Marijuana: Schedule 1?!?!

First, I want to open with my gratitude that marijuana is finally being recognized for medical use and for the accessibility of medical marijuana; albeit the accessibility is currently limited (in terms of qualifying conditions, amount accessible, method of application, and locations to acquire). I accept that these are how things are… for now.

‘Now’ being the operative word. I, Joshua Winer, will not accept staying stuck in the ‘now.’ I will not accept stagnation of the law’s evolution. I, Joshua Winer, CANNOT accept the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refusing to remove marijuana from it’s scheduling as a Schedule I drug.

Schedule I is a term some of us have seen/heard before, but for those that haven’t, it means the following: “Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” “No currently accepted medical use” being the key phrase. Nevermind all the evidence that proves this wrong. Nevermind the patients with cancer that medical marijuana helps get through chemotherapy. Nevermind a patient suffering from over 100 seizures a day to getting down to much fewer or no seizures at all! Nevermind the patients suffering from countless conditions that cause excruciating amounts of pain, such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Crohn’s disease, and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Nevermind those who are suffering from chronic pain as a result of injuries. Nevermind those who have served our country who currently suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

I have heard many excuses for why marijuana is stuck as Schedule I, but none of these excuses justify it. Over half of the states in this country recognize the benefits of the THC in marijuana, and over 45 states recognize the benefits of cannabinoids in it. If you’re a politician with a residence in Washington D.C. (which is par the course nowadays), it doesn’t matter if you come from a state where they refuse to recognize Marijuana’s medicinal purposes. If the politician doesn’t have a qualifying condition, they don’t have to worry, because Washington D.C has recreational marijuana to boot! Politicians have access while refusing to let those who they represent have access, cancer be damned.

That is unacceptable! It shouldn’t be easier for a politician to get medical marijuana than veterans, let alone the rest of the country. We keep hearing politicians say that there “needs to be more research” on medical marijuana. I’m all for more research, but we can’t pretend that other nations haven’t done their own research. Science is science, whether it comes from Australia, Italy, Israel, or even the good old USA. Research is research, facts are facts, and patients are human beings.

Jose BelenCurrently, there are ongoing lawsuits fighting these battles, which at least five are presently suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions because of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The CSA is allegedly severely limiting medical marijuana laws federally, which has a major impact on all members of society. One the the individuals involved in this lawsuit is 12 year old, Alexis Bortell, who suffers from intractable epilepsy, meaning traditional medications have failed. Another is Navy combat veteran, Jose Belen, who is battling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

A veteran suffering from PTSD shouldn’t have to worry about their life becoming ruined because the FDA and DEA still call Medical Marijuana Schedule 1. The parents of a 12 year old girl shouldn’t have to worry about going to jail for helping their child.

This is wrong.

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