Getting marijuana off the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of Schedule I drugs is the Holy Grail for the Cannabis Industry.
You know why that is: As long as the Feds stigmatize marijuana and have it in the same category as heroin, LSD, and peyote, the industry will be hamstrung when it comes to banking and being able to write-off reasonable business expenses.
No matter how many states decide to legalize marijuana — and with Louisiana giving the OK to medical marijuana last week, that number is up to 25 — the Cannabis Industry will continue to struggle until the Feds finally come around and lighten up.
The Feds are killing marijuana research
But, there’s another big reason why removing the Schedule I stigma is so important: It’s really hindering marijuana research.
Reclassifying marijuana would make it easier for researchers to work with the plant, which is currently subject to strict limitations and officially can be acquired only from a single government garden. Schedule 2 drugs include morphine, methamphetamine and oxycodone.
“I think it’s just common sense to allow good science to be done,” said congressman Jared Polis, who supports the change. Polis, a Colorado Democrat, has repeatedly pushed President Obama’s administration to loosen restrictions and enforcement around cannabis use.”
David Cinic, the CEO of Pazoo, a company that runs marijuana testing labs in Colorado, California, and Washington, told the newspaper that, “No one is asking to make it legal overnight. We’re saying, let’s start doing some research on it. It’s common sense. People are looking for alternatives.”
Cunic, who is also a physical therapist, said he believes marijuana could serve as a safer alternative to prescription opiate painkillers. He said medical professionals are ethically obligated to empower patients with knowledge, and many doctors are concerned about the risks associated with highly addictive and potentially deadly opiates.”
All will benefit from cannabis research
One of the reasons this is important is because there is not much in the way of serious research that shows the impact and effectiveness of medical marijuana. Although there has been a great deal of anecdotal evidence that it works from people who have used it to treat various medical conditions, the DEA’s refusal to remove cannabis from Schedule I has stopped a great many researchers from doing studies on marijuana effectiveness.
Of course, there’s another side to this that may trouble cannabis advocates: what is research studies show that medical marijuana really doesn’t help as much as it’s advocates believe? Many states have only legalized medical cannabis because they have bought into the medical arguments. What do they so if those go away?
It’s a reasonable concern, but one that the Cannabis Industry needs to deal with. If the rationale for medical marijuana is faulty — and I don’t think it is — better to get to that issue sooner rather than later and deal with it head on.
Everyone in the industry will benefit from solid research into the effectiveness of marijuana for medical use. I don’t think there’s any question about that, but until the DEA gets off their ass and does something, research will continue to be yet another victim of the Federal Government’s short-sighted and old-fashioned drug policy.
Marijuana research needs to happen. Any reasonable person knows this. Why don’t the Feds figure it out, too?