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The DEA Won’t Reschedule Marijuana, but That Isn’t Necessarily a Bad Thing

at 2:38 pm | By

Why Won’t the DEA Reschedule Marijuana?

When you think of the War on Drugs, you probably picture inner-city or even peaceful suburban neighborhoods racked by drug use and the ensuing police crackdown to stop drug abuse and addiction from harming and further endangering our society.

If you do picture this, it’s likely because that’s exactly how our government has wanted you to see it for decades: a single scapegoat for so many of society’s vices, a tangible foe to unite us against a moral crisis. And who can blame them? After all, the widespread terror caused by drugs—crime, violence, and families torn apart—is real, further instilling a classist separation between neighborhoods, a social war between civilians and police, and fueling our overfilled and ineffective prison problem.

Today, however, the War on Drugs is no longer primarily one of law enforcement against criminals, but of regular people pushing back against the government, calling for an end to decades’ worth of misinformed drug policy and those who are getting wealthier from it.

But how did that all start? And why are we so focused on keeping “safer” drugs out of the hands of the public while the truly dangerous ones are still being prescribed to us, leading to addiction and death?

marijuana dispensary choices

Credit: David McNew/Getty Images

Here’s what the DEA’s announcement really means.