Obama Will Sign Executive Order Removing Marijuana From Schedule One
DEA defines Class I drugs as having a high potential for abuse and no medical use. Moving Cannabis to Schedule II would have the effect of legalizing Medical Marijuana.
The outgoing president will sign an executive order reversing President Richard Nixon’s 1970 order, listing Marijuana as a Schedule One Drug, forbidden at all times. This is said to have been a jab at 1960’s “Hippy Culture.”
President Barack Obama, who wrote of experimenting with marijuana as a young man, will legalize marijuana on his way out of office. He will make pot a Class II drug, legal under Federal law with a doctors prescription. States will be able to continue to outlaw marijuana, if they choose. About half of US States now permit medicinal cannabis or recreational marijuana, within certain limits.
Obama says pot should be treated like cigarettes and alcohol.
“I am not somebody who believes that legalization is a panacea,” Obama said. “But I do believe that treating this as a public-health issue, the same way we do with cigarettes or alcohol, is the much smarter way to deal with it. It is untenable over the long term for the Justice Department or the DEA to be enforcing a patchwork of laws, where something that’s legal in one state could get you a 20-year prison sentence in another,” Obama told Rolling Stone magazine.
Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson predicted legalization, speaking in the Washington Times. Johnson says he thinks President Obama is going to remove marijuana from the government’s “Schedule I” list of narcotics considered particularly harmful and addictive before January 20th, changing Federal policy with the stroke of a pen.
“It’s going to be just like alcohol,” Mr. Johnson told The Washington Times. “I’m going to predict that Obama, when he leaves office, is going to reschedule 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.”
On Tuesday, Obama pardoned 79 felons convicted of drug offenses, commuting their sentences. Obama has pardoned 1000 felons, more than his ten predecessors. Under his administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration has largely ignored states that legalize marijuana. The DEA has largely left alone marijuana offenses, as a matter of policy.
Marijuana is currently on the Schedule I list alongside drugs like LSD and heroin. The Drug Enforcement Agency defines Class I drugs as having a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use.
Democrat Hillary Clinton, among others, suggested reclassifying the drug under Schedule or Class II. Those drugs include cocaine, but also certain painkillers like oxycodone that are available with a medical prescription.
Mr. Johnson’s campaign followed up by saying that the former governor would prefer that the president remove marijuana from the controlled substances list entirely, allowing states to legalize and regulate as they and their voters choose.
Donald Trump’s pick for Attorney General is a Reagan era prosecutor, Jeff Sessions. “Sessions is not one of those people who feel the drug war is over. He’s not going to reschedule it,” says one expert. “It’s one of the most evil failed policies, up there with Jim Crow and slavery. If you feel that someone should be thrown in a cage for a consensual, victimless transaction, you are evil. For this reason, OBama will pardon Marijuana as he pardons so many drug offenders, black and white.”
The Obama administration is further relaxing the nation’s stance on marijuana, said the New York Times in August. “President Obama has said he views it as no more dangerous than alcohol, and the Justice Department has not stood in the way of states that have legalized the drug.”