Jacob Sullum in Forbes: What Would Rescheduling Marijuana Accomplish?



In a CNN interview that aired last week, President Obama incorrectly claimed that moving marijuana to a less restrictive legal category would require an act of Congress. He therefore did not address the merits of reclassifying marijuana administratively. From the perspective of people who believe marijuana should be legalized for medical or general use, Jacob Sullum writes in Forbes, the advantages of such a move are not as substantial as you might think. But neither are they, as UCLA drug policy expert Mark Kleiman claims, "identically zero." Sullum says rescheduling marijuana would have some significant practical effects, perhaps the most important of which would be to advance a more honest discussion of the drug's hazards and benefits.

Read the article.

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  1. Stop calling that guy an expert!

  2. In a CNN interview that aired last week, President Obama incorrectly claimed that moving marijuana to a less restrictive legal category would require an act of Congress. He therefore did not address the merits of reclassifying marijuana administratively.

    He has a pen and he has a telephone! What good are they if he ain’t gonna use ’em?

    1. Right?

      But rescheduling marijuana doesn’t grow the state or advance him politically, so it’s not worth doing.

    2. He’s not going to use them to reduce his Athoratah.

  3. “What Would Rescheduling Marijuana Accomplish?”

    Not nearly as much as doing away with drug scheduling altogether would.

  4. Good article. While rescheduling wouldn’t do everything, certainly, it would accomplish some good. You’ve more than demonstrated some significant effects. I have difficulty interpreting Kleiman’s comments as anything other than the partisan water-carrying that he tried to accuse you of in turn.

    1. Projection, how the fuck do they work?!

  5. It’s settled law, you crazy goombahs!

  6. …rescheduling marijuana would make it easier to conduct research on the plant’s medical utility, which could lead to cannabis-derived medications that would pass muster with the FDA.

    Which is great incentive not to reschedule it. The last thing drug warriors need is to allow the drug pushers to come at them armed with research.

    1. Well, if you think about it, this is more than just bureaucratic inertia and stubbornness. It’s pretty clear that weed has some serious potential medical uses. If it ever gets rescheduled and they start making miraculous drugs from weed, what does that make every ardent drug warrior, compliant politician, and weed hater look like? Like the vicious, hateful sadists that they actually are. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if a lot of these anti-weed people are just fighting to prevent themselves looking like total scum to the general public. Their legacies will be tarnished!

      1. There’s always other drugs for the drug warriors to pin ribbons on each other’s chests over combating. I say if it’s a conspiracy on weed it’s Big Pharma and Big Prison and Big Rehab.

        1. arent the drug warriors a subset of Big Prison?

      2. But there’s at least one easy face-saving way out of it, and that is to say that the abuse of marijuana was solely in the smoking of it, and to allow non-smoked forms of it such as dietary supplements to be marketed as exempt preparations. They can always say, we weren’t wrong, we were just misunderstood, it was just the smoking that was bad and that we wanted to prevent; now there are safe ways for people to get the product.

        1. Why is it so wrong to admit you were wrong? Isn’t the ability to recognize fault somehow mitigating compared to the wrongdoer who can’t?

          Admit, have a token firing or few, and change your behavior (including firing anyone who can’t adjust). The last part being key to the process, of course.

          Additionally, misunderstanding stops being an excuse after year one of the mistake, as per my arbitrarily decided standard of understandation.

  7. Aren’t some of the criminal penalties under the CSA linked to the schedule? I know that some are linked to marijuana specifically, but pretty sure that’s not the case with all of them.

  8. In view of the treaties etc. I think the most face-saving and flexible route for the administration to go would be either via exempting preparations and/or acknowledging edible cannabis products as dietary supplements. Either would keep controls on the growing of cannabis and possession of the raw product, but preparations of it (conceivably every preparation of it that someone applies for exemption of) could be exempted from all controls by virtue of their lacking “potential for abuse” due to their formul’n, packaging, or any unsaid excuse conceivable, and could then be dispensed without prescription under both the CSA & FFDCA. As a dietary supplement (not drugs) edible cannabis products could also be sold without prescription, and DEA regs require decontrol of a product which may be dispensed without a prescription under the FFDCA. Therapeutic claims could still not legally be made by the sellers of such dietary supplements.

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