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How Would Federal Rescheduling of Cannabis Affect Oklahoma Drug Cases?

How Would Federal Rescheduling of Cannabis Affect Oklahoma Drug Cases?

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) formally recommended that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) change the classification of cannabis from a Schedule I to a Schedule III controlled substance. This is the first time that a federal agency has formally proposed removing cannabis from Schedule I, the list of drugs considered the most dangerous. If the DEA accepts the recommendation, the change could have major repercussions for the legal cannabis industry, but it would be unlikely to affect state laws regarding cannabis possession. A Tulsa drug charge lawyer can help you if you are facing charges related to the illegal possession, sale, purchase, or transport of a controlled substance.

What Do the Drug Schedules Mean?

The federal Controlled Substances Act sets out five lists, known as schedules, containing drugs dangerous enough that the government subjects them to tight restrictions. Thus, “controlled substance” is not an exact synonym for “illegal drug,” since most controlled substances are pharmaceutical drugs that doctors have the right to administer and pharmacies have the right to stock. The only group of drugs that is always illegal is the Schedule I controlled substances.  Federal law considers these drugs dangerous and susceptible to misuse; it does not consider them to have any acceptable medical uses. Schedule I controlled substances include heroin, LSD, MDMA, and cannabis, among others.

All of the other schedules of controlled substances have at least one accepted medical use.  Schedule II drugs are the most dangerous drugs, including fentanyl, cocaine, oxycodone, and amphetamines such as Adderall.  Schedule III drugs are pharmaceutical drugs that are less dangerous than Schedule II; these include suboxone, ketamine, and anabolic steroids, among others.

Oklahoma Cannabis Laws

Recreational use of cannabis is illegal under Oklahoma law. Unlike some other states, Oklahoma does not have any cities or counties that have decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis for recreational use. Oklahoma does, however, have a medical cannabis program. If you are a licensed medical cannabis patient, you may possess up to three ounces of marijuana, up to six cannabis plants, up to one ounce of THC oil, and up to 72 ounces of cannabis edibles. Oklahoma allows the sale and possession of CBD oil, which is derived from hemp, a cultivar of Cannabis plants with very low concentrations of THC, the intoxicating compound in cannabis.

Recent Developments in Federal Cannabis Policies

If cannabis becomes a Schedule III controlled substance, this development will open doors for the legal cannabis industry. For example, it will be legal for researchers to conduct clinical trials involving cannabis therapy, so they will be able to test claims about the benefits and risks of cannabis use. Rescheduling cannabis will also make cannabis dispensaries eligible for business tax deductions and business loans that are currently unavailable to them.

Contact Tracy Tiernan About Criminal Defense Cases

A criminal defense lawyer can help you exercise your legal rights if you are facing drug charges. Contact Tracy Tiernan in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to discuss your case.

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