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420 with CNW — Why the Federal Government Is Not Acting Fast to Reform Cannabis Laws Despite Public Support

The legal status of cannabis remains complex in the United States, with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) playing a central role. For years, the agency has maintained that cannabis is a highly dangerous and addictive drug and lacks medical value, despite contrary evidence from public opinion, medical research and state laws.

This has led to a situation where marijuana is readily accessible in certain states, heavily penalized in others and federally illegal throughout the country. According to Carmel Shachar, a professor at Harvard School of Law, the U.S. courts or Congress could resolve this confusion, but so far, there’s been limited action.

Currently, the DEA classifies cannabis as a Schedule I substance, alongside ecstasy, heroin and LSD. This classification indicates that the substances have a high addiction and abuse potential with no recognized medical benefits. Shachar points out the irony of cannabis being more restricted than substances such as morphine and cocaine, which are classified as Schedule II and acknowledged to have medical uses.

Marijuana’s Schedule I classification presents significant barriers to research into its potential medical benefits, creating a cycle where its value cannot be proven due to federal restrictions. Cannabis has remained under this classification since 1971, when it was initially added to the list under President Richard Nixon. According to experts, Nixon’s decision was influenced more by political motives than scientific evidence.

At the moment, the next potential development involves the DEA considering reclassifying cannabis to a lower schedule, though this wouldn’t federally legalize the substance. Advocates view this as a symbolic step in the right direction while also recognizing that it falls short of meaningful change.

Reclassification to Schedule III would allow for medical prescriptions but wouldn’t resolve the conflict between federal and state laws. To fully address this conflict, though still distant, cannabis would need to be removed from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) altogether, according to experts. This means cannabis would be regulated in the same way as tobacco and alcohol.

National polls indicate that public support for cannabis legalization is high, with 70% of U.S. citizens in favor, according to a Gallup survey. Additionally, only 10% of people, according to a 2022 Pew Research Center poll, think the substance should be outlawed. By contrast, 30% favor legalization for only medical purposes, while 59% favor legalization for recreational and medical purposes.

Despite the overwhelming support, legalization progress is slow because of several factors, including differing opinions among legislators and concerns about potential health risks. As advocates note, while rescheduling is a positive step, it’s insufficient, and there’s no justification for marijuana to remain under federal regulation.

The cannabis industry, including entities such as Green Thumb Industries Inc. (CSE: GTII) (OTCQX: GTBIF), is focused on operating within the existing regulatory frameworks at state and federal level as it advocates for further reforms to be enacted.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of an article each business day at 4:20 p.m. Eastern – a tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. The concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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