Utah Leaders Consider Urging Congress to Reclassify Cannabis

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The Utah Senate may ask Congress to change cannabis’ status on the national drug schedule, which may open the opportunity for scientists to research medical cannabis in Utah. Senate Concurrent Resolution 11, which is sponsored by Sen. Brian Shiozawa (R-Salt Lake), would need to be approved by the full Legislature and Governor Gary Herbert. However, if it were approved, it would show a huge change in perspective about cannabis from state leaders.

At the moment, cannabis is ranked on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s drug schedule as a ‘Schedule 1” drug, which means that it is in a list of other drugs that have ‘no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.’ To get an idea of how irrational this is, other drugs on the list include Heroin, LSD, and Ecstasy. Shiozawa’s bill would tell Congress to change cannabis to ‘Schedule 2’, putting it on a list of drugs such as Vicodin, OxyCotin, and Ritalin.

“It’s kind of gotten to be a mess because of inactivity on the executive branch and Congress,” Shiozawa stated. “This is an issue that frankly, we should have dealt with years ago.”

The writing of the resolution notes that the federal government has already mentioned that it will not attack patients who use medical cannabis in states where it is legal, and cities where there might be ‘ change in public policy in Utah regarding the issue.’ As of right now, state lawmakers have two cannabis bills

The text of the resolution points out that the federal government has already indicated it will not prosecute patients who use medical marijuana in states where there are medical marijuana laws in the books and cities where there may be ‘ change in public policy in Utah regarding the issue.’ Currently, state lawmakers are thinking about two marijuana proposals.

Senator Mark Madsen (R-Saratoga Springs), is sponsoring Senate Bill 73 which would allow for sick patients going through a multitude of illnesses to consume marijuana for pain relief, but only if a licensed physician recommends it. Sen. Evan Vickers (R-Cedar City) is sponsoring Senate Bill 89, which would give physicians the ability to prescribe medical cannabidiol, a less potent type of marijuana that is used for various illnesses and conditions.

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