Michigan Bill Would Remove Cannabis from State Drug Schedule

A Michigan bill with bipartisan support is seeking to remove cannabis from its placement as a Schedule 1 drug.

Full story after the jump.

A bill introduced in Michigan would remove cannabis from the state’s drug schedule, where it remains a Schedule 1 substance despite the state passing adult-use reforms in 2018, MLive reports. Democratic state Rep. Yousef Rabhi, the bill’s sponsor, said cannabis’ placement as Schedule 1 can have negative effects on employment, child guardianship, housing, and criminal punishment.

“Cannabis is still a schedule 1 substance. Schedule 1 is the highest, most criminalized on the list of drugs. Why? It’s legal, we’re using it medically, there’s adult use in the state that’s been approved by voters and yet we’re still listing it as a schedule 1 substance.” – Rabhi via MLive

The measure is named after poet and cannabis activist John Sinclair. Sinclair, 80, has advocated for cannabis legalization for more than 50 years. In 1969, he was sentenced to up to ten years in prison after being arrested for possession of two joints, which sparked a protest rally at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor on December 10, 1971, which featured a performance by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, which contributed to the poet’s release from prison, the report says.

Sinclair, along with NORML, unsuccessfully sued Michigan in 2019 to remove cannabis from the state’s drug schedule with the Court of Claims determining that legalization of a substance under certain circumstances doesn’t mean it can’t also be a controlled substance.

Rabhi was optimistic about the bill’s chances, contending that removing cannabis from the schedule “is not a partisan issue.”

“We’ve had several meetings with our Republican colleagues to try and get some movement on this and we’re going to keep that effort going,” she said in the report. “Republicans and Democrats, both, are cannabis users. It’s not a partisan issue and it shouldn’t be.”

The bill is currently in the House Committee on Regulatory Reform.

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