Finally, some HUGE news in the marijuana world. Actual actions have been taken by the president to alleviate some of the afterburn from the War on Drugs. Thousands will be released immediately from federal prison for simple possession convictions.
But beyond this, there are tens of thousands more in prisons across the country. Most nonviolent arrests happen on the state level. So President Biden has called on Governors across the country to make the same moves he has. Surely, a few in blue states will follow behind his actions. But many won’t. And as for marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug, Biden has not made any moves to deschedule or reschedule. He can’t do that with an executive order.
So, what really has been done?
The answer, at the moment, is not much. But this is the kind of move a president makes that has a lasting reach. We’ve yet to see the ripple effects from Biden’s tweet.
For instance, Biden called on the FDA to expedite a review on the scheduling of marijuana. Without any action from the Senate, the Health Secretary can submit a petition to the Justice Department, which would make a decision on rescheduling. So no decriminalizing any time soon, but what would a Schedule II or III drug mean?
For one, it’d allow LOTS more investment to flow into marijuana. Many investors stay out of the marijuana industry for fear of prosecution. Most of that fear would dissolve with a new scheduling, especially Schedule III. Also, some of the tax burden would be relieved, considering companies wouldn’t have to pay the Section 280E tax penalty for dealing with a Schedule I illegal substance.
Rescheduling would mainly effect all of our bottom line. When it comes to the pardons, it entirely depends on how many states mimic the federal releases. If none take the bait, then we’ll have to wait a few more years until actual legalization occurs. For now, we can look forward to changes in the Controlled Substances Act taking place soon.
— Todd Harrison (@todd_harrison) October 6, 2022