Voters in law-and-order Oklahoma, the reputed reddest state in the union, have decided that there is a legitimate medical use for marijuana, but that decision is needlessly complicated by dated federal government drug policy.
The DEA classifies marijuana — including the nonintoxicating cannabinoid CBD — as a Schedule I drug. That means that the federal government finds it has no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Other Schedule I drugs are LSD, heroin and ecstasy.
Deadly drugs, such as cocaine, meth and fentanyl haven’t made the Schedule I list. When’s the last time you heard of someone overdosing on marijuana?
An increasing body of research and authority supports reclassifying medical marijuana. The FDA recently approved use of a drug that’s primarily cannabidiol. The American Osteopathic Association has recommended reclassifying cannabis as a Schedule II drug to facilitate research.
Medical marijuana advocates have unsuccessfully pushed for DEA reclassification for decades, including a series of petitions to the agency. It’s time for Congress to recognize that the people are ready for this step by forcing reclassification. The Schedule I classification reflects a dated attitude toward marijuana, which has been repudiated by voters around the nation, including voters in Oklahoma.
Thirty states and Washington, D.C., have approved medical marijuana. If nearly 57 percent of the voters in Oklahoma are ready for State Question 788, surely Congress can recognize that the drug doesn’t belong in federal law enforcement’s list of the most dangerous drugs.