CNBC reports that the US Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) has asked the US Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) to consider easing restrictions on marijuana relative to its scheduling under the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”).

The DEA will consider moving marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule III drug, putting it alongside ketamine, anabolic steroids and testosterone as substances with moderate to low potential for physical or psychological dependence.

The recommendation, however, does not de-schedule marijuana, meaning that cultivation, production and sales for recreational use would remain in violation of federal law.

The CNBC article may be read HERE.

The Hill is also reporting on this matter.  The Hill‘s article may be read HERE.

This writer finds it interesting that mainstream news outlets are reporting that HHS may be seeking changes to the CSA, 21 USC 812(b)(1)-(5), Schedules of Controlled Substances, to indicate that marijuana has a “currently accepted medical use” by moving it from a Schedule I to a Schedule III drug.

I’ve wondered for years why the federal government hasn’t either enforced federal law regarding the illegal manufacturing, distribution and use of marijuana for MEDICAL purposes or changed it to a Schedule II, III, IV or V drug.  Marijuana remains to this day a Schedule I drug under the CSA – meaning it has no “currently accepted medical use.”

Even if marijuana becomes a Schedule III drug:  1) it will remain a controlled substance and all of the state-approved dispensing entities will need to adhere, minimally, to the federal guidelines as it does for other Schedule III drugs; and 2) there is nothing in the CSA allowing for the uncontrolled (recreational) use of marijuana.

I would submit that we should be very thoughtful about what is reported in the mainstream media rather than rushing to embrace a position which may be inherently conflicting or only appear to be a panacea.

For many years, the federal government has allowed states and local jurisdictions to “get the cart way out in front of the horse” by failing to enforce federal law regarding marijuana.  As a result, changing its status under the CSA to allow for medicinal use of marijuana doesn’t avoid the hypocrisy and more “looking the other way” when it comes to the recreational use of marijuana.  In fact, it would almost certainly add requirements regarding marijuana manufacturing, distribution and use, as exists with current Schedule II-V drugs.

If the federal government wants to allow states to legally decide regarding the recreational use of marijuana, then it needs to de-schedule marijuana under the CSA.  Without taking a position one way or the other, it seems to this writer that the incongruity of marijuana regulation isn’t going to end anytime soon – unless the federal government takes a firm position on both medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, or simply de-schedules it.

The CSA’s list of Schedule I-V substances may be reviewed HERE.

Let’s pray for the wisdom in how the federal government manages this situation of its own creation.  Too many are highly emotionally, physically, economically and politically invested in free-wheeling marijuana use.  The answer within the realm of civil government has become highly challenging – and that’s an understatement.  The Answer, of course, was, is and remains, JESUS!

Proverbs 3:5-8 (NKJV)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, [a]nd lean not on your own understanding; [i]n all your ways acknowledge Him, [a]nd He shall direct your paths.  Do not be wise in your own eyes; [f]ear the Lord and depart from evil.  It will be health to your flesh, [a]nd strength to your bones.”

Praise Jesus forevermore!

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