Last month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested public input on the international classification of marijuana and other drugs. Well, ask and you shall receive.
More than 20,000 people submitted comments ahead of the Wednesday deadline. And about half of those were gathered and hand-delivered to FDA headquarters by NORML, which created an online tool to streamline comments.
That’s about how many comments the organization delivered in April, in response to a similar FDA open comment period on cannabis.
The organization posted a video of the new delivery on Facebook, so you can watch it for yourself below:
“In just over two weeks, we received more than 10,000 comment submissions from our supporters,” NORML Political Associate Carly Wolf told Marijuana Moment. “It’s so important for everyday American citizens to speak up and participate at every opportunity because when it comes down to it, our communities are being directly impacted by the discriminatory and destructive policies our government has unjustly implemented.”
“The sooner these supposedly ‘fact-based’ bureaucracies acknowledge the actual realities of marijuana’s effects, widespread medical uses and very low potential for abuse, the sooner we will end the criminalization of cannabis.”
Another 10,591 comments were submitted online via the federal regulations.gov portal.
Altogether, the comments are aimed at informing the United States’s position on drug scheduling requirements under international treaties that prohibit member countries from legalizing cannabis. Marijuana is currently included in the most restrictive category under international treaties, similar to its placement in Schedule I under U.S. law.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is actively reviewing the global scheduling system to see if it should be amended. In August, WHO determined that one ingredient in cannabis, CBD, was a relatively safe and therapeutic substance that doesn’t deserve to be scheduled under international treaties.
While the comments from this round varied somewhat in terms of how each individual framed their argument, the vast majority published so far seem to be supportive of either loosening or eliminating international restrictions on marijuana.
Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis/Side Pocket Images.