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C3 Podcast No. 15: Cannabis Must Be Descheduled

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

In No. 15 of the Cannabis Commerce + Chemistry Podcast, host Curt Robbins from Higher Learning LV and co-hosts Dena Putnam from Leafwize Naturals in Orange County, California and John Bailey from the Mindset Genesis in Las Vegas discuss an October 2022 article that examined the October 6 Biden Administration announcement that the U.S. federal government will review updating its regulatory oversight of marijuana.

Bailey, Putnam, and Robbins discuss the intricacies of rescheduling versus descheduling and provide a brief history of the regulation of hemp and cannabis by the U.S. government since the turn of the 20th century. Topics include an analysis of the Oct. 6 Biden Administration announcement and the true effects that it has had and may have in the future.

🎧 Listen to C3 Podcast >> Cannabis Deschedule vs. Reschedule

This weekly 30-minute podcast is targeted at cannabis and hemp industry professionals and is strategically free of profanity and crude dialog. This audio session was edited for length and clarity.

To better understand the topic of cannabis rescheduling versus descheduling in the United States related to Schedule I, listen now at Higher Learning LV, on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and most other major podcasting platforms (including Amazon Music, Anchor, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Pandora, and Stitcher).

Cannabis Must be Removed from U.S. Controlled Substances Act

On October 21, 2022, The Hill published an opinion piece in response to the October 6 announcement from the Biden Administration in Washington, D.C. regarding marijuana reform and the potential rescheduling or descheduling of cannabis under U.S. federal law.

Cannabis and hemp were legal in the U.S. until states began to prohibit them in the nineteen teens, decades before federal prohibition occurred in August of 1937. In 1970, the Nixon Administration again reformed the oversight of marijuana in America with the Controlled Substances Act, which categorized cannabis under Schedule I, the "most restrictive category under the law," according to The Hill.

"Biden's directive asking the secretary of Health and Human Services and the attorney general 'to review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law' shines a spotlight on the feds' 'flat Earth' cannabis policies."

"President Biden's recent directive asking the secretary of Health and Human Services and the attorney general 'to initiate the administrative process to review expeditiously how marijuana is scheduled under federal law' shines a spotlight on the federal government's 'flat Earth' cannabis policies," stated the article, which claims that current law classifies cannabis "more like heroin than alcohol."

Understanding Schedule I

The article reported that, by definition, substances categorized as Schedule I must meet three specific inclusion criteria:

  1. The substance must possess "a high potential for abuse"

  2. It must have "no currently accepted medical use" in the United States

  3. The substance must lack "accepted safety for use…under medical supervision"

The article explained that substances that do not meet these criteria "are typically categorized in less restrictive federal classifications (Schedules II through V)," which are "typically reserved for prescription medications." Such drugs are available legally via pharmacies and are regulated mostly by federal, not state, agencies.

"Reclassifying cannabis from Schedule I to II (or even to Schedule III) continues to misrepresent the plant's safety relative to other controlled substances such as cocaine and methamphetamine (Schedule II), anabolic steroids (Schedule III), or alcohol (unscheduled)," reported the article. It explained that rescheduling also "fails to provide states with the ability to regulate [cannabis] free from federal interference."

Comparing Cannabis to Alcohol & Tobacco

"Alcohol and tobacco, two substances acknowledged to possess far greater dangers to health than cannabis, are not classified under the Controlled Substances Act," explained the article. Because of this, state governments can regulate the production and sale of such substances "as they see fit." Such regulatory oversight includes "making decisions regarding where and when these products may be sold and to whom," reported the article.

The popular online database PubMed features 42,000 studies "specific to cannabis," more than half of which were published within the last ten years.

The piece wrote that, before 1970, fewer than one thousand research studies had been conducted about this controversial herb. "This is hardly the case today," noted the independent political news organization, reporting that the popular online database PubMed features 42,000 studies "specific to cannabis"—more than half of which were published within the last ten years.

🎧 Like what you just read? Listen and learn with our highly educational weekly Cannabis Commerce + Chemistry Podcast. At under 30 minutes per episode, it helps industry professionals stay current on trending topics.

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