By Christopher Cadelago
August 11, 2016 – 10:42 AM
The Obama administration’s decision Thursday to keep marijuana classified among the nation’s most dangerous drugs divided campaign operatives in California’s cannabis legalization debate.
Wayne Johnson, campaign consultant for No on Proposition 64, said the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has again validated the opposition’s deeply held skepticism about legalizing marijuana.
“This decision is a stark contrast to the push by the big players in the marijuana industry who wrote Prop 64 and are now spending millions of dollars rushing this flawed measure to the ballot in order to capture the California market,” Johnson said.
Proponents of Proposition 64, the fall ballot initiative to legitimize marijuana for adults 21 and older, said the DEA’s determination underscores why the measure remains critical and why California must “fill the vacuum left by federal regulatory inertia.”
“We do agree with federal regulators that more independent scientific and clinical research is desperately needed, which is why Proposition 64 invests millions of new dollars into California-based research on marijuana’s medical and non-medical benefits, as well as enforceable traffic safety standards,” Proposition 64 spokesman Jason Kinney said.
Retaining marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug means it has no medical value, despite more than half of the states approving its use for medicine. It’s unclear how much of a long-term factor the government’s classification decision will have in the mufti-million dollar fight to bring pot out of the shadows, because medical marijuana has not been central to the debate.
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