Shortly after his outspoken comments in support of cannabis decriminalization, Senator Bernie Sanders is showing he can also “walk the walk.”
On Wednesday, he announced that he plans to introduce legislation with the goal of removing cannabis from the schedule of “Dangerous Substances” laid forth by the Controlled Substances Act.
Read Sen. Sanders’ full remarks here.
The CSA Federal narcotics scheduling has long stood as the primary obstacle to any kind of cannabis legalization. State and local governments, in addition to universities and scientific research institutions, have been afraid to comply with voter-initiated legalization policies for fear of federal prosecution under the Controlled Substances Act.
Out of the five scheduling classifications for drugs, a Schedule I classification is the most restrictive, meaning that such substances have high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a general a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.
Historically, the entire cannabis plant has been considered a Schedule I narcotic – including isolated compounds like Cannabidiol (CBD) and the non-psychoactive industrial hemp plant.
Obviously, real science refutes the Schedule I status of cannabis, but the language of the CSA has yet to be changed. This could be attributed to Congressional inaction, but more so on lack of significant public outcry on the issue.
So far, Sanders is the only 2016 Presidential candidate that has been able to please cannabis activists. He has said that he believes it should be decriminalized and even legalized recreationally.
Read the full text of Sanders’ bill here.
Kyle Sherman, CEO of cannabis software company Flowhub, is ecstatic about the news. “I’m excited that Bernie Sanders is looking at our future and is taking action. He’s not just talking about changing the federal stance on cannabis prohibition – he’s actually doing something about it today,” he said. “Leading a company that builds compliance software specifically for this industry, I know that the regulatory platforms available today are working, and helping keep product off the black market. The software we’ve created is remarkably simple to use and powerful enough to drive this industry forward in a responsible way. That being said, I can’t help but fully support Bernie Sanders. He’s an incredible leader with incredible vision for the United States. This is a great moment in our history as a country.”
The NCIA released a supportive statement as well:
“The National Cannabis Industry Association today applauded new legislation to be introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) which would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and allow it to be regulated similarly to alcohol. That approach would allow states that choose a legal, regulated approach to marijuana to move forward without federal interference and allow banking access and fair taxation to state-compliant cannabis businesses.”