Medical Marijuana Update
The DEA again rejects marijuana rescheduling, a North Dakota initiative makes the ballot, a South Dakota one doesn’t, a Missouri one hangs on by a thread, and more.
Thursday, DEA again refused to reschedule marijuana. The DEA today again refused to reschedule marijuana, arguing that its therapeutic value has not been scientifically proven. The move rejecting a rescheduling petition from two governors comes despite medical marijuana being legal in half the states and in the face of an ever-increasing mountain of evidence of marijuana’s medicinal utility. Today’s action marks at least the fourth time the DEA has rejected petitions seeking to reschedule cannabis. The effort to get the DEA to move cannabis off the same schedule as heroin has been going on since 1972, and once again has garnered the same result. The agency did announce one policy change that could make it easier to conduct marijuana research. It said it would end the University of Mississippi’s monopoly on the production of cannabis for research purposes by granting growing licenses to a limited number of other universities.
Monday, a medical marijuana initiative campaign vowed to go to court to try to overturn invalidated signatures. New Approach Missouri announced that it will go to court this month to overturn invalidated signatures so that its medical marijuana initiative can appear on the November ballot. The campaign has enough valid signatures to qualify in every congressional district except the state’s second, where local election officials invalidated more than 10,000 signatures, leaving the campaign roughly 2,200 short of the 32,337 required in that district.
Tuesday, Ohio took the first step toward getting medical marijuana up and running. The state Medical Marijuana Control Program has unveiled a website with the first information on how it plans to implement the state’s new medical marijuana law. Medical cannabis will not be available before September 2018, as the state works to develop rules and regulations.
Tuesday, a medical marijuana initiative qualified for the November ballot. The secretary of state’s office has confirmed that Compassionate Care Act initiative has submitted enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The initiative would allow patients suffering from a list of specified medical conditions to possess up to three ounces of cannabis and grow their own if they are more than 40 miles away from a licensed dispensary. Dispensaries would be nonprofits.
Tuesday, a state court judge rejected a medical marijuana initiative campaign’s appeal. The state will not be voting on the issue this November after a state court judge denied a request from the campaign to overturn Secretary of State Shantel Krebs’ finding that the group did not hand in enough valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. South Dakota has twice previously rejected medical cannabis at the polls — the only state to do so.
By Phillip Smith
Paul Ebeling, Editor
For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.