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Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer > > Drug Crime > Department Of Health And Human Services Recommends Rescheduling Cannabis At The Federal Level

Department Of Health And Human Services Recommends Rescheduling Cannabis At The Federal Level


Laws about cannabis reflect a lack of agreement about the contexts in which cannabis is beneficial, those in which it is a harmless vice, and those in which it is dangerous.  Some states have enacted cannabis laws where legal cannabis products bear as little resemblance to the marijuana prized by the 1960s counterculture as possible; it us as if they are trying to send the message that lowlifes smoke weed but decent people ingest CBD gummies as part of a smorgasbord of superfoods.  Other states are content to call a joint a joint.  In some places, possession of marijuana is illegal at the state level but decriminalized by local ordinances in populous metropolitan areas.  Despite all of this, federal law still considers cannabis a Schedule I controlled substance, making it among the most illegal of all illegal drugs.  Thanks to a recommendation recently issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), that could change in the near future.  Meanwhile, the War on Drugs is far from over, and if you are accused of illegal possession of cannabis or another controlled substance, the best way to avoid harsh penalties is to contact a Pittsburgh drug crimes lawyer.

What Is the Difference Between a Schedule I and Schedule III Controlled Substance?

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classifies drugs into three categories, known as “schedules” (meaning “lists”).  Schedule I controlled substances are always illegal, but the drugs on the other schedules have at least one accepted medical use, but their abuse potential is high enough to warrant making them controlled substances.  The current HHS recommendation proposes changing cannabis to a Schedule III controlled substance.  Schedule III includes drugs that are useful in medicine but have a high potential for abuse, albeit lower than Schedule I and Schedule II drugs.  Some well-known Schedule III drugs include ketamine, anabolic steroids, and suboxone.

In the News

Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services sent a memo to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recommending the rescheduling of cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III.  If the DEA agrees to remove cannabis from Schedule I and classify it as Schedule III, then it will be legal for researchers to conduct clinical trials relating to medical applications of cannabis, as they are currently doing with ketamine.  Rescheduling cannabis as Schedule III would not affect the state and local laws that decriminalize it.  While the movement to reschedule cannabis as Schedule III enjoys considerable bipartisan support in Congress, some lawmakers believe that federal law should remove cannabis from the lists of controlled substances entirely and subject cannabis products to similar regulations as those currently in place for alcohol and tobacco.

Contact Gary E. Gerson About Drug Cases

A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are being accused of illegal possession of a drug listed on one of the schedules of controlled substances.  Contact the law offices of Gary E. Gerson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania about your case.



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