By Steve Elliott
The Utah Senate could soon urge Congress to change the classification of marijuana, currently considered Schedule I under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, to Schedule II, which could open the door for more medicinal cannabis research.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 11, sponsored by Sen. Brian Shiozawa (R-Salt Lake), would require the approval of the full Utah Legislature and Governor Gary Hebert, reports Jeremy Harris at KUTV.
Marijuana's current classification as Schedule I means that the U.S. federal government considers cannabis to be as dangerous as heroin and has "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse." Both cocaine and methamphetamine, incredibly, are considered Schedule II, thus less dangerous than marijuana, by the feds.
Shiozawa's resolution would urge Congress to reclassify marijuana to Schedule II. The downside to classifying cannabis as Schedule II, rather than de-scheduling it altogether, is that a Schedule II classification would effectively put marijuana under the tight control of Big Pharma.
"It's kind of gotten to be a mess because of inactivity on the executive branch and Congress," Shiozawa said. "This is an issue that frankly, we should have dealt with years ago."
The text of Shiozawa's resolution points out that the federal government has already indicated it won't prosecute patients who abide by their state's medical marijuana laws.