Oregon lawmakers have joined the chorus of state-level politicians formally requesting that the federal government reschedule marijuana.
Currently, cannabis is labeled as a Schedule I drug, which labels the drug as having a high likelihood of abuse and “no currently accepted medical use,” a stance that obviously clashes with the more than 30 states and territories that have legalized medical marijuana. Other Schedule I substances include heroin, morphine, and a variety of other opioids, opium derivatives, and psychedelics.
Being a Schedule I substance has led to significant issues for politicans, scientists, and businesspersons in states that have legalized either medical or recreational cannabis. It keeps businesses from utilizing normal banking, forcing them into a dangerous cash-only position. It also hinders research and testing that would further solidify cannabis’ position as a medicinally beneficial substance.
This also poses an obvious conflict between the states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana and the federal government, which has become increasingly threatening towards states that have legalized under Trump’s presidency and his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. Increasing pressure from the feds to remove federal protections put in place to keep the Department of Justice from prosecuting laws relating to cannabis in states that have legalized and increased scrutiny has pushed many states to try and safeguard, and even advance, legal cannabis.
A bipartisan representation from Oregon voted with other state representatives at the National Conference of State Legislatures on a referendum asking the federal government to re-schedule. “As more states continue to legalize either medical or adult use cannabis,” said Oregon Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, D-Portland in a statement. “It is imperative that we allow legal cannabis businesses to access the banking system.”
Though he wasn’t present at the conference, Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, added his support for the measure through a statement. “We are asking the federal government to remove marijuana from scheduling so that we can forge ahead with life-changing cannabis medical research.”