Four states, including Rhode Island, Washington, Vermont, and Colorado, are now petitioning the federal government to reclassify marijuana so it is no longer a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
Schedule 1 drugs are the only drugs not allowed to be prescribed by a doctor under federal law and the states are arguing that with 17 jurisdictions in the U.S. (and more likely to be added) allowing cannabis for medicinal use, the scheduling of marijuana should be changed to remove conflict between states and the federal government.
Governors Lincoln Chaffee, Peter Shumlin and Christine Gregroire (of RI, VT, and WA respectively) have signed the petition while Colorado’s governor has not, but the state has filed its own formal request similar to the petition. This is due to time constraints in Colorado law, which require a filing by January 1, but doesn’t mean they may not sign on to the current petition.
While the re-scheduling would not affect law or the legality of possession, cultivation, or distribution of marijuana, it would remove the impetus for federal prosecution of state-legal dispensaries and caregivers.
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