A new day for Marijuana: Reclassification could have huge implications, but not for Idaho.

The Biden administration says it will change marijuana from a class 1 drug to class 3 which is in the same category as Tylenol with codeine.
Posted at 6:50 AM, May 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-09 08:50:00-04

BOISE — The Biden administration has indicated it plans to reclassify marijuana as a schedule three drug before the end of his first term. Marijuana is now a schedule one drug, meaning it has no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

  • Reclassification would remove 280e restrictions denying cannabis producers from getting tax breaks that most other companies get.
  • Kind Idaho says the move would be a huge benefit for Idaho veterans who would have easier access to the drug to deal with pain, PTSD, and a host of other maladies.
  • Reclassification does not mean legalization.
  • Retailers and Kind Idaho both agree that a change in classification would not lead to Idaho loosening its laws regarding pot.
  • Kind Idaho says if reclassification happens, they will shift their focus to decriminalizing marijuana.

(Below is a transcript from the broadcast story)

The recent announcement by the Department of Justice that it may reclassify marijuana from level one to level three has some people wondering what does it all mean?

Will it legalize pot? I’m Senior Reporter Roland Beres and the answer to that is definitely NO. But there could be some significant changes, if not for the consumer than definitely for the producers.

If there’s one thing you need to know about the expected reclassification of marijuana from level one to level three, it’s this:

“How much of this is politics?" I asked.

"Absolutely all of it is politics," answered Joseph Evans, Treasurer with the Kind Idaho Advocacy Organization.

Evans is treasurer for Kind Idaho, a pro-marijuana activist group and he says there’s no question President Joe Biden is using the issue to attract the youth vote.

But, that doesn’t negate the good he says it could do.

I asked Evans, "What is the biggest change that will happen in Idaho right away"

He replied, "The biggest change that’ll happen here in Idaho is our physicians at the VA will be able to work with veterans recommending medical marijuana cannabis for treatment of pain management post traumatic stress as well as cancer treatments.”

But outside of that?

“At this point I don’t see the switch to schedule three really affecting Idaho in any way shape or form,"

When it comes to the highly competitive business of marijuana, The owner of Treasure Valley Cannabis says reclassification will restore tax breaks the industry was previously denied.

“That’s a huge savings all of a sudden I’m allowed federal write offs that other businesses are allowed daily. It’s a huge windfall for the retail piece," said Jeremy Archie, Owner of Treasure Valley Cannabis.

That could mean an addition 1.5 to two million dollars a year for his business.

But no one expects reclassification to happen overnight.

“All this stuff takes longer than people credit it," said Archie.

And Kind Idaho worries that reclassification is like ringing the dinner bell for big Pharma.

“You just gave all of them control over a market created by entrepreneurs who have been working at the state level for legalization and decriminalization," added Evans.

“And is that bad?" I asked.

“Well it depends on how you feel about corporate America.”

A group called smart approaches to marijuana says reclassification is a bad idea because it says medical studies show THC in marijuana is linked to addiction, psychosis, depression and anxiety among other things.

interestingly enough, Fentanyl which has killed thousands of people in the US every year is a class two controlled substance. Fentanyl killed 70 thousand people in 2021.

Meanwhile, the pew research group reports that an overwhelming majority of 88 percent of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized in the us for medical or recreational reasons. In Boise, sr. reporter Roland Beres Idaho news six.