The November election will be a pivotal moment for the future of U.S. marijuana policy. Voters in five states, including California, will decide whether to legalize weed for recreational use by adults, and citizens in four others will cast ballots on whether to allow medical marijuana.
If all of the measures succeed, it could force federal lawmakers to reconcile restrictive federal drug laws with shifting public opinion. Marijuana is classified by the federal government as a Schedule I controlled substance, which puts it in the same category as heroin and LSD, yet the latest national polls show 57 percent of U.S. adults now think weed should be legal.
Removing marijuana from Schedule I would require an act of Congress; federal regulators have repeatedly stymied efforts to downgrade weed to a less restrictive classification — and now we know why. VICE News obtained 118 pages of documents (viewable in full below) that show why the feds believe marijuana is not medicine, despite the fact that 25 states and Washington, D.C., now have medical marijuana laws on the books. [Read more at VICE News]