Is marijuana legalization throughout the US about to actually happen? It seems with the action on Capitol Hill lately, that the war on the vilified plant is about to finally cease.
Not only has voting been positive to shut down the DEA’s bulk data collection program, but the House just approved three additional amendments which would prohibit the interference of the Justice Department in state-supported cannabis markets. The voting also supported hemp programs run through states and even loosened controls on CBD oil distribution.
All of these measures will be voted upon during the 2016 fiscal year in the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill.
This is big news since the DEA has been using our tax dollars to spy on us, and to launch their ‘war on drugs’ which is really the ‘war on medical use of cannabis’ and industrial use of hemp – which could replace oil for cars, plastics, and even the clear-cutting of forests for paper. Hemp can be used for countless products.
Representatives Jared Polis of Colorado, Morgan Griffith of Virginia, David Schweikert of Arizona, and Jerrold Nadler of New York are responsible for submitting an amendment which would stop the DEA’s endless budget to stifle marijuana use and fill prison cells with individuals charged with possession.
Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement:
“Congress dealt a major blow to the DEA by ending their invasive and offensive bulk data collection programs and by cutting their budget. The more the DEA ignores commonsense drug policy, the more they will see their agency’s power and budget come under deeper scrutiny.”
The House has also voted to pull $23 million form the DEA’s marijuana crackdown budget. Maybe the Feds could use that money to build some infrastructure for a change, or supply water to the residents of Detroit.
In a debate held last week, Representatives Dana Rohrabacher stated:
“Our founding fathers didn’t want criminal justice to be handled by the federal government. This is absolutely absurd that the federal government is going to mandate all these things even though the people of the states and many doctors would like to have the right to prescribe to their patients what they think will alleviate their suffering. This is states’ rights issue. Our founding fathers didn’t want a police force that can bust down people’s doors. They wanted individual freedom.”
It is, after all, getting more difficult for any government agency to claim that marijuana has no medicinal value.
Under the 5-part FDA (now DEA) test, a drug only has “currently accepted medical use” if:
“The drug’s chemistry [is] known and reproducible;
- There [are] adequate safety studies;
- There [are] adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy;
- The drug [is] accepted by qualified experts; and
The scientific evidence [is] widely available.”
These votes don’t represent a complete turn-around by the Feds, since marijuana is still classified with heroin and LSD as a Schedule I drug, but it’s a great start to making marijuana and hemp legal in the long run.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.