The federal government’s classification is a little old fashioned. Under Schedule I, both marijuana and heroin are listed as drugs with a potential for abuse and no medical value. Methamphetamine is categorized as Schedule II, which means it’s not as dangerous – which is absurd. However, times have changed. As it stands, some 23 states (including D.C.) have some form of legalized pot. With recreational marijuana becoming legal in Oregon today, and lawmakers scrambling to navigate through both the legal and financial hurdles associated with a Schedule I drug, Oregon has sent a memo to Congress requesting it reclassifies marijuana in order to allow the industry to work with the state’s financial institutions.
Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli is leading the charge on behalf of Oregon: “Really, the memorial is our little love note to Congress to say, ‘Please help us unscramble this issue by unscheduling marijuana and dealing with the financial prohibitions in the federal banking system.”
The reclassification would allow for financial institutions to work with marijuana-related businesses, which currently operate as mostly cash only, which makes them hard to track. As a result, marijuana businesses operating in compliance with state and federal laws continue to struggle to find banks willing to work with them. Ferrioli is part of a group organized by Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon to look into the lack of banking options for the marijuana industry. The most immediate benefit of reclassification would allow universities to increase their research into marijuana and its various properties.
Photo via Portlandia/IFC.com