Anyone who read that news article that was floating around last week, the one about how the DEA was definitely going to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug this summer, probably thought “that sounds too good to be true.” And they were right, according to an interview with a DEA official in aNewDomain.
The dubious article in question, titled “U.S. Gov’t Will Legalize Marijuana on August 1” and published in the Santa Monica Observer, claimed that an anonymous “DEA lawyer with knowledge of the matter” had gone on record saying that soon cannabis would be available anywhere in the states with a prescription from a doctor, just like other Schedule II drugs like Adderall or Hydrocodone. Though the article also misspells the word “cannabis” it was widely cited in several articles over the last week.
In his interview with aNewDomain, DEA staff coordinator Russ Baer didn’t outright reject the idea that cannabis could be rescheduled as soon as August, but his language painted his agency and himself as having feelings toward legalization that were lukewarm at best.
“What is under-reported right now is how complex the marijuana plant is,” said Baer. “Also, we are talking about synthetic THC, CBD (based treatments), oils, extracts edibles.” The DEA official added that the key now was to “identify the parts of the plant that might have benefit, and separating out (the beneficial) parts from the ones that “aren’t beneficial or harmful.”
This noncommittal stance on weed was mirrored by a statement from the DEA issued earlier this week, saying that it “has undertaken the review along with the Department of Health and Human Services according to the process established in the Controlled Substances Act. When the review is complete, DEA will make the full text of the decisions publicly available.”
Baer said that while he and his DEA pals “aren’t holding [them]selves to any artificial timeframe” for rescheduling, they are striving to adjust their current practices to the times, saying they don’t want to expend their resources on cannabis, much less on cases such as parents sneaking medical hash oil across state lines for their children or veterans illegally self-medicating their PTSD. Maybe just lip service, but lip service from the DEA is preferable to not being sure whether marijuana is worse than heroin.
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