marijuana. Marijuana can and is used as a pain reliever and is better then oxycodone or other pain relief pills.

  35. Ryan

    April 7, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Marijuana helps control my multiple sclerosis symptoms better than the EIGHT prescription medications im prescribed including copaxone a daily injection I give myself. Even montell Williams will agree along with countless other very respected individuals. Marijuana has never killed a single human and never has had any negative side effects the fact that it is illegal and classified the same as heroin and methamphetamine is absurd. It is a natural herb that grows from our mother earth, not created in a lab. Its legalization would help millions of people including myself for medical purposes. Please make this happen it is something that should have never been made to be what the government has made it out to be. Thank you for taking the time to hear my opinion on this subject.

  36. tina ramsey

    April 7, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Yes it should be legalized I suffer from bi-polar and depreasion and narcisistic rage the pills they have tried to give me for these illnesses only make things worse I smoked weed for 17 years and I was very capable of functioning daily in society without lashing out on anyone i felt good had a well balanced diet excercised raised my two small children worked a full time job and took care of my home and yard while smoking and also maintained a clean driving record. I was given pain killers (hydrocodone) for kidney stones and immediately became hooked on them got into trouble was issued 4 yrs probation drug rehab classes weekly drug screens and could not smoke or go to jail my depression got worse bipolar worse narsisistic rage was extremely bad lost my job everything smoked weed and was violated for failing one drug test for marijuanna Went to jail for 9 months for failing a drug test for weed its a shame that the government would rather see people suffer so that they can benefit from a plant so yes it should be legalized for the benefit of all people

  37. nick

    April 7, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Marijuana is not a bad “drug” as people say it is. People see it as a “drug” not what it really dose and cures and helps with I may be 15 but I know what I’m talking about I had a sad depressing life and I even use to cut my self wanting to die. But marijuana soothed me and calmed me down and helped me throw the hard things in life that many people kill them self’s over. This so called “drug” didn’t just get me high and letting me kick back no it took my mind of it and made things better. I haven’t cut in 2 years because of this and I see life to a different standard I take things more serious I do better at school and most of all it help my depression and still seems to, to this day. Legalize it and see if everyone still fights and kills. Are if the depressed put down the razors and blades and live their life. Also if its so bad why dose tobacco and alcohol kill millions and millions a year and marijuana has not one recorded death from it. But what’s legal and what’s not.? What do you support death are life.?

  38. MJ Mathisen

    April 7, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    The Controlled Substances Act should have been buried along with Nixon!

  39. LaNika Hughes

    April 7, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    I am for doing away with it it and make it legal

  40. crystal ramos

    April 7, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Yes yes legalize it already !! Gods gift !!

  41. reynaldo dangelo

    April 7, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    It is about time!
    How can such a monster mistake is still in the books?
    It is a plant for God’s sake!! It is a medicinal plant that is saving lives!!
    It is not enough the Sanjay Gupta CNN documentaries?
    What is this people waiting for??

    Reynaldo

  42. Jackie Davies

    April 7, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Please legalize marijaunna it’s helps me with my stress anxiety BIpolar Nd my Adhd Nd my EATTING

  43. Anonymous nurse

    April 7, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    I’m a nurse and smoked from time to time to deal with chronic migraines and back pain due to walking on concrete floors for 12-16 hours a day. Until it almost cost me my career and livelihood from a random drug screen. Now I just suffer through the pain because nothing else touches the pain. Legalize it!!!!!

  44. Jackie Davies

    April 7, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Please do change the Federal law of medical marijuana I had my kids taken for smoking medical marijuana I have my medical card to use so they took my kids because I was smoking BUH I never smoked around my kids I’m a good parent I think them fixing the Matter ASAP WILL HELP ME GET MY KIDS BCOZ I GOT THREE BOYS IN FOSTER CARE THEY HAVE TERM ANTED MY Reunification Services BECUX I WAS SMOKING ND IF YALL CHANGE THE FEDERAL LAW I MIGHT HAVE A CHANCE TO GET MY CASE CLOSED BY CPS MY KIDS ARE AGES 3,2, ND 1 MONTH OLD IDONT WANT MY KIDS TO BE IN FOSTER CARE MUCH LONGER PLEASE

  45. Michelle

    April 7, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Yes! I believe this will work! Hoping it will be legal before next year! I’m tired of having to hide it for no reason! It is very useful and there no other way around that! Get over it and on to the real problems in the world!

  46. michael levesque

    April 7, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    I think this ridiculous list needs to be revised or done away with immediately.Marijuana should be leagally used for medical purposes nationally and leagalizing it for recreational use should also be implemented.

  47. David

    April 7, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    You can’t patent nature,how can you make nature illegal. Next question, how does a government that is sending 300 pre-rolled “marijuana cigarettes” for medicinal purposes, every month, get away with putting marijuana on schedule I claiming it has “no accepted medicinal value” ?!?

    I am on disability for chronic pain and am currently prescribed Oxycontin AND Vicodin. My doctor is afraid that if she can’t take me off the opioids or greatly reduce my dose, that I could die of respiratory failure in my sleep. She also said that if it was legal she would write a scrip for “medical marijuana” in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, if left to the states, my home state will be the last to leagalize it. If the feds would step up, I could hopefully get free of the narcotics AND get better pain relief at the same time!!

    Unfortunately we are governed by cowards! The president wants Holder to reschedule it so he is off the hook. Holder wants congress involved so HE is off the hook. Congress is afraid to do anything for fear of losing their jobs. What they ALL need to figure out is that with the vast majority of Americans(according to recent polls) want marijuana law reforms, changing things may just be the only thing that saves their jobs!!

  48. chris

    April 7, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Hell yeah legalize it it helps me control my anger

  49. Matt

    April 7, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    De-schedule. Do you folks realize by re-scheduling it opens the door so wide for pharma companies to do extracts and add all kinds of chemical crap that is poison? Seriously make sure you are fighting for the right thing. Education is key. Free the plant!

  50. Sandy

    April 7, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Make it legal!! It controls my epilepsy!

    • Adam

      April 7, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      i wouldn’t say it controls my epilepsy but i have had a few petite seizure spells that have been helped by smoking a little. GA just passed a bill for CBD pills to help with childhood and some adult epilepsy. it’ll be a while before we see doctors prescribing them but its still a nice step forward.

      • Sharon

        April 8, 2014 at 10:34 am

        GA’s CBD only oil bill didn’t pass on the last day of the legislature due to an amendment that would have included insurance coverage for children with Autism. We are calling for Governor Deal to decriminalize and allow the medicine to flow to the patients through the underground collective system we already have in most states, including Georgia. They seem afraid of the End of Prohibition that is coming soon. So scared of it that they will let folks die to try to combat it.

    • tony

      April 8, 2014 at 12:29 am

      I have been smoking Marijuana since before an apartment fire I experienced 14 years ago because of the epilepsy I have had my entire life. The arthritis has gotten worse and I have been referred to a rheumatologist instead of letting me smoke natural herb I am supposed to take opiates as pain killers?! I will have to travel halfway across the state in order to see the opium dr, where I could take a short trip across the river to see my neurologist to get a medicinal card if the bill would ever pass for medicinal use in the state of LA! It’s being talked about in Shreveport but that’s halfway across the state from my position here.

    • Brian

      April 8, 2014 at 7:13 am

      Me too!

  51. Tod Lafleur

    April 7, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    end prohibition

  52. Debbie Genry

    April 7, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    If Science is correct Marijuana is Medicine, A Medicine with no known cause of death or side effects ever reported, Illegal. People are dying and becoming disable in record numbers from Pescription medication that are legal and pescribed by a doctor. You can even tell him what you would like to take because they advertise these man made drugs on television all through out the day and night. Then you have the lawyers sueing the manufacturer of these drugs because you were either disabled from taking it or you have a relative that died from taking it. Marijuana 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. 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 Alabama have suffered long enough.
    Hemp/cannabis/marijuana has been cultivated for thousands of years. It has been used to make a long list of products, rope, sails, paper, etc. Its oil is one of the most nutritious in nature. Cannabis has been part of the world pharmacopeia for thousands of those years. It is one of the 50 fundamental herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). For many conditions, it has long been the treatment of choice.

    I smoked to relax and also for pain and depression and got busted for less than 1/8th ounce, has cost me many hundreds of dollars, forced me into drug rehab class, monthly humiliating urine tests and restricted license, all for something that made my chronic pain bearable. Since quitting my pain is worse, and my depression is mind numbing. Yet alcohol is legal? Makes depression worse, does nothing for pain, and causes a multitude of health problems. I don’t get it.

    Marijuana has been proven time and time again to have value to treat medical conditions. Regulate and tax it like alcohol and focus on drugs like Meth and heroin that are life destroying and ending.

    • Kathi Martinez

      April 7, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      Best comment I also feel as you do,I have arthritis and smoke to ease the pain, scared as hell of the pain advertisements on tv, is rather suffer then take somthing that has only side effects known as of now howabout 2-3 yrs.down the road I say legalize it for medical purposes . Thank you for the open honesty

    • crystal ramos

      April 7, 2014 at 4:53 pm

      I agree

    • mike back

      April 7, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      i have cancer and pain pills just doesn’t do the trick.i wish they would make it legal cause i sure as hell would rather buy it before taking pills.every time i turn around they are giving me a drug test that is costing 800.00 a pop to see if i am abuseing the pain pills.

  53. Martee

    April 7, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Yes they need to do away with the current drug scheduling system. It should have never been enacted. Its like everything else in politics, if you have the money you can get what you want. But with that being said, I do not trust Congress on getting this done. I found it quite amusing that Atty Gen. Eric Holder was quoted saying “there is a great deal of expertise that exists in Congress”, in refering to MJ and the scheduling of it and other drugs. Now that is funny.

    • steve frederick

      April 8, 2014 at 7:41 am

      cannabis is made by GOD and cannot be bad for you, however drugs[lsd,meth,cocane,asprin, ect]are man made and man CANNOT make any thing perfect except to create life as GOD intended.

  54. Paul R. Dawson

    April 7, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Genesis 1:12 ALL SEED BEARING FRUITS I GIVE TO YOU. And so it is written and so shall it be. AMEN

  55. Butch

    April 7, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    It’s about time our government fixes the old train of thought and moves ahead. The uninformed public is finally hearing the real facts and learning that our government has been lying and stopping all positive testing on marijuana. It’s hard to admit when you’ve screwed up, but it is time,

  56. faye medlock

    April 7, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    I think that cannabis should be de listed from the drug schedule since it is a plant, not a man made drug. It has the healing components that our bodies need to exist. The government has known it is medicine and has patents to prove so..so stop it with the greed and control and give the sick and suffering people of this nation what they need. We are not stoners just wanting to get high, we are people,voters and citizens that need this medicine to have a better quality of life, and it is past time our government releases the strong hold it has on the people for their choices of medicine.I am sure that if any of congress’s family ever needed a life saving medicine and knew cannabis could do it that they themselves would use it, so please I plead with you to free it for our sick and suffering to use without fear of prosecution.

  57. Derek

    April 7, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    The worst thing happened when Nancy Regan convinced the President of the. United States her husband Ronald to have people drug tested and found a way to have the government meddle in our personal lives. How many people have lost out on work because they would rather smoke a bit of pot then drink a six pack of Beer? It has gone beyond time to decriminalize marijuana across the country. It is natural, non addictive, and can be taxed for revenue by the growers and distributors. It’s time to take back our government, it’s time to Go Green.

  58. Chris

    April 7, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Yes,legalize marijuana it does nothing but good to peoples lives

  59. lrg

    April 7, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    There not going to legalize it dont you see people.. the government rather be in debt then to give us what the lord made for us.. the government is the anti crist Thats the last thing that they are going to do..

  60. danny lease

    April 7, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    hate to say this,but i had a great job making 70k a year,my company went out of busns.1500 people lost there jobs ,it really hurt my little town of 15k people,im 56 years old,,not a young man anymore,,,the job market was allready hard for me,but,one night i was at a party had to much to drink,a friend said ,hey i know where we can go get some weed,,,i was drunk an said i go with you,didnt even make it out of town an we get pull over,,now remember im drunk,,i just remember i had a gram of weed in my pocket,,so just before we get pull over i take it out an start eating it,,,got it in my mouth,,trying to swallow it,had no water,mouth is very dry,,so i had some in my teeth still,,,the cop smell it on me,i guess,ask to look into my mouth,only to seea little in my teeth,,any ways a long story short i was charge with it,,,a feloney,for eating a gram of weed,wtf,,no because of my stupid actions of that night being drunk an not thanking straight,an not knowing the law,i got a feloney on my record,an to make matters worst,,now its like even harder now for me to get a job,in fact i had to go work at mcdonals,for 8 dollors a hour at like 25 hrs a week,,,,these are the things that hurt me….im 56 years old….lost a very good job no fault of me an i was drunk an ate 1 gram of weed…an now i got a feloney on my record for life,,all over a gram of weed….tell me is that fair???if theres anyone out there that can help a old cool man out get a job,,,that would me nice,,i still got some good years left in me,,still a very hard worker,an thanks you have a bless day

    • Jeremy Monroe

      April 8, 2014 at 4:59 am

      I call bull shit. There is no state where eating weed is a felony. You would get simple possession, obstruction of justice both not felonies. Maybe the D.U.I would get u a felony if it wad your second offence. Most felony weed charges are attempt to distubute more then a few oz. Or a couple other factories like firearms ext.

    • Tina

      April 8, 2014 at 5:31 am

      not certain where you live, but in my county at the Unemployment office (they call it work source) they have programs to help felons re-enter the work force (NOT that in any way should have recieved a felony) they also have a special program (get this, funded by you know who, the government of course)to bond ex-felons, its free and maybe the local office can help you, we have hired ex-felons this way and it has been successful. so sorry this happened to you, my hubby has a felony from 35 yrs ago I tried to get it expunged from his record but since he had a similar offense 10 years later they wont get rid of the old one only the newest offense so he has to carry this felony around his whole life, even if marijana gets legal he is still stuck with it. If you had hired a good lawyer he/she may have been able to have it reduced for you especially if your record was clean to begin with, in seven years you can petition to have it removed. again, sympathies!!

  61. Allen S

    April 7, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Prohibition never has and never will work! Decriminalize all drugs. It’s the only logical thing to do. Consenting adults, ya know?

    • WILLIE

      April 7, 2014 at 7:48 pm

      There is no LOGIC in our government!

  62. alex

    April 7, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I agree 100% I recently went to jail for 3 grams of marijuana and I’m having to pay 600$ for my ticket and also a 600$ bail bond also im being kicked out of my mothers house because of this and i am only 18 with no job atm how is ruining peoples lives justice its not if anything the people who enforce such ignorant laws are the real criminals

  63. tim

    April 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    ITS NOT A DRUG…~

  64. jontae jordan

    April 7, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    It shoud very well be legalized!

  65. shawn

    April 7, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Yes. Legalize everything and put the money into rehabilitation and education.

    • Dennis

      April 8, 2014 at 11:32 am

      You hit the nail right on the head.

  66. Dee Jay

    April 7, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I say we deal with marijuana first and see what can be worked on from there

    • johnnyboy

      April 7, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      I absolutely agree with this article and side with dee jay!!!

  67. Tyler

    April 7, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    It should have never even been put on the Schedule I list.
    The way that drugs are categorized and distributed needs to be changed.

  68. Marcin

    April 7, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Yes I agree I was caught with the scedual 1 drug weed now I’m facing 8 fellonies on probation and I’m using drugs like heroin and cocaine so I can pass a urine test I have lost my freedom and to get off probation am going take jail time and have fellonies on my record I have never felt so alone in this all over a natural plant

  69. Pamela Smith

    April 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Yes!

    • Timothy Ley

      April 7, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      Have welfare recipients grow hemp and are our right to utilize it cannabis comes from God

  70. Krystal Mawer

    April 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    It should be legal

    • Baqi Coles

      April 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      The of regulating so called “drugs” like Cannabis that have many Positive substantial uses and then keeping deadly pharmaceutical drugs legal has always escaped me. I am 100% for the end of current regulation and enforcement schemes of America for Marijuana, Hemp and many other subjects as well. Its time that we come together as the human race for the benefit of us as well as the Earth as one. I just cant wait for the day that Cannabis is recognized as one of our most useful plants World wide, & i definitely see the progress of getting rid of these childish regulations and policies. Go green everyone!!!!! :)

  71. Mr Elmo

    April 7, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Bout damn time!

  72. Krystal Mawer

    April 7, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    They should legal it it is not a bad drug

  73. loren

    April 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Marijuana is a proven medicinal plant. It should have never been a schedule 1 drug.

  74. brad

    April 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Yes. Legalize it all ready, it will improve our economy and all these people going green how could that end badly. Mostly everyone would be cool with each other.also the most dangerous thing about marijuana is getting cought with it.we can stop the paranoia, its immoral to cage humans for a natural herb that grows on planet earth. GO GREEN PEOPLE for the better!

  75. Jon

    April 7, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    We have all seen the tax incomes from pot sales in Colorado, if that is not a wake up call to the rest of the world, let alone the nation, then I don’t know what is. I’ve been smoking a while now, to be honest, i couldn’t tell you how long, but every time I go to the doctor’s office for a check-up, i’m perfectly healthy, except for the AS, which weed helps to significantly lower the pain, I’m 19, and I don’t want to go to prison for taking medications.

  76. Bradley Ridgel

    April 7, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I think this would make the United states a lot of money could get us out of debt

  77. Earl

    April 7, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    We obviously need an overhaul for many many many reasons. Corruption, special interest groups, and the D.E.A. being three of them. But there are many many more problems. But this is something I guess.

  78. alex

    April 7, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    This is the next step to legalization my friebds, let’s hope for the best :,)

  79. Linda Gray

    April 7, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    I am had arthritis in my spine and have done all the legal meds but the illegal work the best. Just saying

  80. Steven Armstrong

    April 7, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    II honestly don’t think marijuana should be considered a bad drug. If they made it legal and each state put a tax on it I think that would help each state huge, just think people will be spending more money on food buying a lot more fun activities to use around the house such as the ps4 Xbox 360. You don’t hear on the news ever that someone was driving high and smashed in to another vehicle like we hear about drunk driving.aas long as we can get it to where the used in moderation would be legal I think that would help everybody out

  81. Sue McDonald

    April 7, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    He has the support of the People…that should count more than Congressional support…

  82. macky

    April 6, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    let’s hope for the best. recreational use is a good thing in moderation. just think people will listen to more music and all the economic benefit saving forests

  83. Gail

    April 6, 2014 at 10:51 am

    YES! YES! YES!

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