F*** the Treaties: Rescheduling and “Marijuana-Specific Controls”

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Marijuana-specific controls in schedule III?

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) published its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) last week to much fanfare. The NOPR would reschedule marijuana, “marijuana extract” and “naturally derived delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinols” from schedule I to schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). But that’s not all.

In my very quick analysis after the rule dropped, I flagged DEA’s statement that it may develop “marijuana-specific controls” in conjunction with rescheduling. I’m surprised this DEA statement hasn’t spurred much discussion, despite its Easter egg placement at NOPR page 86. “Marijuana-specific control” rules could turn out to be a pretty big deal.

For context, the U.S. is a party to certain international treaties that require it to control cannabis and other drugs. Because of that obligation, the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), has advised DEA that additional controls may be needed for marijuana on schedule III. That’s the simplest way to explain it: if you want more detail on the whys and wherefores of the legal regime and OLC’s rationale, go to pages 83-87 of the NOPR.

In my post last week, I highlighted that marijuana-specific controls would be considered by

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Bud Digest

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