Salt Lake City, UT (August 11, 2016) — The federal Drug Enforcement Administration announced today that it would not remove marijuana, or cannabis, from “Schedule 1,” which classifies it as a drug with “no currently accepted medical use.” In response, Libertas Institute president Connor Boyack issued the following statement:
Earlier this year, the Utah legislature shot down a comprehensive, well-regulated, and patient-oriented medical cannabis proposal that would have provided safe, legal access to thousands of sick Utahns needing cannabis. During the legislative session, many elected officials expressed a preference in instead asking the federal government to reschedule cannabis.
Today’s announcement by the DEA shows the futility of deferring to the federal government on this issue (in violation of the 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution). Meanwhile, patients in Utah illegal using this alternative medicine continue to be criminalized. That is unacceptable.
We encourage the Utah Legislature to reconsider their actions and proactively provide these patients with legal protection from the criminal justice system—especially in light of the federal government’s misguided and self-interested refusal.
Utah is now in a minority of states that make the medicinal use of cannabis a crime. It’s time to find a consensus on this issue for the benefit of the suffering Utahns who need it.