Many news outlets have been reporting that the federal government of the United States will legalize medical marijuana on August 1st. Unfortunately, those reports are incorrect.
Santa Monica Observer apparently broke the news on June 18th, which prompted more and more news outlets to pick up on the information, but it sadly is not factually accurate. In fact, the only source in the report is an anonymous DEA lawyer who claims to have knowledge of the fact that marijuana will be reclassified as a schedule II drug as opposed to a schedule I.
No, it doesn’t appear as though the federal government will be legalizing marijuana on August 1st.
By now, everyone in America should be aware that the criminalization of marijuana has nothing to do with the potential “dangers” of smoking cannabis, and everything to do with monetary gain. The reason cannabis is illegal today — and has been for decades — is because of big business. While certain situations have changed and evolved over time, there’s one major constant: the federal government keeps cannabis illegal because it allows them to make more money.
Despite the fact that legalization won’t happen on August 1st, that doesn’t mean that it won’t happen eventually. The Daily Chronic reports, “In April, the DEA said they were prepared to respond to an administrative petition calling for the reclassification of marijuana, a petition that was launched in 2011. Replying to a July 2015 inquiry by US Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and seven other senators, representatives from the DEA acknowledged that they intend to respond to a five-year-old rescheduling petition, filed by then Governors Christine Gregoire of Washington and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island. The DEA’s response is expected by July 1.”
We can hope — but not expect — the DEA to take into consideration how valuable it would be to our entire society to legalize marijuana. The fact that it’s still criminalized is insane. It eventually will be legalized — there’s no preventing it — so here’s hoping that day comes unexpectedly soon.