Written by Kenzo
Much debate has taken place over the recent warming of the political climate and swift scramble by the House and Cabinet members to change various laws of the land, has made it’s way to the cannabis community with much trepidation. Although the recent bipartisan government spending budget approval for $1 Trillion managed to help both the House and the Trump administration from provoking a government shutdown, it did not include funding for a potentially contriving plan to crack down on State marijuana laws and prevent the 44 states, Washington D.C., and the territories of Guam and Puerto Rico “from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana”. Congress decision to block this particular budget requisition made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a measure which would reverse the Obama-era directive which limited the interference of the DEA and federal agencies from the development and enforcement of cannabis laws established at the state level. Further actions were taken by pro-cannabis advocacy groups, as well as House representatives in favor of removing cannabis form the Controlled Substances Act.
Former Alabama Senator, hardline anti-cannabis crusader, and serving United States Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, made it very clear that “I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store, and I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana; so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful” Sessions shared with a law enforcement officer in April 2017. The DEA (US Drug Enforcement Administration) fact sheet reported 12,989 opioid related deaths in 2016, a stat which eclipses the large ZERO deaths resulting from cannabis. Contradictory to AG Sessions’s claim that cannabis is “only slightly less awful” than heroin, US data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that of the identified 52,404 individuals who suffered of a drug overdose in 2015, a significant 33,066 (63.1%) cases involved an opioid, such as heroin and/or prescription opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.
“We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it’s in fact a very real danger”. said Attorney General Sessions, a substance he regarded as “only slightly less awful” than herion, an illicit opioid concentrate. a fact which was deemed dubious by fact-check moderators. AG Sessions comment about how he was “astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana.” was dismissed by factcheck.org which found that medical marijuana may not ‘solve’ the opioid epidemic, rather research suggests that legalization may curb opioid overdoses, a stat which has surged in recent years.
Moving on from one vice comparison to another, “You can’t have the President of the United States of America [former President Barak Obama] talking about marijuana like it is no different than taking a drink… It is different… It is already causing a disturbance in the states that have made it legal.” proclaims AG Sessions as he shared his perspective on alcohol, a substance which had been ranked as the #1 most harmful drug with a score of 72 on a scale from 1 to 100. The 2010 study was conducted by David Nutt, a professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, and other members of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, a group of drug experts in the UK, which ranked 20 drugs based on 16 criteria. Cannabis was ranked as the 8th with a score of 20; heroin coming in 2nd with a score of 55.
Understanding the 120+ scientifically identified cannabinoids found in the gross phenotypes of the various cannabis cultivars (i.e. strains) requires research, social awareness, and political transformation at both the state and Federal levels. The recent action by the DEA to reclassify CBD by placing it on its dreaded Schedule 1 category, former President, Barak Obama, signed the new final rule regarding the creation of a new “Administration Controlled Substances Code Number” for “Marihuana Extract” (their antiquated spelling, not current) as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act. What this means is that CBD extracts which have trace amounts of, or absolutely no THC, and are therefore non-psychoactive, are now reclassified to be on par with psychoactive or THC-containing cannabis, heroin, LSD and peyote. CBD, short for cannabidiol is considered a unique cannabinoid, one which alters the way our body’s cb1 & cb2 receptors behave with other cannabinoids like THC, tetrahydrocannabinol. The new rule became effective on January 13, 2017.
This new rule may be an attempt to economically control naturally occurring cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, both what we refer to in the U.S. as cannabis as well as industrial hemp. The DEA, like the FDA, are allowing Big Pharma to pursue its business model of biopiracy, i.e. a process where the biotech and pharmaceutical industry attempts to find a plant or something from Nature, study its constituents by learning how to extract, study, modify and ultimately patenting the natural medicine, only to replace it with a synthetic formulation.
Help stop CBD from becoming a Schedule 1 drug. Please visit change.org to petition and deliver a compassionate message to both the signing President Barak Obama, and current President Donald Trump to request this positive change for the people.