The recent decision by Governor Gregoire and Governor Chafee (later joined by Vermont’s Governor Shumlin) to formally petition to take marijuana out of Schedule 1 is a pretty big deal, though not necessarily in the way some people think.

Now even conservative publications like the Bakersfield Californian are jumping on the cause:

The governors of Washington and Rhode Island last week sought to clear up the legal gray area created by the decriminalization of medical marijuana in their states by asking the federal government to reclassify the drug. Gov. Jerry Brown ought to join them. […]

Sixteen states have adopted medical marijuana laws. The other 14 should join the effort initiated by Washington and Rhode Island — and it should start with Brown.

In a sad irony, to have the next cannabis rescheduling petition come from government entities rather than citizens, gives it more weight — or at least makes it harder for the DEA to sit on it for years, bat it around for more years, and then finally spit out a denial that’s hardly more than “Get out of here, you’re bothering me.”

This scheduling petition could lead to a crack in the fed’s armor.

And make no mistake about it, keeping marijuana in Schedule 1 is of ultimate importance for the feds. They need that to be able to continue to exert the control they wish in terms of foreign policy, pharmaceutical policy, and a lot of other policy. Breaking it out of Schedule 1 will crack their death grip on it and make it easier to move toward an eventual goal of legalization.

Schedule 2 in and of itself is not the goal. Oh, sure, Schedule 2 would help ease the path for more research (which would be wonderful), but it’s not going to solve the fed-state conflict or the plant-pharmaceutical conflict.

The Bakersfield Californian imagines:

A reclassification of the drug could potentially lead to marijuana being dispensed by pharmacies, which would be safer than, and preferable to, the hodgepodge system of dispensaries, doctor “recommendations,” patient cards and uneven enforcement that has resulted in illicit, back-door distribution to recreational users and unnecessary difficulties for legitimate medical users.

Yes and no. It’ll definitely help states come up with better systems, but the conflicts and problems won’t go away until we’re able to come up with a complete policy of state-regulated legal marijuana for both medical and recreational use that can’t be touched by the feds.

The Governors’ rescheduling petition is just one more useful tool in our fight against the federal government’s unilateral and undemocratic attempt to control cannabis policy for the world.

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7 Responses to Reclassification

  1. Duncan20903 says:

    It’s really amazing just how few Californians realize that the Compassionate Use Act (CUA) hasn’t even the proverbial snowball’s chance of being repealed. For all their bitching and moaning have the prohibitionists managed to make even a serious effort to get a repeal vote on the ballot? They couldn’t even do that in Montana 2010. Montana requires ~30,000 signatures to get an initiative on the ballot. They managed to get to the signature collecting part and promptly ran out of time. [game show buzzer] California now requires over 500,000. The only way to repeal or amend a citizen generated ballot initiative in California once it’s passed is with another citizen generated ballot initiative that has specific language repealing the target ballot initiative. A California ballot initiative may contain language authorizing amendment or even repeal, but absent that, they can’t touch it.

    The CUA will likely still be in effect until the day that California finally crumbles into the sea.

  2. Bailey says:

    You’re exactly right you you say this is among the best first step to break the fed’s death hold on marijuana. Is there anything regular readers like us can do to support this reclassification effort?

    • darkcycle says:

      Bailey, if you live in a medical State, write your Governor and ask him/her to join the petition. If you don’t, write the Whitehouse, and tell them you support re-scheduling cannabis.

  3. warren says:

    When are these old fud-de-duddy anti cannabis zealots going to croak?

    • kaptinemo says:

      To put it crudely, they are ‘croaking’. The ‘they’ being the pre-Viet Nam War, pre-Watergate generation, whose ignorance about illicit drugs is only paralleled by their trust in government not to lie to them.

      The problem is the professional DrugWarriors have always been able to recruit new blood because the fiscal gravy train supporting the DrugWar is still in operation…and there’s plenty of people out there who’ll pimp their principles (if any) cheaply for a salary.

  4. claygooding says:

    It is reaching the point where the only supporters of the WosD are people being paid to do so,,that is the costs that are going up,,that is why the ONDCP has to ask for more money every year and I am anxious to see just how much increase they need this budget hearing.

    With countries all over the world making legalization or decriminalization laws on marijuana(the drug wars meat and potatoes)the ONDCP has to “buy” them back into the fold or have our state department start putting trade sanctions and diplomatic pressure on them,,either costs big bucks.

    Our biggest hope is that the countries leaders are just as greedy as we are.

  5. claygooding says:

    Part of the DEA/ONDCP diplomacy is falling apart.

    Colombia’s troubled intelligence agency shuttered

    BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia’s intelligence service has been led by hard-charging men drawn to the cloak-and-dagger world in the government’s battle against drug traffickers and ultra-violent armed groups.

    The new man in charge, however, is an affable bankruptcy lawyer and former university professor, and his role is decidedly different from his predecessors’. Ricardo Giraldo is dismantling the agency, which had once been considered a key component of the U.S.-backed effort to roll back the cocaine trade but has been paralyzed by one embarrassing scandal after another.

    One former director of the Administrative Department of Security, or DAS, as the agency is known here, has been convicted of conspiring to kill union activists. A former high-ranking manager is accused of collaborating with death squads to assassinate a television humorist.

    Dozens of agents have been implicated in what prosecutors call a systematic effort to illegally spy on the Supreme Court and opposition politicians, which some former DAS agents said was done with U.S. equipment and funding.

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