“This milestone reflects the reality that advocates have been engaged in a multi-decade long struggle to compel the federal government to acknowledge the obvious: that cannabis possesses therapeutic benefits. It also highlights the fact that the federal government’s ongoing refusal to do so has been strictly a political decision.”
The HHS recommendation now goes to DEA, which possesses the final authority to schedule or reschedule a drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
Descheduling cannabis removes the threat of undue federal intrusion in existing state marijuana programs and respects America’s longstanding federalist principles allowing states to serve as “laboratories of Democracy.”
Federal law enforcement agents and their partners seized nearly 5.7 million cultivated marijuana plants in 2022. This is the highest annual seizure total reported by the agency since 2011.
Drug interdiction efforts along the US border often involve the seizure of small quantities of marijuana and no other substances, according to a pair of recently issued reports.
The totals are the highest reported by the agency since 2011, when it reported making an estimated 8,500 marijuana-related arrests and seized some 6.7 million plants via its domestic eradication program.
Scientists reported: “Our results clearly demonstrate that NIDA cannabis samples are substantially genetically different from most commercially available drug-type strains and share a genetic affinity with hemp samples in several of the analyses.”
Just over 1,000 people were sentenced federally in 2020 for violating marijuana trafficking laws. That’s down 67 percent since 2016, and over 80 percent since 2012 – when Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize and regulate the adult-use marijuana market.