We have seen interest in cannabis increase these last few years, with new survey data showing that some three of four Americans, including majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independents, are in favor of changing marijuana’s classification under federal law. Currently, 37 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the medical use of marijuana while 19 states have legalized its recreational use.
Despite this, cannabis remains classified under Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act with harmful drugs such as heroin. Drugs under this categorization have no currently accepted medical use in treatment and are thought to have a high potential of abuse. This doesn’t apply to cannabis, which offers a range of benefits, as numerous studies have shown.
Organizations advocating for the reform of cannabis laws, including NORML, have long called for marijuana to be rescheduled to Schedule II or III of the Controlled Substances Act. In a position statement, the organization stated that the descheduling of marijuana would help sort out the conflict that currently exists over cannabis policy at the state and federal level. NORML further asserts that this would also help maintain the market controls that numerous states have enacted to ensure safe business practices, prevent cannabis distribution to minors, promote public health and improve public safety.
Survey findings also show that support from the public to pardon or release individuals convicted for low-level, cannabis-related crimes at the federal or state level is higher from Democrats and Independents, with only a minority of GOP members supporting such efforts.
Nearly a fortnight ago, President Joseph Biden announced that individuals with cannabis-related federal convictions on their records would be pardoned. This would impact a total of about 6,500 individuals because most of these arrests and convictions are made at the local and state levels. In his announcement, the president urged governors to take similar steps then directed that a review on whether cannabis could be classified as a less serious drug be carried out.
Separate poll data also shows that about 44% of voters believe that passing a bill to legalize cannabis at the federal level should be a top or important priority for Congress.
Archived FBI data shows that since the 1960s, roughly 29 million individuals have been arrested for violating local or state cannabis laws. Given that people of color have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs, the federal legalization of marijuana will be the first step to rectifying these grave wrongs.
As pressure from the grassroots mounts to see cannabis policies reformed federally, a time may soon come when established entities such as American Cannabis Partners will no longer have to contend with contradictions between federal marijuana laws and those at state level.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to American Cannabis Partners are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACP
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