Democratic Senator Kenny Yuko of Ohio doesn’t think cannabis should be classified with drugs also on the Schedule I list, ones that have the stigma of “no known medical use” and “high potential for abuse.” Drugs like heroin and Morphine-N-Oxide.
Twenty-nine states and Washington D.C. have medical marijuana and/or legalization laws in place, so one can see where Yuko is coming from. Federally, this enormous group of patients and imbibers are not protected and are committing a crime, regardless of what their state laws may say.
Related Story: Ohio Officials Say Fentanyl Is Being Mixed With Marijuana
Also because of the Schedule I classification, researchers of the plant have a very difficult time. Not only getting the permits for research, but also obtaining cannabis to test. As of now, they are only allowed government provided pot, which is not of the same quality that is available at dispensaries and home grows. In fact government weed has been found to have mold in it – which can be deadly for patients with weakened immune systems. The stigma also limits the number of researchers willing to stick their necks out.
Ohio itself has been affected by the classification. Colleges (cannabis testing’s only havens) shied away from testing products once their law was voted in, scared they may lose federal funding, and lawyers were unable to advise clients on the ins and outs of the new law. And because banking institutions are unable to serve pot shops, some Ohio communities have gone back the way of prohibition due to fear about large amounts of cash floating around.
Though the resolution doesn’t say how marijuana should be scheduled, congresspersons have suggested II and III respectively. Both of them still contain illicit drugs, but that non-medical usage stigma would drop away and medical states could take a collective deep breath. Activists and proponents for cannabis believe that the plant shouldn’t be scheduled at all, and with zero deaths and the worst side effect being cottonmouth they’re probably right.
One step at a time. Congress doesn’t have to act on resolutions, but they do reach their ears and we can only hope someday soon their hearts. Patients across the country depend on it.