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Deschedule > Reschedule

By Amanda Ferron

The Cannabis Industry has been abuzz this month since the news of the latest HHS recommendation regarding Cannabis scheduling. The Department of Health and Human Services sent a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration recommending that Cannabis be moved from its current Schedule 1 classification to a Schedule 3 classification. 

This would definitely have major implications when it comes to the current legal Cannabis market… But there seems to be a lot of banter regarding whether this would advance the industry, or be a huge step back for not only the Cannabis industry, but the community and the culture as well. Leading many of us who have been advocating for this plant for the majority of our lives to push for what we think the true solution would be: the Deschedulization of Cannabis.

Schedule 1

Cannabis’ current standing on the Controlled Substances Scheduling as a Schedule 1 drug is definitely LONG overdue for correction. This category lumps Cannabis in with drugs like heroin, meth, peyote, and LSD. The DEA defines Schedule 1 substances as having: “No currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse.” A description that quite obviously does NOT fit Cannabis. 

More and more information is becoming available about our bodies’ Endocannabinoid System. And how getting that system in balance (with the aid of Cannabis) can actually help your body reach homeostasis. Medicinally, Cannabis has been proven to help:

  • Improve sleep
  • Ease anxiety
  • Ease PTSD
  • Inhibit cancer cell growth
  • Improve appetite/ease stomach ailments
  • Ease opioid withdrawal symptoms

…Just to name a few! There are many, many more medicinal and therapeutic uses for this amazing plant. Unfortunately, the Government is run largely by a group of people who have either fed into “Reefer Madness” over the years… Or, to be blunt, have interests in industries that would not benefit from Cannabis/Hemp being legalized. (Think big oil, big pharma, big lumbar, etc..) Getting these people to admit that Cannabis is not only LESS harmful than alcohol, but actually has medicinal benefits, has proven to be damn near impossible.

Schedule 3

The DEA defines Schedule 3 substances as having “potential for abuse less than substances in Schedules I or 2 and abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.” This classification will lump Cannabis into the same group as Tylenol w/ Codeine, Ketamine, and Anabolic Steroids. 

Placing Cannabis under a Schedule 3 classification on the Controlled Substances list has pros and cons. Having our federal government, in any way admit, that Cannabis has medicinal use is an amazing achievement. One that many are saying could be a big step towards decriminalization. Which is, of course, the ultimate goal. However, others are not so sure that the pros outweigh the list of cons that come along with Schedule 3.

Two of my favorite Cannabis Media groups/manufacturers, The Beard Bros, have done a wonderful job of sharing posts on their instagram that break down why so many Cannabis industry OGs have a major problem with Schedule 3. One point I thought was incredibly valid was the issue regarding Homegrown Cannabis. Growing your own Cannabis is a special, almost sacred right to those of us who truly love the plant.

“How many people do you know that are able to produce their own schedule III medication?” The Beard Bros stated in a brightly colored Instagram post. “Every other schedule III medication is made by a federally licensed pharmaceutical company and available to you for purchase with a prescription. Why would we think cannabis would be any different? Or have exceptions that other schedule III’s medications do not? When in history has the US government given exceptions in favor of “the people”? We’re not trying to say the sky is falling. We’re just pointing out that the government has no reason or incentive to do anything differently for cannabis than the way it has already been treated for decades.”

Deschedule or Bust!

All of this, plus multiple other issues with Schedule 3 I didn’t even mention, leads me to the phrase that a lot of us keep repeating: DESCHEDULE OR BUST! 

Anything short of deschedulization/decriminalization is basically a slap in the face. Especially from an establishment that has made some big promises regarding decriminalizing Cannabis. (Empty promises I should say…) There is no reason why this amazing plant, with all of its therapeutic properties and potentially planet-saving industrial uses, should be on the DEA’s Controlled Substances schedule. Especially when you consider the fact that Alcohol is not even on the list!

The alcohol/cannabis comparison is personally a hot-button issue for me… I have known countless people whose lives were negatively affected by Alcohol. I have personally suffered abuse at the hands of an alcoholic. Some people I’ve known and loved drank so much they are now jobless and homeless. Some drank themselves to death. Others used alcohol as a gateway to more harmful substances, and ended up passing away. Even a few who lost their lives thanks to drunk drivers. But I have been judged incredibly harshly in my past, and still get judged to this day, for my Cannabis consumption.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t hold it against any adult who wants to enjoy a drink or two. My problem is that the numbers don’t make sense when you compare these two substances, and the legality associated with each of them respectively. About 140,000 people die every year in connection with Alcohol use. An estimated 2,200 of those from alcohol poisoning. Compared to 0 deaths in connection with Cannabis use. ZERO. You literally CANNOT overdose on Cannabis. If you could, I wouldn’t be able to write this right now. With the amount of Cannabis I’ve consumed over the last 20 years, I’d be long gone. 

The Fight is Far From Over

This is not the first time Cannabis has been up for reschedulization, and in my opinion, it probably won’t be the last. I think the community at large has a deep mistrust of anything the Government tries to promise us. They have been mislabeling, over-regulating, and criminalizing our use of this amazing plant for far too long. And it is hard to expect any change when the same politicians, now well into their 80’s and still steeped in reefer madness, are still the ones calling the shots.

Basically, this fight is far from over.

It’s our job to spread as much education and love for Cannabis as we can. Learn about your Endocannabinoid System. Learn about different Cannabinoids and terpenes. Talk about how and why you consume Cannabis. DON’T HIDE IT!

There is no reason anyone should be ashamed of consuming Cannabis. Especially when alcohol, a substance that is much worse for your health, is so widely accepted. It is pure hypocritical ignorance, plain and simple. And if we want things to change, we can’t wait on Politicians to make it happen… 

We have to stand up, and BE the change.

And we will not be satisfied until Cannabis is DESCHEDULED.

Deschedule > Reschedule.



*This blog was prepared and written by Amanda Ferron. The opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect the view of PayRio, Inc., its founder, or customers.*