All the recent talk about the Federal Government considering reclassifying Marijuana as a Schedule 3 drug instead of a Schedule 1 is not going to be a 'utopian' development; instead, it could actually create more wrinkles.

  DEA proposes rescheduling the drug

Recently, the Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, proposed dropping pot from a Class or Schedule 1 drug (heroin, meth, coke are Schedule 1 also) to a Level 3 drug. This would put it in the same class as testosterone (steroids) ketamine, Tylenol with codeine, and others.

Many proponents of the move say it's long overdue, however, according to data from multiple sources, including a couple of prominent law firms and PR companies, it could actually add more restrictions.

According to the firm Holland and Knight:

"Rescheduling does not mean the DEA no longer has regulatory authority over marijuana. To the contrary, if marijuana is rescheduled to Schedule III, the DEA says that the "regulatory controls applicable to Schedule III controlled substances would apply." In addition, the manufacture, distribution, dispensing and possession of marijuana would also remain subject to applicable criminal prohibitions under the CSA. (Controlled Substances Act)."

This might actually create another layer of regulation and restrictions for the drug.

It would also mean the drug would fall further under the control of the Food and Drug Administration:

"This means that containing a substance within the CSA's definition of "marijuana" would need U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to be lawfully "introduce[d] or deliver[ed] for introduction into interstate commerce," unless an investigational new drug (IND) is in effect for that drug. The agency notes that to date, no such drugs have been approved by FDA."

Nor would it guarantee pot store owners could start setting up bank accounts and utilizing widespread debit or credit card services, according to Clark Hill, a legal and information firm:

"The decision to reclassify cannabis has no bearing on the legal issues that surround the banking industry. Under the current regulatory status, those engaged in the sale and distribution of cannabis on a state level are prevented from using deposit accounts, insurance and other financial services similar to the way that other businesses operate. Indeed, despite the reclassification, cannabis still remains illegal under federal law, leaving many growers and sellers without financial services such as operating bank accounts or maintaining credit cards."

Other sources say it is up to credit card companies and their policies as to whether they choose to do business with pot stores, and so far, they have not.

If marijuana goes from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3, it will not necessarily be the catch-all that supporters believe it will.  Also, if the Feds to go through with it, the process will take many months.

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