There have been a lot of people that had really high hopes that 2016 might be the year that the Drug Enforcement Agency finally reschedules cannabis. Countless others have had a less optimism about the issue after they’ve waited decades for the agency to take this step in the right direction, and have been let down year after year. Unfortunately this year is looking like it might be more of the same and the pessimists might be right, much to all of our dismay. It’s already coming up on mid July, which means that the DEA has completely missed their own deadline that they set for themselves on making a decision. How odd that the DEA can’t even be held accountable for their own goals, let alone the will of the majority of our nation’s population. Let’s hope that they don’t blow their deadline by anything more than a couple weeks or months, because I don’t think many of us will be able to stay optimistic about this long overdue change much longer.
Way back in April of 2016 the Drug Enforcement Agency gave us some of the most promising news we’d heard in a long time in a letter they sent to lawmakers. The DEA claimed that they were going to be reviewing information on rescheduling cannabis and hoped to release their decision during the first half of this year. I’m not sure who else has been counting, but as June passed so did any chance of the DEA actually keeping their word. In fact, the DEA has said that they have no update whatsoever regarding their current thoughts on whether they’ll reschedule cannabis. For those of you that don’t already know, cannabis is federally classified as a schedule 1 drug. This means that the substance is thought to have absolutely no medical benefits and makes it virtually impossible to even use for scientific studies. This is the worst classification that exists in our country and is reserved for only the hardest drugs like heroin, and of course cannabis…. By keeping cannabis as a schedule 1 drug the government has created a paradox in which scientists have a really hard time trying to prove that cannabis is way safer than the DEA is claiming it to be. Cocaine is a schedule 2 substance if that puts it more into perspective just how asinine this whole thing is.
The Department of Health and Human Services has sent the DEA their recommendation based on what they believe the medical value of cannabis is, along with its abuse potential. Unfortunately what the recommendation actually says hasn’t been released to the public. Don’t get too excited because a DEA spokesman recently said that they don’t plan to hold themselves to a deadline. What’s even more disheartening is the fact that even if they made the decision tomorrow, there is a good chance the bureaucratic nature of their agency would subject the rescheduling to months of review and litigation before it became official. The few optimists that are left out there are still holding out hope that the announcement will be made some time in August, but I’ve yet to find a credible source that supports that claim. In the meantime, all we can do is continue to fight for our cause and look towards the future. While the DEA continues to stubbornly live back in the days of Reefer Madness.