06.20.2016
policy

Will the DEA Really Re-Schedule Weed on August 1?

Maybe. Probably not like the Santa Monica 'Observer' sees it.

Perhaps a familiarity with weed isn't an absolute necessity for all writers currently on the canna-beat. A weekly newspaper in Santa Monica, California, is "reporting" the federal government will reschedule marijuana on August 1, 2016. 

From the Observer

"The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will reclassify marijuana as a 'Schedule Two' drug on August 1, 2016, essentially legalizing medicinal cannabis in all 50 states with a doctor's prescription, said a DEA lawyer with knowledge of the matter." 

In this case, "reporting" is a strong word. This weekly paper cites a sole, unnamed source, defines a Denver Post op-ed on responsible re-scheduling as breaking news to back up its claims, and commits the cannabis cardinal sin of saying "doctors" in California, can already prescribe weed. Nope. Not a thing. 

To be fair, the DEA has previously stated via memo that it may or may not lower marijuana from the dread Schedule One designation, but that it needs to think really hard, and hopes to  come to a federal conclusion about cannabis in the first half of 2016. But be real. The honorable and hard-working Hank Schrader was only a television character, while the IRL DEA are actual cartoons. And government employees. Does anyone actually think they'll hit that deadline? DEA agents "observed," a massive raid on California weed businesses just last week. 

Image via AMC

The KIND is not the only outlet to call out the Observer for premature announcement syndrome. Weed world blog The Daily Chronic jumps in all like

"The second paragraph of the article, should be as far as anyone needs to read to realize that [the Observer article] is hastily written, poorly researched, and simply speculation or a rumor, including the misspelling of “cannabis” and a poorly worded sentence structure."

The editorial humanist in us disagrees with the Chronic's multiple usage of the adverb poorly in its burn, but the views expressed align with our own. Weedmaps-powered Marijuana.com, in contrast, took the bait—trumpeting an unnamed DEA lawyer's unquoted announcement that weed will Schedule Two in time for summer.  

That step in a corrected direction would be a nice bait to bite on. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, more than half of all U.S. drug busts are for weed, and in some states, black people are up to 8.5 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis than white people. To reschedule, de-schedule, or (have mercy) legalize cannabis will be an American dream realized. But to claim that a schedule-changing date has been set, when the facts, such as an un-embargoed, definitive statement from the DEA, have yet to present themselves––is akin to crying wolf. 

Go home, Santa Monica Observer. You're high. 

 

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