In response to the recent decision by the DEA not to move marijuana out of Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, MPP's Rob Kampia offered the following analysis of the situation, and what the best course of action would be:
In the wake of the DEA’s decision against rescheduling marijuana, the super-majority of the American people who support legalizing medical marijuana might properly wonder, “How bad is this news?”
As the leader of the largest marijuana-policy-reform organization in the nation, my answer might surprise you: It barely mattered which way the DEA ruled.
Back in 1970, Congress and President Nixon placed marijuana in Schedule I, along with LSD and heroin, defining these drugs as having no therapeutic value and a high potential for abuse. Simultaneously, drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine were placed in Schedule II, which are defined as having therapeutic value.
This “Flat Earth Society” view of marijuana has been challenged numerous times since 1970, but the DEA and federal courts have rejected all such attempts, including the Washington and Rhode Island governors’ 2011 petition that the DEA just rejected.
To be sure, moving marijuana to Schedule II would have had symbolic value, showing that prohibitionists were wrong to stubbornly claim for decades that sick people were merely imagining or lying about the medicinal benefits they experienced. However, there are federal criminal penalties for marijuana possession that are imposed regardless of its schedule. Even if the DEA had moved marijuana to Schedule II, growing 100 marijuana seedlings would still land you in federal prison for a minimum of five years...
You can read the entire article at Huffington Post.
In the new study, rats were taught to self-administer heroin and conditioned to associate that behavior with a light that flashed on above the lever that dispensed the heroin. At various stages in the procedure, some of the rats were treated with cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid that doesn’t make you high, but which has a number of really interesting properties.
CBD didn’t have any effect when given to the rats who were actively dosing themselves with heroin, but it had a marked effect on rats who had been abstinent from heroin for two weeks. These rats-in-recovery were again shown the cue light, and those who hadn’t been given CBD immediately resumed pushing the heroin lever, seeking a dose of the drug. But in the CBD rats, this heroin-seeking behavior was markedly reduced – and the effect continued for a full two weeks after the last CBD treatment.
The researchers conclude, “CBD may be a potential treatment for heroin craving and relapse.” It might also imply that high-CBD strains of marijuana could be preferable for those who are trying to stay off of other drugs.
Ah, but how do you know if the marijuana you’re buying is high in CBD (which is probably not the case most of the time)? Well, if it were a legal, regulated product, marijuana could be labeled for cannabinoid content – just like that bottle of wine now tells you, “alcohol 13.8%” or whatever. What a concept.