California Formally Requested The Federal Government To Reschedule Cannabis

Legalize it, man.

Last week the California Assembly voted 60 to 10 to reschedule cannabis, currently classified by the federal government as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. The request, which also followed a State Senate vote of 34 to 2 passing the same resolution, effectively made California the first in the nation to formally request the feds to reschedule the drug. In November of last year, Golden State voters approved Proposition 64, a recreational initiative that will take full effect in January 2018.

From High Times:

“‘The Legislature urges the Congress of the United States to pass a law to reschedule marijuana or cannabis and its derivatives from a Schedule I drug to an alternative schedule,’ the Assembly’s joint resolution declared, ‘therefore allowing the legal research and development of marijuana or cannabis for medical use.’”

Thanks to its current Schedule I classification––which denotes the substance as having no medicinal value and a high potential for abuse––researchers cannot legally study the herb. As a result, potential medical benefits remain inconclusive.

The majority of the country disagrees with the designation. The most recent polling has more than half of the country in favor of legalizing cannabis for adults, with 94 percent of Americans supporting legalization for medical purposes. Furthermore, marijuana is already currently legal in some form in 29 states, with 8 states having approved recreational use.

In a statement, the California State Senate cited the potential economic benefits as a primary reason to legalize cannabis. As it stands, the federal banking system is unable to work with marijuana businesses even in states where weed is legal. Not only does weed's Schedule I classification hinder research, but it further perpetuates the false representations first introduced by the War on Drugs. 

For context, fentanyl––the synthetic opioid currently killing thousands of users on a daily basis to the point of epidemic levels––is classified as Schedule II. So is methamphetamine, one of the most addictive substances of the known pharmacon.