Toke Signals

Citing high numbers of arrests, billions of dollars wasted, disproportionate effects on black Americans and the relative safety of marijuana, a group of 18 Congress members on Wednesday, February 12, called on President Obama to “delist or classify marijuana in a more appropriate way, at the very least eliminating it from Schedule I or II.”

Particularly encouraging, even mildly surprising, was the fact that the word “delisted” appeared in the letter. Any sane approach to cannabis — that is, any approach based on actual science rather than reefer madness scare-mongering and conservative knee-jerk politics — demands that the herb be taken off the list of controlled substances entirely and regulated roughly like cabbage.

The move comes in light of Obama’s recent comments to The New Yorker that marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol and that it was important to allow legalization efforts in Colorado and Washington to proceed.

Neill Franklin, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition: "quote"

Neill Franklin, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition:
“No drug should be listed as Schedule I, which limits potentially life-saving research into both benefits and dangers of a substance”

Notably, 17 of the 18 Congress members who signed the letter are Democrats. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California is the lone Republican signee.

The Democrats who signed are Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon; Steve Cohen of Tennessee; Sam Farr, Mike Honda, Jared Huffman, Barbara Lee, Zoe Lofgren, Alan Lowenthal, and Eric Swalwell of California; Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona; James McGovern of Massachusetts; James Moran of Virginia; Beto O’Rourke of Texas; Jared Polis of Colorado; Mike Quigley and Jan Schakowsky of Illinois; and Peter Welch of Vermont.

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