schedule I

U.S.: DEA's Marijuana Rescheduling Announcement May Not Come In 2016

The DEA has not followed through on their plans to release an announcement in 2016 on rescheduling marijuana.

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

In April this year the Drug Enforcement Administration sent a letter to lawmakers saying the agency would release an announcement on rescheduling marijuana in the first half of this year. But no announcement was made come July 1, and the DEA has refused to set a new deadline.

A Colorado attorney spoke with a senior executive at the DEA last week and was told that the agency will not be rescheduling marijuana in 2016. "The DEA is not going to reschedule marijuana this year.... They aren't issuing a public announcement about the change," the attorney said he was told.

Marijuana advocates and many legislators have been hoping that the DEA would reschedule marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule II substance. The reclassification would allow for more research and would acknowledge that the substance has medical value.

"We do not have a date set to make an announcement about that one way or another," a representative in the DEA's public-affairs office said today, August 2.

It does not seem likely that the date will be anytime this year.

Pennsylvania: Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Temporary Guidelines Completed

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Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy on Friday announced that temporary guidelines for the Safe Harbor provision of the state's Medical Marijuana Program are complete and can be viewed online or in the June 25 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

The department announced that it developed the Safe Harbor temporary guidelines "to thoroughly and carefully outline the specific requirements that must be followed when a parent, legal guardian, caregiver, or spouse is applying to obtain medical marijuana to administer to minors who have a physician-documented serious medical condition."

"In July, parents, legal guardians, caregivers, and spouses will be able to apply to the department for a Safe Harbor Letter that will allow them to administer medical marijuana obtained from outside of Pennsylvania to minors in their care," said Secretary Murphy. "Once approved, the letter should be carried whenever medical marijuana is being transported outside of an individual's home."

Nevada: Largest Paper Used To Support Pot Legalization -- Then Adelson Bought It

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Las Vegas Review-Journal supported legalization last year. It opposes it this year. The difference? Pot-hating conservative billionaire Sheldon Adelson bought the paper last December.

As recently as last summer, the Review-Journal published an editorial strongly proclaiming that paper's stance "supporting the decriminalizing, regulating and taxing the sale of currently illegal drugs," including marijuana. The paper went on record as supporting an effort to legalize cannabis in the state that will go before voters this November, and just last year called for all presidential candidates to support "removing marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act."

New York: NORML Founder Keith Stroup To Keynote At Cannabis World Congress

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Industry Pioneer & Anti-Prohibition Activist Joins Strong Speaker & Educational Lineup at Cannabis Business Trade Show & Conference

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

“Why We’re Finally Winning After All These Years” will be the keynote address given by Keith Stroup, founder of NORML, at the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition (CWCBExpo), June 15-17, at the Javits Center in New York. Stroup joins Leonard Marshall, Super Bowl Champion and concussion prevention advocate, as a headlining Keynote Speaker.

Stroup’s address will take place on Thursday, June 16, at 1:50 p.m. CWCBExpo is a business event for the for the legalized cannabis marketplace.

Stroup is a Washington, DC-based public-interest attorney who founded NORML in 1970, served as its executive director for 20 years and currently serves as NORML’s legal counsel and a member of the board of directors. Fortune magazine recently named Stroup one of the most powerful people in America’s marijuana industry.

“With more and more states legalizing the responsible use of marijuana, including two East Coast states expected to adopt full legalization this November, I am excited to speak to the CWCBExpo NY audience about the history of our anti-prohibition efforts and the current groundswell of support for ending prohibition and removing the stigma of marijuana as a Schedule I drug,” Stroup said.

D.C.: DCMJ Says White House Meeting Was Good First Step

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Legalization Group Seeks Higher Level Sit Down

DCMJ, the cannabis legalization group that successfully worked to pass the Initiative 71 ballot measure legalizing marijuana in the District of Columbia, called their meeting with the White House “a move in the right direction” toward removing marijuana from Schedule One of the Controlled Substance Act.

“This is a good first step, but we hope to continue the dialogue with the White House,” said Adam Eidinger, co-founder of DCMJ. “We thanked the White House for extending the invitation, but it is clear that our work is far from finished.

"This is only the start," Eidinger said. "What we are requesting is a higher level meeting with senior administration officials, ultimately moving toward a cannabis policy reform summit with President Obama and key stakeholders such as patients, patient advocates, business owners, grassroots advocates, the disabled community, scientists, the medical community, veterans and others.”

Wisconsin: Bernie Sanders Says Marijuana Should Not Be A Federal Crime

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Campaigning for President in liberal Madison, Wisconsin, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) defended marijuana, saying it should not be a federal crime.

Sanders criticized the American War On Drugs, saying that millions of lives have been "ruined" because they got a police record, and sometimes prison sentences, for possessing marijuana, reports Tom Kertscher at Politifact.

"Today, under the federal Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is listed in the same Schedule I as heroin," Sanders said. "That is nuts."

"Now people can argue -- although I suspect in this audience, there may not be much of an argument -- about the pluses and minuses of marijuana," Sanders said, drawing cheers from the crowd of thousands at the Alliant Energy Center. "But everybody knows marijuana is not a killer drug like heroin."

Sanders then pointed out he's introduced legislation which would remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act -- as in DEscheduling cannabis, not REscheduling it. (Merely moving marijuana to Schedule II would effectively hand over its control to Big Pharma.)

U.S.: Watch The Brookings Debate - Should Feds Remove Marijuana From Schedule I?

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In case you haven’t noticed, America is in the midst of a marijuana revolution. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, and others may soon follow.

Under federal law, however, marijuana remains classified as a highly dangerous Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Along with heroin, LSD, and ecstasy, drugs in this category are deemed to have “high potential for abuse” and “no currently accepted medical use,” two definitions that are argued about passionately by advocates on both sides of the issue.

Despite the federal government’s unwavering stance, states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal use allow cannabis and its derivatives to be used to treat cancer patients and those suffering from other serious ailments. With federal and state law at odds, however, many patients, doctors and small businesses have been caught in a policy gridlock that severely impacts their daily lives.

What are the potential pros and cons and costs and benefits of the federal government reclassifying marijuana as a less dangerous drug? And how should the federal government respond to states passing laws at odds with its own?

U.S.: DEA Plans Decision On Rescheduling Marijuana By Mid-Year

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Drug Enforcement Administration plans to decide whether marijuana should be reclassified under federal law "in the first half of 2016," according to a letter from the DEA to senators.

The agency was responding to a 2015 letter from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and seven other Democratic senators urging the federal government to stop blocking research into the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

If marijuana is reclassified at all, it would have to be moved to a "less dangerous" category, because it is currently considered Schedule I under federal law, the category of drugs considered the most dangerous of all. Schedule I drugs, by definition, supposedly have no medical value and a high potential for abuse. The insanity of including cannabis -- which, of course, can be used to treat hundreds of conditions -- should be obvious.

There are five categories (schedules) classifying illegal drugs. Marijuana has been considered Schedule I since Nixon's War On Drugs kicked off in 1971. That means the federal government officially considers marijuana to be just as dangerous as heroin -- and it means the government thinks pot is less dangerous than either cocaine or methamphetamine, both of which are considered Schedule II drugs.

U.S.: Gary Johnson Predicts Obama Will Take Marijuana Off Schedule I

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Former New Mexico Governor and 2016 Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson on Tuesday said he thinks President Barack Obama, on his way out of office, is going to reschedule marijuana, taking it off the federal government's Schedule I list of narcotics considered the most dangerous of all drugs.

"It's going to be just like alcohol," Johnson told David Sherfinski of The Washington Times. "I'm going to predict that Obama, when he leaves office, is going to deschedule marijuana as a Class I narcotic. I wish he would have done that to this point, but I think he's going to do that going out the door. That's a positive."

Marijuana is currently on the Schedule I list with heroin and LSD. Methamphetamine, cocaine, and oxycodone, on Schedule II, are both officially considered safer than cannabis by the United States federal government.

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wants to reschedule marijuana as a Schedule II drug, effectively handing control of it over to Big Pharma. Her opponent for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders, wants to deschedule cannabis entirely, taking it off the list of controlled substances, and leave its regulation up to the states.

D.C.: April 2 White House Rally Will Call For Rescheduling of Cannabis Now

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On Saturday, April 2 at 2 p.m. in Washington, DC at Lafayette Square, located directly north of the White House, leaders, activists, advocacy groups and citizens will gather to demand that President Obama use his authority to reschedule cannabis—now.

Why on 4/2? "The Obama Administration has been a big zero on cannabis reform, so we are "rescheduling" from 420 to 4/2," according to organizers.

Who: Speakers from DCMJ, Drug Policy Alliance and other cannabis advocacy groups, along with industry activists, civil leaders and citizens.

What: Emergency Mobilization to Reschedule Cannabis Rally

When: Saturday, April 2 at 2 p.m.
**Note: At 4:20 p.m. there will be a mass public consumption of cannabis.

Where: Lafayette Square located directly north of the White House on H Street between 15th and 17th Streets, Washington, DC.

What you can do:
• Click "Going" and invite your friends on DCMJ Facebook event page
• Tweet with the hashtag #Reschedule420
• Call national cannabis advocacy organizations to endorse #Reschedule420
• Volunteer with DCMJ on 4/2 to help things run smoothly

###

The White House March 8, 2016
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC

Dear President Obama,

Colorado: Pesticides Remain Hot Button For Cannabis Industry

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Cannabis Business Alliance calls for sensible regulations

As pesticide legislation works its way through the Colorado General Assembly, the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) is calling for sensible regulation of pesticides.

The Schedule I federal status of marijuana has presented challenges to the Colorado industry: pesticides do not contain labeling for cannabis use, and research is non-existent for the use of pesticides on cannabis. As of now, pesticides cannot be registered with the EPA to be labeled and approved for use on cannabis.

Applying many pesticides off-label may not be dangerous, but the ambiguity puts the industry in an uncertain position as a whole. The same pesticides barred for use by the cannabis industry are, in fact, used every day on strawberries and tomatoes that consumers purchase at major natural grocery chains.

“The cannabis industry wants to comply and work with the government to provide proper regulations for businesses across the state,” said Mark Slaugh, CBA Board Member and iComply CEO. “However, the industry needs more labs certified for pesticide testing, as well as clear and consistent guidelines for businesses.

"Guidelines rooted in evidence-based in science," Slaugh said. "Some facilities may choose to go pesticide free, but there are many options to mitigate pests.

"Not all pesticides are harmful if used properly," Slaugh said. "The current issue is that the industry hasn’t been able to identify pesticides that are labeled for use on cannabis, because of the crop’s federal status.”

U.S.: Former Attorney General Eric Holder Says Reschedule Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Former Attorney General Eric Holder -- who once had the power to unilaterally begin the process of rescheduling marijuana, but didn't use it -- now says he agrees that cannabis should be reclassified under federal law.

"I certainly think it ought to be rescheduled," Holder said in a newly published interview with PBS. "You know, we treat marijuana in the same way that we treat heroin now, and that clearly is not appropriate."

“It’s nice to have Holder’s support for this sensible policy change, but it would have been a lot better if he’d exercised the power to get marijuana rescheduling done while he was still in office," Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, told Hemp News on Wednesday morning. "We know that Holder and President Obama are good friends, so I hope the former attorney general encourages his former boss and his successor Loretta Lynch to follow through during these final months of the administration and get the job done.

"There’s absolutely no reason marijuana should be in Schedule I, and it would be absurd to keep passing the buck to Congress when federal law clearly gives the administration the power to act," Holder said.

Utah: State Senate May Ask Congress To Reclassify Marijuana As Schedule II

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Utah Senate could soon urge Congress to change the classification of marijuana, currently considered Schedule I under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, to Schedule II, which could open the door for more medicinal cannabis research.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 11, sponsored by Sen. Brian Shiozawa (R-Salt Lake), would require the approval of the full Utah Legislature and Governor Gary Hebert, reports Jeremy Harris at KUTV.

Marijuana's current classification as Schedule I means that the U.S. federal government considers cannabis to be as dangerous as heroin and has "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse." Both cocaine and methamphetamine, incredibly, are considered Schedule II, thus less dangerous than marijuana, by the feds.

Shiozawa's resolution would urge Congress to reclassify marijuana to Schedule II. The downside to classifying cannabis as Schedule II, rather than de-scheduling it altogether, is that a Schedule II classification would effectively put marijuana under the tight control of Big Pharma.

"It's kind of gotten to be a mess because of inactivity on the executive branch and Congress," Shiozawa said. "This is an issue that frankly, we should have dealt with years ago."

The text of Shiozawa's resolution points out that the federal government has already indicated it won't prosecute patients who abide by their state's medical marijuana laws.

U.S.: Sen. Elizabeth Warren Urges Investigating Marijuana As Alternative To Pain Pills

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) this week asked the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to research how marijuana might help curb the opioid epidemic in America.

The U.S. is the largest consumer of prescription painkillers in the world, according to the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Even though Americans are just 5 percent of the global population, they gobble 75 percent of the planet's opioid medications.

Warren asked the CDC to conduct studies about alternatives to pain relief drugs, such as marijuana, reports Jackie Salo at International Business Times

In a letter sent Monday to CDC head Dr. Thomas Friedan, Warren urged the agency to finalize its guidance to doctors on prescribing oxycodone, fentanyl, and other pharmaceutical opioid painkillers, reports Alan Pyke at Think Progress.

In the letter, Warren mentioned the struggle her constituents in Massachusetts have faced with painkiller abuse. She said there were almost 1,100 confirmed cases of opioid overdose deaths in Massachusetts in 2014, which was a 65 percent increase from 2012.

U.S.: Obama Says Marijuana Reform Is Not On His Agenda For 2016

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

It seems that cannabis activists who had hoped for a big shift in federal marijuana policies from the Obama Administration in its last year are likely to be disappointed.

White House press secretary John Earnest on Friday said any progress on cannabis law reform would have to come from Congress, reports Christopher Ingraham at The Washington Post. President Obama had, a day earlier, said marijuana reform isn't on his list of end-of-term priorities, according to Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee).

Cohen said he'd asked the President whether he wanted to reschedule marijuana; the federal government considers cannabis a Schedule I substance, the most dangerous category, under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Schedule I drugs are considered to have a "high potential for abuse and potentially severe psychological and/or physical dependence."

Many lawmakers want to move pot to Schedule II, which would acknowledge the plant's medicinal potential, but would also effectively hand over control of it to Big Pharma, since prescriptions would be required.

Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders wants to DE-schedule marijuana, which means removing it from the federal list of controlled substances altogether.

U.S.: Expert Warns Marijuana Genetic Patents Are Coming Soon

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In a recent podcast episode for Ganjapreneur.com, Reggie Gaudino of Steep Hill labs recently joined show host Shango Los for an interview to discuss the science and politics behind cannabis breeding, the realities of patenting cannabis strains, and how "Big Marijuana" is going to change the landscape of cannabis business when Federal law changes.

Reggie Gaudino is vice president of scientific operations and director of intellectual property at Steep Hill, a California-based laboratory that offers cannabis testing services.

According to Reggie, cannabis patents are not only on the horizon, but they're actually closer than most people would imagine. He predicts that the moment cannabis shifts away from its current Schedule I restrictions, major corporations like Monsanto and Dow Agrosciences are going to step in and attempt to overtake the market.

"The message that Steep Hill is trying to get out is... if you’re a breeder, the best thing that you can be doing right now is breeding your butt off," Reggie said. "The only thing left then is to put your stake in the ground and to really protect your strains so that when everything that’s on the shelves now becomes open source, you have something better to offer the community."

The full podcast episode is available via iTunes and at Ganjapreneur.com, where there are also full transcripts of this and previous episodes.

Washington: Feds Spend Week On Farmer Tom's Cannabis Farm Studying Working Conditions

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Federal researchers spent most of the week on a working medical marijuana farm in Vancouver, Washington, studying the working conditions and occupational hazards of cultivating and processing cannabis.

The study was the first of its kind because marijuana is still considered a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, in the same class as heroin and LSD, reports Matt Markovich at KOMO News.

A team of four researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) visited Tom Lauerman's medical marijuana farm east of Vancouver to observe and take notes that could be used to develop federal "best practice" standards for workers in the cannabis industry. The team had never set foot on a legal marijuana operation until now; their previous cannabis experience had been limited to the federal pot farm at the University of Mississippi.

"This is novel for us," said the lead NIOSH researcher, who preferred to remain anonymous.

Researchers gave Farmer Tom and several of his workers electronic air sniffers to study the air quality inside the greenhouses and the processing facility. The researchers also used a glove with sensors tied to a laptop that tracked the repetitive hand movements involved in trimming marijuana.

Oregon: Congressman Earl Blumenauer Calls For End To Failed Marijuana Prohibition

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As Oregon’s Emerging Marijuana Industry Visits Capitol Hill, Rep. Blumenauer Calls for Federal Government to Get Out of the Way

As representatives from the Oregon Cannabis Association visited Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) on the House floor called for an end to the federal government’s failed approach of marijuana prohibition.

“Mr. Speaker, advocates from the new emerging marijuana industry in Oregon are descending on Capitol Hill at a very critical time for this fledgling industry," Congressman Blumenauer said. "They have a report about the implementation of Oregon’s Ballot Measure 91, overwhelming approved by voters last year to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana at the state level.

“Possession became legal July 1st," Blumenauer said. "Retail sales were authorized in existing dispensaries on the 1st of October to significant interest around the state. The first week saw an estimated $11 million in sales. They are working hard to implement the spirit and the letter of the measure, working closely with the Oregon legislature to refine it – learning from the experiences of states like Washington and Colorado that have already legalized adult use.

“Theirs is a positive story of economic opportunity, product development, tax revenues, more freedom for individuals, and eliminating the racial disparities in the enforcement of a failed policy of prohibition that comes down heavily against young men of color – especially African Americans," Rep. Blumenauer said.

U.S.: DEA Chief Says Marijuana Is Dangerous, Should Stay In Schedule I

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

New federal Drug Enforcement Administration head Chuck Rosenberg in a TV interview last week called marijuana "dangerous" and added, "If we come up with a medical use for it, that would be wonderful. But we haven't."

The woefully misinformed DEA administrator also said that federal drug agents in the field won't be discouraged from working on big marijuana cases, despite directives from the Obama Administration to not waste resources pursuing state-compliant providers, reports James Rosen at Fox News.

"I've been very clear to my agents in charge," Rosenberg said. "If you have a big marijuana case, if that in your jurisdiction is one of your biggest problems, then bring it." That, of course, leaves the door open for pot-hating federal prosecutors to continue their war on marijuana, same as it ever was.

Fox News asked Rosenberg about the continued inclusion of cannabis in Schedule I, the federal government's harshest and most dangerous category of narcotics. "Marijuana is dangerous," Rosenberg replied.

"It's certainly not as dangerous as other Schedule I controlled substances; it's not as dangerous as heroin, clearly, but it's still dangerous," Rosenberg claimed. "It's not good for you. I wouldn't want my children smoking it. I wouldn't recommend that anyone do it. So I frankly don't see a reason to remove it."

U.S.: Voters In Early 2016 Primary States Want Feds To Respect State Marijuana Laws

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Supermajority Support From Democrats & Republicans in Iowa & New Hampshire

New polling data reveals that voters in early presidential primary states overwhelmingly support ending federal prosecutions of people acting in accordance with state marijuana laws.

Among respondents, 71 percent in Iowa and 73 percent in New Hampshire agree that "states should be able to carry out their own marijuana laws without federal interference." Just 13 percent of Iowans and 15 percent of New Hampshirites think that "the federal government should arrest and prosecute people who are following state marijuana laws."

"Politicians running to become our next president should take note of just how uniformly voters in these key states want to end federal marijuana prohibition," said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, which commissioned the poll. "Candidates who say they would send in the DEA to shut down legal, taxpaying marijuana businesses are effectively announcing that they're out of the mainstream and out of touch with the voters they need support from in order to get elected.

"That type of rhetoric is just not going to score any points in 2016," Angell said.

The new data shows that support for letting states set their own marijuana laws without federal interference is especially high among Democrats and independents in both states, although there is at least 60 percent support across all demographics, including Republicans, 2012 Mitt Romney voters, people older than 65 and those who identify as very conservative.

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