Updated: Biden Administration Plans to Propose Rule Rescheduling Marijuana

On Tuesday the A.P. reported that the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice plans to reschedule marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule III drug.

Under federal law, Schedule I drugs are substances with a high risk of abuse and no FDA-approved medical use. Schedule III drugs are substances with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.

Reclassifying marijuana as a Schedule III substance would not legalize marijuana, but it would put marijuana in the same drug category as anabolic steroids or Tylenol with Codeine. As a rule, Schedule III substances are only available with a prescription from a licensed healthcare professional.

The Biden Administration is expected to accept public comments before issuing a final decision about rescheduling marijuana as a Schedule III substance.

Research has shown time and again that marijuana has a significant potential for dependence and abuse — especially marijuana products that are high in THC. And the FDA has not approved marijuana as a medical treatment for any illness or condition.

With that in mind, it seems inappropriate for the Biden Administration to reclassify marijuana.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.

This article has been updated to reflect the fact that rescheduling marijuana would not legalize it, but it would affect the type of regulation to which marijuana is subject.

“Psychosis is an Increasing Risk of Today’s Strong Marijuana”: Psychology Today

On Monday Psychology Today published an article highlighting the growing risk of psychosis linked to high-potency marijuana.

According to research cited in the article:

  • Young adults and teens can develop an addiction to weed and become psychotic.
  • Many people don’t know that regular marijuana use may carry serious health risks, especially for the young.
  • No medication is FDA-approved for treating cannabis use disorder.
  • One cannabis-induced psychotic episode ups the risk of developing bipolar disorder or schizophrenia by 50%.

Nationwide, since 2019, the number of kids diagnosed with cannabis-induced mental disorders, including schizophrenia and psychotic episodes, has increased by 50%.

Legalization is tied to increased marijuana use among teenagers. 

Researchers have found marijuana use during adolescence is associated with an increased risk for psychiatric disorders and cognitive problems. 

A report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found a disturbing 46% increase in self-harm rates among men aged 21 to 39 in states where marijuana sales were legalized.

Across the board, media outlets have repeatedly reported that legalization of marijuana has fueled black market operations rather than reducing them — emboldening drug cartels that operate industrial scale marijuana cultivation sites.

All of this comes as Arkansans for Patient Access is actively working to expand marijuana in Arkansas.

In March the group backing a marijuana in Arkansas raised more than $565,000 to place their marijuana amendment on the November ballot, according to reports filed with the Arkansas Ethics Commission.

The group has until July 5 to collect 90,704 petition signatures from registered voters to place the marijuana amendment on the ballot.

Most of the money the group raised in March appears to have come from marijuana growers and sellers.

The amendment would drastically expand Arkansas’ medical marijuana law to enable recreational marijuana statewide. 

If passed, the amendment would guarantee marijuana growers and sellers a monopoly over the state’s marijuana industry.

The amendment would give free marijuana cards to immigrants and out-of-state residents who come to Arkansas.

Marijuana users would no longer need to show they suffer from a specific medical condition listed in state law. People would be able to grow and use marijuana at home.

It also repeals restrictions on marijuana advertising.

Arkansas voters rejected marijuana legalization at the ballot box in 2022. That amendment was opposed by a broad coalition of churches, business groups, elected officials, and citizens who knew that marijuana would be bad for Arkansas. We anticipate similar opposition to the 2024 marijuana amendment.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.

Five Facts About Marijuana’s Medical Risks

In recent years groups like the American Lung Association, American Heart Association, and others have highlighted serious risks and health conditions associated with marijuana.

Here are five of them:

#1. Marijuana Use Increases Your Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke

A recent study noted by the American Heart Association found that marijuana users face increased risk of heart attack and stroke compared to non-users.

The more often someone uses marijuana, the greater the risk.

Daily marijuana users had 25% higher risk of heart attack compared to non-users. The risk of stroke was 42% higher for daily users compared to non-users.

#2. Marijuana Smoke Causes Lung Damage

Experts agree smoking is still the most popular way to use marijuana. But marijuana smoke contains toxins and carcinogens similar to tobacco smoke.

And the lung damage it causes is linked to lesser-known conditions, such as chronic bronchitis.

#3. Marijuana Smoke Carries Other Health Risks As Well

Marijuana smoke damages more than the lungs. It also can suppress the immune system, raising other health concerns.

#4 Poisoning from Marijuana Gummies is Sending Children to the E.R.

In recent years there’s been a surge in the number of Poison Control Center calls and E.R. visits resulting from accidentally ingesting THC.

In particular, children sometimes eat candy laced with marijuana by mistake, causing them to experience a medical emergency.

#5. “Medical” Marijuana Carries the Same Health Risks as “Recreational” Marijuana

Practically speaking, there’s no difference between “medical” marijuana and “recreational” marijuana products.

Smoke from so-called “medical” marijuana carries the very same health risks and causes the same lung damage as so-called “recreational” marijuana.

And “medical” marijuana gummies contain the same chemicals as “recreational” gummies.

Additional Points to Consider

  • An organization in Arkansas is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to put marijuana on the ballot this year.
  • If passed, the 2024 marijuana amendment would drastically expand Arkansas’ medical marijuana law to enable recreational marijuana statewide.
    • For example, people would be able to use marijuana without suffering from a specific medical condition — like cancer — listed in state law.
  • It also would give marijuana growers and sellers a monopoly over the marijuana industry in Arkansas.
  • All of this could mean more marijuana in Arkansas, if the amendment passes this year.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.