Raul Grijalva One of 18 Congressmen Asking President Obama to Reclassify Marijuana

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marijuana-jar-top.jpg
By Cannabis Training University via Wikimedia Commons


Congressman Raul Grijalva, a southern Arizona Democrat, has joined 17 other congressmen in asking that President Obama to help reclassify marijuana in the federal drug "scheduling."

Marijuana is a Schedule I substance at the federal level, which the Justice Department describes as the "most dangerous" drugs that have "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse," alongside LSD and heroin.

The Schedule I drugs generally are associated with higher penalties. For example, trafficking between 50 and 99 kilograms of pot calls for a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. A first-time offender caught with any amount of a Schedule III drug -- which includes certain prescription painkillers, ketamine, and anabolic steroids, among other things -- is supposed to serve a maximum of 10 years.

Although Obama himself can't just reorganize the drug scheduling himself, the 18 lawmakers -- mostly Democrats -- have asked Obama to instruct Attorney General Eric Holder to use his authority to reclassify marijuana.

Here's what the letter says, in part:
You said that you don't believe marijuana is any more dangerous than alcohol: a fully legalized substance, and believe it to be less dangerous "in terms of its impact on the individual consumer." This is true. Marijuana, however, remains listed in the federal Controlled Substances Act at Schedule I, the strictest classification, along with heroin and LSD. This is a higher listing than cocaine and methamphetamine, Schedule II substances that you gave as examples of harder drugs. This makes no sense.

Classifying marijuana as Schedule I at the federal level perpetuates an unjust and irrational system. Schedule I recognizes no medical use, disregarding both medical evidence and the laws of nearly half of the estates that have legalized medical marijuana. A Schedule I or II classification also means that marijuana businesses in states where adult or medical use are legal cannot deduct business expenses from their taxes or take tax credits due to Section 280E of the federal tax code.

We request that you instruct Attorney General Holder to delist or classify marijuana in a more appropriate way, at the very least eliminating from Schedule I or II. Furthermore, one would hope that that (sic) your Administration officials publicly reflect your views on this matter. Statements such as the one from DEA chief of operations James L. Capra that the legalization of marijuana at the state level is "reckless and irresponsible" serve no purposes other than to inflame passions and misinform the public.
This letter from Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer and his colleagues comes after Obama told the New Yorker he doesn't believe marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol.

Interestingly, Obama has said rescheduling marijuana is a job for Congress, although these lawmakers seem to be under the impression that the AG has that power.

The congressmen also asked in their letter that other people in the Obama Administration "publicly reflect [his] views on the matter," in response to the DEA operations chief James Capra, recently saying that state-level marijuana legalization is "reckless and irresponsible" and that it "scares us."

The entire letter from the 18 congressmen can be found here.

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Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.



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30 comments
FRONTERA
FRONTERA

Genesis 1:128 - 1:31.......for you donkey boy

squash
squash

Look, guys! The marijuana prohibitionist, DonkeyHotay, believes that the letter written to POTUS is bad. That must mean the suggestions in the letter are good then!

FRONTERA
FRONTERA

Thanks for all the work you do RAUL. Especially on the environment ,and trying to STOP the Keystone XL Pipeline........Peace

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Furthermore, one would hope that that (sic) your Administration officials publicly reflect your views on this matter. 


Including a TYPO in an official plea to the President  ... PRICELESS Stoner FAIL!


It's also hilarious that stupid stoners don't realize that RE-scheduling as opposed to DE-scheduling would immediately destroy the Amateur Clown Show that is "medical" marijuana in the U$A, as SCHEDULED drugs of ANY category MUST BE manufactured and distributed by licensed BigPharma companies -- only AFTER they have proven to the FDA via years of clinical trials that the drug is effective and safe -- and dispensed ONLY by LICENSED Pharmacists.


Additionally, there are NO SCHEDULED Drugs of ANY category that are approved for RECREATIONAL USE.


The DEA should give the Stupid Stoners exactly what they myopically beg for.


Fucking idiots are as Fucking Idiots do!

michaelhorton
michaelhorton

Why not just have congress reclassify it by ammending the Controlled Substance Act?



valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

"Interestingly, Obama has said rescheduling marijuana is a job for Congress, although these lawmakers seem to be under the impression that the AG has that power."

Hasn't Obama gone on record as believing that he doesn't need Congress in order to make changes that he believes are important?


The other message here is that Congress has allowed federal agencies too much power to set law when they have to petition the Executive Branch to make changes.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@FRONTERA  


Is smoking weed a sin?

Although the Bible does not address marijuana directly, it does discuss other mind-altering drugs.

Specifically, the Bible addresses the use of drugs in the book of Galatians:

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)


So, where are the drugs mentioned in this verse? Actually, the word translated "sorcery" is the Greek word pharmakeia,4 from which we get the English word "pharmacy." The primary meaning is "the use or the administering of drugs" (usually associated with sorcery or idolatry).

Since this verse comes from a list of things that, if practiced, would preclude one from heaven, this should be a reasonably strong suggestion that the Christian should not practice drug use.

In addition, the book of Revelation lists drug use as one of the things for which the unrepentant will suffer the wrath of God.5

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@squash  Look stoners, another bong-sucking slacker who thinks writing letters to the President that aren't proof-read and contain laughable typos won't end up in the trash can where they belong.


Why are stoners so damn illiterate?


squash
squash

@DonkeyHotay Weren't you JUST on here talking crap about a Republican proposal to outlaw kratom in Arizona? Why the change of heart when it comes to marijuana?

wyvernwy
wyvernwy

@michaelhorton  It would require a sixty vote supermajority in the Senate, which wouldn't even happen if we needed it to declare war after having it declared on us.

davewk2002
davewk2002

@michaelhorton  The Controlled Substances Act allows the head of the DEA or the Attorney General to reschedule.  The Attorney General serves at the leisure of the president meaning that the president can direct him to do something and fire him if he does not and hire someone who will.  With the current gridlock in congress and considering that this is a controversial subject it is unlikely that congress would act.  


Congress asked the Department of Health, Education and Welfare for their recommendation where marijuana should be placed in the Controlled Substances Act.


The response, by letter of 8/14/70, of the Assistant Secretary for Health and Scientific Affairs [Roger O. Egeberg] is as follows:


"...Some question has been raised whether the use of the plant itself produces "severe psychological or physical dependence" as required by a schedule I or even schedule II criterion. Since there is still a considerable void in our knowledge of the plant and effects of the active drug contained in it, our recommendation is that marihuana be retained within schedule I at least until the completion of certain studies now underway to resolve the issue. If those studies* make it appropriate for the Attorney General to change the placement of marihuana to a different schedule, he may do so in accordance with the authority provided under section 201 of the bill.."


Jon Gettman, PHD  "Marijuana's Dependence Liability - 1970," Drug Science.org (accessed Dec. 12, 2011)


*"Those studies" were concluded in the 1972 Schafer Commission report, which recommended removing marijuana from the scheduling system and decriminalizing it. In other words marijuana was not placed on schedule I because it was dangerous.  It was placed there because they lacked information.  When that information became available and suggested that it be removed from the schedule "Tricky Dick" Nixon got angry and ignored the advice of the blue ribbon panel of experts he had hired to write the Shafer Report. 


Nixon never had any intention of following the Shafer Commission's recommendations [that marijuana be legalized/decriminalized] , and that fact is corroborated by Nixon's aide John Ehrlichman, during an interview with Dan Baum, author of Smoke and Mirrors in a 1999 interview. He told Baum, "Look, we understood we couldn't make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue for the Nixon White House that we couldn't resist it."  Nixon did this to go after antiwar protesters and to get even with Blacks.  Blacks and other people of color have always been arrested in highly disproportionate numbers and are today about 4 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana although a greater percentage of Whites smoke marijuana. This is the same president who was removed from office after authorizing the Watergate burglary.  Nixon at one point told us, "I am not a crook!".  Well, you make up your own mind about that.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@valleynative  ... funny, you weren't whining about too much executive power when the war criminals Bu$h and Cheney were running roughshod over the constitution.



FRONTERA
FRONTERA

@DonkeyHotay @FRONTERA DonkeyHotay @FRONTERA Of course the Bible is open to interpretation , but  for me GENESIS 1:29 -New International Version
Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. You can make brownies with it if it will make you feel better ... MOTHER EARTH  MAKES EVERTHING FOR A REASON...even a burro boy, lol just kiddin peace...

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@squash  <== too stupid and lazy to read what was actually posted before he whines and yammers like a know-nothing imbecile

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @valleynative 

That's a lie, moron.  Why in the world would you assume that I approved of any abuse of the Constitution.   Just because you blindly back your political party doesn't mean that everybody is stupid.

 

Kreationz
Kreationz

@DonkeyHotay Why does the Bible say drunkenness precludes one from heaven, while saying it's still okay to drink?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@FRONTERA


Everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. 
-- 2 Chronicles 15:12-13

squash
squash

@DonkeyHotay Are you going to answer my question? Or are you just going to keep screaming "stupid stoner!" at the top of your lungs hoping that that alone gets your point across?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@squash <== still an brain-dead bong-sucking stoner too stupid to read, much less comprehend the issues or what other people post.





squash
squash

@DonkeyHotay "too stupid and lazy to read what was actually posted before he whines and yammers like a know-nothing imbecile"

I'm sorry you're too stupid to notice the hypocritical contradictions of your own credo regarding drug prohibition. Pull your head outta your ass, bud. 

squash
squash

@DonkeyHotay <== a fascist prohibitionist neoconservative concern troll loser (did I mention scumbag?) who masquerades as a "liberal."

hth

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