One of the myriad problems and idiotic characteristics of the monumentally wasteful and unsuccessful War on Drugs is that the marijuana plant, or cannabis, is classified as a Schedule I drug by the federal government. Schedule I drugs are the most highly restricted drugs and reserved for drugs that are considered the most dangerous. Also, ironically, they are drugs that are considered to have “no currently accepted medical use”, despite medical evidence to the contrary. As a result, under this rule, marijuana cannot be prescribed by a physician, despite the fact that medical marijuana is legal in one form or another in many states. Another characteristic of proper Schedule I drugs is that it must be a substance that has a high potential for abuse. As an example, heroin has a high potential for abuse. To classify marijuana and heroin together in such a category is ridiculous and unsubstantiated by any honest measure.
One result, of course, is that we have numerous criminal laws dealing with marijuana, and marijuana arrests are some of the easiest arrests for law enforcement to make to maintain their stats and keep prisons full. However, in a marijuana cultivation case pending in California, the defendants are challenging the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug. On its face, to have marijuana as a Schedule I drug with heroin while cocaine, methamphetamine and Oxycontin sit in the Schedule II category with drugs that apparently have “less abuse potential than Schedule I drugs”, is completely ridiculous and irrational. Hopefully, a court will see this.
If the court does acknowledge this travesty of common sense, it is unclear what effect it will have on others. While it will likely help the particular defendants in this case, it may or may not reverberate to other locations and other decisions. Hopefully, it, or something, will prompt the federal government and prosecutors and judges to see that marijuana related prosecutions are a waste of time, money and resources as well as being counter productive.