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Schedule 1 status of marijuana challenged by accused man

As many people are aware, the debate over the legalization of marijuana has been raging on for many years -- and it seems to have really picked up in the past year or two, as Colorado and Washington passed measures that made marijuana legal in their states. However, what you may not know is that at the federal level, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug. That means it is considered one of the most dangerous drugs by law, even though it has considerable medicinal purposes.

In California, marijuana has been legal in a medical sense for nearly two decades. There are plenty of other states with medical marijuana laws, and it is this dichotomy -- that it is legal in two states and cleared medically in many others, and yet it is a dangerous drug at the federal level -- that causes a lot of confusion about marijuana.

One man from Michigan who stands accused of federal drug charges stemming from a marijuana grow operation is challenging the federal law that labels marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug. The man and his attorney want to have their case heard before a judge, and they hope to convince a judge that marijuana's Schedule 1 status is unjust given its medicinal properties.

Whether the motion succeeds or not, this story brings up the larger conversation about marijuana in our society. Is it really as dangerous as its portrayed? Or is it portrayed that way because that's all we've ever known? There are tons of people behind bars on marijuana crimes, and it seems prudent of us, as a society, to consider whether they should actually be there or not -- and if people in the future should be held up to such serious criminal codes.

Source:, "Attorney says marijuana wrongly classified as dangerous drug, federal prosecution unfair," John Agar, June 20, 2014

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