Attorney General Eric Holder made the announcement Friday, and he has the power to reschedule any drug federally.
The concept of the drug schedule classification dates back to the Nixon Administration in 1970, when Congress enacted the Controlled Substances Act, legislation to enact American compliance with the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (SCND) Treaty created by the United Nations in 1961. There have been no documented cases of deaths from overdosing on marijuana, ever. Yet the federal government treats it as a Schedule I drug with a “high potential for abuse,” along with heroin, LSD and Ecstasy. Re-categorizing marijuana would not legalize the drug under federal law, but it could make research into marijuana’s medical benefits much easier and allow marijuana businesses to take tax deductions. Sounds like a good plan for cannabis and those it helps.
“We’d be more than glad to work with Congress if there is a desire to look at and reexamine how the drug is scheduled, as I said there is a great degree of expertise that exists in Congress,” Holder said during a House Appropriations Committee hearing. “It is something that ultimately Congress would have to change, and I think that our administration would be glad to work with Congress if such a proposal were made.”