Medical marijuana is something that has been embraced in some form or another by over half of the United States, but the federal government is standing in the way of essential progress. Particularly, it is the classification of cannabis as a Schedule One drug-alongside LSD and heroin-that is causing a great deal of problems. And this doesn’t extend only to consumers, but also scientific and medical researchers, doctors and businesses all over the country. A Democrat from Richmond Heights, Ohio has recently penned a resolution imploring the government to reclassify the plant for these reasons.
Sen. Kenny Yuko has reached out to the DEA and Congress to urge them to make this change. Schedule One drugs are defined as lacking medicinal value, as well as carrying a high risk of abuse. Because it is perceived this way by the federal government, researchers cannot conduct the type of research that they’d like to. They must jump through hoops and navigate through miles of red tape just to conduct cannabis studies. These studies also are forced to use government-grown cannabis, rather than what is being sold to consumers on the legal cannabis market, in their quest for knowledge.
Banks and other financial institutions are also greatly limited by this classification. Most banks will not work with cannabis-based companies, even if the company has nothing to do with the cultivation or sale of the plant itself. PNC Bank has recently made headlines for shutting down accounts relating to NORML and the Marijuana Policy Project, as a means of adhering to federal law.
Yuko’s resolution addresses the numerous ways in which the Schedule One status of cannabis is a detriment to businesses, medicine and science, saying:
“The families of sick children who have used this product know how important it is. But researchers are afraid to study cannabis, and legal businesses are forced to remain cash-only, because the government still views it as dangerous.”
Photo by Carlos Gracia