Opinion piece by Tom Downey, The Denver Post
All relevant goals and concerns can be addressed with a three-part approach:
1. Reschedule marijuana from Schedule I (completely illegal) to Schedule III (legal for medical purposes, allowed only by prescription). This would only address a small percentage of the current market, as most marijuana in Colorado and other legal states is consumed by smoking, vaping and edibles. Rescheduling would legalize marijuana testing and patient studies for universities.
2. Continue the federal non-enforcement policy for recreational marijuana. Rescheduling for medical purposes would align with the federal government’s current stance towards state-legal recreational structures. Under a dual system, the recreational market would increase rapidly with customer demand for non-prescription smokable marijuana and edibles. Jurisdictions with excise taxes on recreational marijuana would bring in additional revenues for regulation based on federal enforcement priorities.
3. Create a coalition of states to adopt uniform, comprehensive regulation and enforcement for recreational marijuana to address public safety concerns. A coalition of states could create model laws and regulations to create uniformity in packaging, labeling, portion size, marijuana oil extraction safety standards, pesticide use, testing, etc., as well as joint enforcement. The federal government could add its support for public safety and consumer protection by: 1) amending banking laws to allow marijuana businesses to have checking accounts and receive loans, and reduce the crime associated with cash-only businesses; 2) allowing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to award patents and trademarks; and 3) amending the IRS Code to allow marijuana businesses to take standard business deductions.
What do you think of Downey’s ideas? How do you think they will affect the cannabis market?
Let us know in the comments below!