President Biden’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) suddenly wants to flex its muscles in the realm of marijuana. In one of the best examples of “if you have to tell people you’re the boss, you aren’t the boss” in ages, they sent a letter to Congressional Cannabis Caucus co-chair Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). Signed off by DEA Acting Chief of the Office of Congressional Affairs Michael Miller, he tried outlining the directive President Biden gave in October 2022. Specifically, how they do not need to follow the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommendation.
“DEA has the final authority to schedule, reschedule, or de-schedule a drug under the Controlled Substances Act, after considering the relevant statutory and regulatory criteria and HHS’s scientific and medical evaluation…DEA is now conducting its review.”
Blumenauer and 31 other bipartisan lawmakers previously wrote the DEA to implore them to think logically on the subject. “While Congress works to send the President comprehensive cannabis legislation, the urgency of full de-scheduling should inform DEA’s position on overall cannabis reform and appropriate enforcement centered on advancing public safety, not unjust criminalization. Marijuana’s continued inappropriate scheduling is both arcane and out-of-touch with the will of the American people.”
At this point, we have all but proven the lack of problems marijuana causes. The DEA knows it, the FBI knows it, the HHS knows it. Unlike alcohol, you don’t see people going out and causing accidents solely on it. You don’t see people overdosing on it or dying from it. You see cancer patients, people with depression, anorexia, or even diabetes getting help from it. While the medicinal uses are vast (just as they can be with alcohol like vodka), its recreational purposes are just as valid.
Unsurprisingly, the DEA’s response to the letter was insulting at best.
Further, the HHS recommendation that it be listed as Schedule III does little to change the regulations and only opens the door a bit for certain banking and tax regulations. It also, unfortunately, helps to undo the legal verbiage of certain states’ frameworks for both medicinal and recreational cannabis.
While easily addressed and fixed, the legal gymnastics the left is playing here is comical. With six former DEA heads and five former White House drug czars writing to the current DEA administrator, they think they can offer some expertise. They want to “warn” them that it could hyperinflate the market and take away the tools they use to fight the cartels.
The truth of the matter is that the Mexican cartels aren’t involved in marijuana at the level they were from the 1960s to the early 2000s. Since Colorado started legalizing recreational marijuana back on New Year’s Day in 2014, Americans have begun growing their own, and many of the black market grows are being shunned in place of legal cannabis. Even if it’s being run by car and plane from legal states to illicit states, people are choosing it over stuff they don’t know.
Quite frankly, in 2024, most Americans could use to relax with a toke and a smile.
We have seen videos of Parkinson’s patients stopping their violent twitches from the first tokes of a joint. Kids with seizures having them greatly reduced from low THC strains like Charlotte’s Web and veterans using high THC strains for heavy PTSD and pain relief are all too well documented. Clips of people dealing with a sudden loss or celebrating an achievement with some marijuana in its various forms are common too.
Don’t let the 14-member strong group of GOP Congressmen fool you. There aren’t reasons to keep marijuana as a Schedule I substance. That is unless you are making money on for-profit prisons and on other investments that profit from these cases. As it stands, they already have the FDA sending Georgia pharmacies that dispensing THC is unlawful since it is Schedule I.
Truth be told, the DEA never had any business legislating marijuana. It should have been treated like the agricultural crop it is.