The marijuana advocates who smoked weed outside the White House earlier this month met with Obama administration officials Monday to discuss removing cannabis from the list of Schedule 1 drugs.
Adam Eidinger and Nikolas Schiller, who led a successful campaign to legalize marijuana in the District of Columbia, met with the Obama Administration to remove pot from the Controlled Substance Act, according to a press release.
"While President Obama may have inherited failed drug policies, he also has an obligation to address these failures in a meaningful and responsible way. As we approach the twilight of his administration, we are calling on President Obama to take immediate action before it is too late."After their 30-minute meeting with administration officials, Eidinger and Schiller told reporters they were happy with the meeting, but wanted to return soon to meet with higher level officials, Eidinger told DCist.
"I put a suit on, I didn't wear my hat. I wanted to show respect and total appreciation for this meeting."Cannabis is currently rated as a Schedule 1 drug, along with heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy, and is considered by the federal government to be of no redeeming value, but marijuana activists want to reschedule pot to make it more accessible.
Marijuana legalization is sweeping the nation, and already four states and the District of Columbia have approved it for recreational use, while 23 other states have eased restrictions on the drug. The green revolution spreading across the country is looking increasingly like a business, as the emerging legal pot industry generates billions for successful entrepreneurs.
Several states, including California, are expected to consider legalizing marijuana during the November election.The Drug Enforcement Agency approved the first-ever study to research the effect of cannabis on veterans' PTSD symptoms last week. The Colorado Department of Health and Environment funded a $2 million study to research the benefits of marijuana in alleviating the symptoms of PTSD in the first-ever federal study, reports the SFGate.
"This is a critical step in moving our botanical drug development program forward at the federal level to gather information on the dosing, risks, and benefits of smoked marijuana for PTSD symptoms."Other medical research labs are crying out to gain the same approval for studying marijuana's effects on illness and disease, but have so far been unable to gain authorization. Epilepsy researchers are attempting to gain permission from the federal government to study cannabidiol, an active ingredient in marijuana that doesn't get smokers high, which has been proven to prevent seizures.
"While we don't know all of the long-term and short-term side effects of using cannabis and cannabidiol, we do know the impact of uncontrolled epilepsy, and that must be considered when looking at the use of cannabis."Other pot activists claim the criminalization of marijuana results in a two-tier justice system, where minorities face jail time and their white counterparts go free for smoking the same drug.
Eidinger and Schiller hope their meeting Monday with White House officials will help remove marijuana from the list of Schedule 1 drugs, thereby making it easier for medical researchers to study its effects.Earlier this month, the two planned a cannabis rally outside the White House, where marijuana activists brought out a 51-foot joint in hopes of gaining the attention of President Barack Obama.
The demonstration had mixed success, with many pro-cannabis lawmakers choosing to skip the protest.
Meanwhile, lawmakers have been pressuring the DEA to reschedule cannabis, and the agency has responded by saying it may issue a new recommendation this summer.
[Photo by AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana]