The debate regarding the future of cannabis as we know it started last year when Oregon rescheduled cannabis as a schedule II drug.
“A schedule I drug means that it has no medicinal value that is recognized,” said Lane County Chief Deputy District Attorney Patty Perlow. “A schedule II drug has recognized medicinal value but a high risk of abuse.” http://www.kval.com/news/local/96612724.html
The future of cannabis now is moving towards a federal reclassification of cannabis.
There are several petitions on the state level to “reschedule cannabis“, which indicates no class just a “rescheduling”.
Rescheduling means most likely the same thing that happened in Oregon when they called for rescheduling in 2010 via Oregon Senate Bill 728
Shortly after this decision, the very first dispensary raid in Oregon took place despite the legitimacy of cannabis being medicine in Oregon law and by the board of pharmacy.
What is obvious in the medicalization of cannabis for example in California which is known as the first state for legal medical marijuana via Proposition 215, is that cannabis has not only become more difficult to obtain as prices have increased extraordinarily, and the enforcement of prohibition has stepped up a notch as can be seen by comparing 1990 arrest deomographics for cannabis in California to the 2008 demographics for cannabis arrests in California. There was a 3 fold increase in that short of time.
In 1990 there were 20,000 arrests for cannabis possession, and in 2008 there were over 60,000 arrests for cannabis possession; RE: http://xcannabis.com/2011/05/how-are-medical-laws-protecting-patients/
With the increased prices, and the increased arrests California is evidence that the medicalization of cannabis is not helping to protect patients.
In years passed I have taken the initiative to go out and publicly protest the arrests of legitimate patients who are complying with state law. RE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUgcvTZrXWA
Despite state law, and despite the legitimacy of these patient’s asserting their rights, thousands of patients are still going to prison.
This is not just found with medical marijuana patients. This is also happening with other drugs like Oxycontin which is a Schedule II drug. I was in jail for cannabis at age 19, and I was in jail with someone who was arrested for illegally handling Oxycontin. That was over a dozen years ago. But I looked up “jail for oxycontin” in google and I found other troubling prison sentences even though this is a Schedule II drug
- This man got 57 months in prison:
Donald J. Prescott, 26, of North Augusta, was sentenced today in federal court to 57 months in prison for attempting to possess with intent to distribute OxyContin.
In March 2010, Prescott bought placebo OxyContin tablets from a government informant, then expressed interest in selling up to 500 additional pills. This transaction was monitored by local law enforcement agents, and Prescott was taken into custody.
- Here is another case of a man getting 12 years in prison for Oxycontin.
Im only comparing Oxycontin to Cannabis, because Oregon rescheduled cannabis in the same class as Oxycontin, which is Schedule II. Recently Washington State board of pharmacy received a petition for the same thing, and in this petition Schedule II was requested.
My point is, that if cannabis gets scheduled as a schedule II, it will only be more of the same and similar to current prohibition if not worse.
1. Access to cannabis will not increase. Cannabis is already widely distributed in this county and is ranked as the USA’s largest cash crop; http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=2735017&page=1
2. Prices of cannabis will not decrease, as going to a doctor, and a pharmacy will be required to get cannabis legitimately, and that is a significant cost, and the alternative is going to the black market, which cost no less than drugs in the pharmacy.
3. People will still be going to jail for cannabis under rescheduling
What I see as the safest access, the best prices and the most protection under the law is to UN-schedule cannabis as Ron Paul and Barney Frank are calling for with H.R. 2306. This will open up the free market, will lower prices and increase access as well as protect patients and other consumers from arrest.
I can compare this to already legal medicine that you can buy in an herb store like echinacea, or ginger, or St. Johns wort, etc.. These are legal medicines with essentially the same risks as cannabis, that are sold without restriction, in a free and open market.
We are at a cross roads right now. We can ether call for rescheduling which.
1. Gives the market exclusively to big pharma and licensed pharmacists
2. Gets the backing of Big Pharma’s money behind prohibition
3. Restricts cannabis to a small few
4. Does nothing for industrial hemp cultivation in the USA
Or we can call for Un-scheduling which.
1. Liberates cannabis
2. Opens up the free market
3. Gives patients and consumers the safest access possible
4. Allows everyone to benefit and participate in the cannabis industry
5. Legalizes Industrial hemp
The choice is clear to me. I won’t be asking for “rescheduling”.