Opinion

The Beginning of the End: Cannabis Prohibition is Fizzling

Cannabis Prohibition
Nicholas Demski
Written by Nicholas Demski

How recent changes have marked the beginning of the end of cannabis prohibition at the federal level.

Strobe lights arcing through the air.

Entrance music rumbling the bones of thousands of spectators.

People go wild as their favorite contestant enters.

Elbow drops, face cranks, and backbreakers enthuse the crowd to eruption!

Of course, it’s all verbal.

This isn’t the world of professional wrestling, it’s the world of American politics.

Usually, it’s a stage game meant to draw eyes without doing much of substance for us.

Sometimes, however, the government makes significant changes analogous to the times when professional wrestlers get hurt, because it’s a true shock.

The stage gets wiped away and it suddenly becomes real.

Recently, the American government gave cannabis a true shock: a stone-cold stunner of actual progress.

The DEA Sends Out Notice to Pending Applications

For years, companies have been issuing their applications to the DEA to qualify as legal growers of bulk quantities of cannabis.

Some of them have had their applications pending for more than three years.

Recently, however, the DEA sent out a notice to the applicants that some of them may withdraw their applications due to a shift in federal policy.

The notice provided two keys pieces of information:

  1. The DEA is officially expanding scientific and medical research for cannabis within the United States.
  2. The DEA has recognized that the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 altered how the federal government defines cannabis. The government removed the word, “hemp” from its definition and noted that growing and researching it are both legal (without DEA registration).

Essentially, the DEA has recognized the legality of growing hemp and producing CBD, so long as the THC content of the plants remains below 0.3%.

Some of the pending applications, with this news, can be voluntarily dropped since they no longer require DEA registration. That means the expansion of CBD research and product will begin immediately.

However, the DEA also noted that it has not yet made any decisions on pending applications and that they are going to propose new rules to facilitate the adaptation to the new policies.

Should we be thanking the DEA for their progress?

Perhaps.

But this progress may be more in part to a judge from the United States Court of Appeals ordering the DEA to explain their inaction on medical cannabis research applications.

Some litigious sweet chin music flattened the DEA onto the mat. Corporate support frog-flopped on top of them from the high rope. Finally, the People’s Elbow, public support, electrified our government into action.

We should probably thank ourselves.

About the author

Nicholas Demski

Nicholas Demski

Nicholas Demski's latest venture is TheCannabiologist.com. He's a poet, author, cannabis writer, and budding entrepreneur. You can follow his travels with his daughter on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram @TheSingleDadNoma

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