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VA: Garrett Bill Would Remove Marijuana From Federal Controlled Substance List

Katelyn Baker

Well-Known Member
Rep. Tom Garrett, R-5th, introduced legislation Monday that would federally decriminalize marijuana, according to a news release from his office.

The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017 would take marijuana off the federal controlled substance list if it is passed.

The release stated that the bill would fulfill "a responsibility to create a level playing field across the country."

"Statistics indicate that minor narcotics crimes disproportionately hurt areas of lower socio-economic status, and what I find most troubling is that we continue to keep laws on the books that we do not enforce," Garrett said in the release. "Virginia is more than capable of handling its own marijuana policy, as are states such as Colorado or California."

This bill originally was introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in 2015, but the legislation died.

Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat representing Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District, is the lead original cosponsor on Garrett's legislation.

Garrett's bill comes after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said there's more violence around marijuana than people would think.

Sessions is reviewing the previous administration's memo to the Justice Department that gave states flexibility when it comes to passing marijuana laws.

Eight states, as well as the District of Columbia, have legalized recreational marijuana use.

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News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Garrett Bill Would Remove Marijuana From Federal Controlled Substance List
Author: Staff
Contact: 540-374-5000
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whiteraven86

New Member
The ultimate solution is to take cannabis out of schedule I and reclassify it downward to at least schedule III.
Feel free to copy and past the below and send it to EVERYONE of your elected officials if you agree with this post.

The Case to Reschedule Cannabis to Schedule III
Cannabis is currently in Schedule I.
Substances in this schedule have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse.
Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence.
Some present examples of Schedule I drugs are:
heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote
Argument against this classification:
1.Safety—there has never been a recorded death from an “overdose” of cannabis regardless of how it is ingested. This is true whether a person uses marijuana under the supervision of a doctor or without any medical supervision of any kind. I would suggest that this alone completely invalidates the safety requirement contained in the schedule I definition. Even over the counter aspirin is more dangerous as hundreds of people die each year form stomach bleeding when too much is taken. Many of the drugs listed in schedule II and even schedule III are significantly more dangerous than cannabis when abused.
SSRI Drugs are heavily prescribed as antidepressants. But can make the mental condition much worse.
Side effects while taking them or present for up to a year after drugging is stopped: • Confusion • Depersonalization • Hostility • Hallucinations • Manic reactions • Suicidal ideation• Loss of consciousness • Delusions • Feeling drunk • Alcohol abuse • Homicidal ideation (Go to SSRI Stories for more information)
The archives at SSRI Stories list mass shootings at schools, suicides and other violent acts linked directly to the prescribing of these drugs. There is no prohibition against possessing a firearm for individuals prescribed these medications.
2. Number of American deaths PER YEAR that result directly or primarily from the following selected causes nationwide, per World Almanacs, Life Insurance Actuarial (death) Rates, and the last 20 years of U.S. Surgeon Generals' reports.
TOBACCO - 340,000 to 450,000
ALCOHOL (Not including 50% of all highway deaths and 65% of all murders) - 150,000+
ASPIRIN (Including deliberate overdose) - 180 to 1,000+
CAFFEINE (From stress, ulcers, and triggering irregular heartbeats, etc.) - 1,000 to 10,000
"LEGAL" DRUG OVERDOSE (Deliberate or accidental) from legal, prescribed or patent medicines and/or mixing with alcohol - e.g. Valium/alcohol - 14,000 to 27,000
ILLICIT DRUG OVERDOSE - (Deliberate or accidental) from all illegal drugs - 3,800 to 5,200
MARIJUANA - 0

3. Medical use—THERE ARE established and legitimate Medical uses for cannabis. Among them are eye pressure relief for Glaucoma sufferers, relief for chronic pain, appetite enhancement for AIDS and cancer patients, anti-seizure treatment, muscle relaxant and as a sleep aid.
Numerous studies have been conducted and documented such as the report titled “700 MEDICINAL USES OF CANNABIS SORTED BY DISEASE”
The argument that cannabis does not have any “currently accepted medical use” is false. The documented Medical uses are not “currently accepted” by some divisions of government because of financial or political pressure by several groups. (More in this regard to follow)
In a sweeping study, The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine have concluded that cannabis does have legitimate medicinal value, but more research is required to determine the potential health risks, according to an Ars Technica report outlining the details.
In their 400-page analysis, researchers determined that cannabis and cannabinoids were effective in treating chronic pain and for chemotherapy-related vomiting and nausea in cancer patients, but observed that much more research is needed in order to determine the efficacy of its use as it relates to other conditions. In the past the federal government has made it almost impossible to conduct research into the medical uses of cannabis.
From the American Cancer Society:
More recently, scientists reported that THC and other cannabinoids such as CBD slow the growth and/or cause death in certain types of cancer cells growing in laboratory dishes. Some animal studies also suggest certain cannabinoids may slow growth and reduce spread of some forms of cancer.
If or when unfettered research into cannabis is allowed and cannabis is found to be effective in treating cancer, there will be a huge backlash against government by those who have lost loved ones because of the anti-cannabis policies of government and or pharmaceutical companies that have strangled cannabis research in the past.
4. Psychological or physical dependence-- Marijuana Addiction Is Rare, but Very Real, Written by R. Sam Barclay, Published on August 9, 2016
“Most people can use marijuana without becoming addicted. But for users with vulnerabilities like stress, mental illness, or a genetic predisposition, the risk of dependence is real.”
There are many studies that have found that cannabis is much less addictive than even drugs listed in Schedule II. I do not see how cannabis can meet the criteria of having potentially severe psychological or physical dependence.
Only about 9 percent of people who use marijuana will become abusers, per a study endorsed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). That IS NOT a high potential for abuse.


Cannabis, violence, and the Second Amendment—
The ATF specifically has stated, “any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.” Their justification is entirely dependent on cannabis being listed as a schedule I narcotic. There is no justification linked to cannabis causing violence except in drug wars for territory.
Marijuana violence?
Alcohol use contributes to aggressive and violent behavior. Marijuana use does not. Studies have repeatedly shown that alcohol, unlike marijuana, contributes to the likelihood of aggressive and violent behavior. An article published in the Journal of Addictive Behaviors reported that "alcohol is clearly the drug with the most evidence to support a direct intoxication-violence relationship," whereas "cannabis reduces the likelihood of violence during intoxication."
• Alcohol use is a major factor in violent crimes. Marijuana use is not. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that 25-30% of violent crimes in the United States are linked to the use of alcohol. According to a report from the U.S. Dept. of Justice, that translates to about 5,000,000 alcohol-related violent crimes per year. By contrast, the government does not even track violent acts specifically related to marijuana use, as the use of marijuana has not been associated with violence. (Of course, we should note that marijuana prohibition, by creating a widespread criminal market, is associated with acts of violence.)
• Alcohol use contributes to the likelihood of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Marijuana use does not. Alcohol is a major contributing factor in the prevalence of domestic violence and sexual assault. This is not to say that alcohol causes these problems; rather, its use makes it more likely that an individual prone to such behavior will act on it. For example, a study conducted by the Research Institute on Addictions found that among individuals who were chronic partner abusers, the use of alcohol was associated with significant increases in the daily likelihood of male-to-female physical aggression, but the use of marijuana was not. Specifically, the odds of abuse were eight times higher on days when men were drinking; the odds of severe abuse were 11 times higher. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) website highlights alcohol as the "most commonly used chemical in crimes of sexual assault" and provides information on an array of other drugs that have been linked to sexual violence. Given the fact that marijuana is so accessible and widely used, it is quite telling that the word "marijuana" does not appear anywhere on the page.
Also remember; The archives at SSRI Stories list mass shootings at schools, suicides and other violent acts linked directly to the prescribing SSRI drugs.
Why is cannabis still in Schedule I?
One reason is the pharmaceutical industry. A study, which appears in Health Affairs found that states that legalized medical marijuana — which is sometimes recommended for symptoms like chronic pain, anxiety, or depression — saw declines of over 20% in the number of Medicare prescriptions for drugs used to treat those conditions and a dip in spending by Medicare Part D, which covers the cost of prescription medications. Decreased demand for these types of prescriptions is one cause why pharmaceutical companies lobby aggressively for cannabis to remain illegal.
It should also be noted that prescription pain medicine deaths have dropped 25% in states that allow medical cannabis. This study by co-author Colleen Barry, a health policy researcher at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. “The shift showed up quite quickly and became visible the year after medical marijuana was accepted in each state, she told Newsweek.”
With the egregious effects of prescription opioid dependence and deaths, this report by itself should be a legitimate reason to take cannabis out of schedule I.
Even industrial hemp was outlawed. The cotton industry and all its peripheral industries such as herbicide and pesticide producers, and cotton equipment processing machinery companies are threatened by the prospect of hemp cutting into their profits.
The beer, wine, and liquor industries lobby against it being removed from Schedule I because Some states that have legalized the recreational use of cannabis have seen beer sales drop over four percent. A 4% drop in sales is a very strong incentive for alcohol related industries to strongly oppose any type of legalized cannabis use.
Many in the criminal Justice system lobby to keep it in Schedule I. Law enforcement uses asset forfeiture egregiously in many cases pointing to Cannabis being in Schedule I as justification. If law enforcement has a financial benefit due to asset forfeiture, how can anyone claim that enforcement is blindfolded like Lady Justice? Asset forfeiture does not require a conviction or even those charges be filed. Montana and New Mexico recently required that there must be a conviction before assets can be seized.
Former DEA Spokeswoman: Marijuana is Safe and The DEA Knows It:
Quotes from Belita Nelson, former DEA spokesperson, who was formerly a chief spoke person for the DEA:
“Marijuana is safe, we know it is safe. It’s our cash cow and we will never give up,” Belita Nelson told an audience of doctors and nurses at the Marijuana for Medical Professionals Conference in Denver, Colorado a short time ago.
Nelson says that was the first thing she learned from her Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) education coordinator, Paul Villaescusa, when she was hired in the Dallas office in April 1998.
She states that the DEA made the mistake of not having her sign a non-disclosure contract when she was hired.
Nelson states that when she began to expose the truth the DEA tried to keep her quiet and told her. “name your price, $10,000 a month? $20,000? What do you want Belita?”
“Gradually, I came out of my shell and that dark place I had been because of what I had experienced and what I had seen… If you think the DEA are the good guys, they are not. They are really not. We are talking corruption on steroids.”
Read more at #illegallyhealed

If Belita Nelson is correct, I believe an in depth investigation of the DEA and its policies concerning cannabis is in order.
In addition to the above there are many current and retired members of the criminal justice system that feel the “War on Drugs” is a failure. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) is comprised of current and retired members from every segment of the criminal justice system.
LEAP is now, “LawEnforcementActionPartnership.org”
Government funded studies that contradict placing cannabis in Schedule I.

1. 1860, Ohio State Medical Society, first U.S. government study of Cannabis.
2. Late 1894, British Official Indian Hemp Commission:
3. 1970s, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Jamaica study:
4. 1970s, NIDA studies in Greece and Costa Rica:
5. 1944, La Guardia Report:
6. 1968, Wooten Report by the British Parliament:
7. 1972, Shafer Commission Report under Nixon administration:
8. Mar. 1, 2011 European Journal of Neurology
9. Aug. 30, 2010 Canadian Medical Association Journal
SO WHY SHOULD STATES THAT HAVE VOTED TO LEGALIZE CANNABIS BE LEFT ALONE BY THE FEDS?
1. Legal cannabis will be tested for contaminates
2. Black market/drug cartel cannabis is not tested
3. The legal cannabis industry will pay fees and taxes to local and state governments
4. Black market/ drug cartel profits only enrich the criminal element and violence
5. Legal cannabis will severely decrease black market. Drug cartel profits
6. The legal cannabis industry will provide well-paying jobs.
7. A professional cannabis trimmer can make $20/hr
8. 71 percent of Americas think marijuana policy should be dictated by the states
 

olderthandirt

New Member
@whiteraven, The bill re-introduced to the 115th Congress by Garrett, HR 1227, removes cannabis from the schedule entirely.

Isn't that the ultimate course of action?

Anyhoo... for those interested in attempting to read the thing, gawd I hates me some legalese, the current bill just introduced on 2/27/2017 is here:

H.R.1227 - To limit the application of Federal laws to the distribution and consumption of marihuana, and for other purposes.

Introduced by a Republican, endorsed by Dems, PLEASE contact your reps in both House and Senate, cite HR 1227 and let's make sure this thing makes it to the desk of the Office of the President.

May go nowhere but if EVERYONE makes an effort by actively engaging their representatives to support the bill who knows, the prohibition might could be ended.
 
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