Federal Cannabis Legalization Urgently Needed, Says Cannabis Coalition’s New White Paper
As the Biden Administration reviews cannabis classification, the CCSR aims to engage with stakeholders, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and Department of Justice (DOJ), providing critical information and analysis for cannabis scheduling reform.
New White Paper Says
According to the Green Market Report, the white paper underscores the disparities between de-scheduling and rescheduling. While declassifying marijuana would have a comprehensive impact, rescheduling it to Schedule 3 or lower could still benefit the US cannabis industry by nullifying the federal tax provision, 280E that currently limits tax deductions for marijuana businesses.
Highlighting the urgency of the issue, the paper argues that federal marijuana legalization, in any form, is long overdue. It also urges the FDA to officially recommend removing marijuana from Schedule 1, which categorizes substances as having “no medical use” and a “high potential for abuse.”
Moreover, the paper asserts that marijuana is safer than many other drugs listed in Schedules III, IV and V; it stresses the need for federal policy to reflect this reality.
However, it warns that even if marijuana were rescheduled to Schedule V, current provisions would criminalize most transactions in the adult-use marijuana market under federal law.
Furthermore, to fully remove marijuana from the jurisdiction of the DEA and federal criminal sanctions imposed by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the paper advocates for complete descheduling and calls on the FDA to provide recommendations and guidance to the cannabis industry while addressing the need for clarity and effective regulation.
The discussion surrounding the federal legalization of marijuana has evolved significantly since the publication of the 2018 white paper written by Jon Gettman, Ph.D., former director of NORML, and the late Michael Kennedy, civil rights attorney, general counsel and chairman of High Times magazine. The previous paper, published in the Harm Reduction Journal, advocated for an open market and small-scale personal cultivation, criticizing the failures of strict control and prohibition.
The recent white paper released by the CCSR during the review of marijuana’s Schedule 1 classification, ordered by President Biden, brings to light the disparities between cancellation and rescheduling.
As the CCSR presents its case, the ongoing review of marijuana’s classification and potential actions by the Biden Administration hold the power to shape the future of the US cannabis trade.