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steve-cohen-marijuana-dea-tennesseeTennessee Democrat Rep. Steve Cohen wants to remove marijuana from the same drug class of heroin. Marijuana and heroin are both Schedule 1 drugs, which is the classification for the most dangerous drugs that have a high potential for abuse.  During a congressional hearing on the federal marijuana policy, Cohen used Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death as an example why the drugs aren’t the same.

“It is ludicrous, absurd, crazy, to have marijuana in the same level as heroin,” Cohen said at the hearing on Tuesday. “Ask the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, if you could. Nobody dies from marijuana. People die from heroin.”

Cohen also believes time is being wasted on marijuana policy, which is time that could be used to go after the drugs that actually kill.

“Every second we spend in this country trying to enforce marijuana laws is a second that we’re not enforcing heroin laws, and heroin and meth are the two drugs that are ravaging our country,” Cohen said. “And every death, including Mr. Hoffman’s, is partly the responsibility of the federal government’s drug priorities for not putting total emphasis on the drugs that kill, that cause people to be addicted and have to steal to support their habit.”

Here are the lists of drug schedules according to the US government:

Schedule I

Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are:

heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote

Schedule II

Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, less abuse potential than Schedule I drugs, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous. Some examples of Schedule II drugs are:

cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin

Schedule III

Schedule III drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Schedule III drugs abuse potential is less than Schedule I and Schedule II drugs but more than Schedule IV. Some examples of Schedule III drugs are:

Combination products with less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin), Products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine), ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone

Schedule IV

Schedule IV drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Some examples of Schedule IV drugs are:

Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien

Schedule V

Schedule V drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes. Some examples of Schedule V drugs are:

cough preparations with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or per 100 milliliters (Robitussin AC), Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, Parepectolin

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  • velociraptor

    Fun fact: My freshmen year of college it was so hard finding someone who sold weed on a regular basis. But I knew a heck of a lot people I could get oxy and coke from. I say that highlight the fact that we need to refocus our efforts on this “war on drugs.”

  • march pisces

    i agree with rep cohen. going back to one of my favorite katt williams jokes. “smoke weed the side effects are happy, hungry, sleepy”…… take other stuff in an abusive manner death is a sure side effect.

    • Courthney H.

      Marijuana is still considered a gateway to harsher drugs, though.

    • It’s misclassified, I say.
      I’d say that cigarettes and even alcohol are gateways because they are the most accessible.

    • Aria Wilson

      “Marijuana is still considered a gateway to harsher drugs, though.”

      Yeah, and at one time cigarettes were considered “harmless” and cool. But as we know better, we do better.

      Most people I know that smoke weed would NOT TOUCH meth, X, coke or even abused prescription drugs with a ten foot pole. The “gateway” nonsense is a leftover from the Reagan “Just Say No” campaign….and has been debunked.

      If you don’t want to do coke…you aren’t going to do coke…I don’t care how much weed you smoke.

      If you don’t want to do crystal meth…you aren’t going to do crystal meth…I don’t care how much weed you smoke.

      Weed has jack to do with your heroin habit and is not the reason you take molly on the weekends.

      Don’t start experimenting with those drugs…then try to blame weed. We do EXACTLY what we want to do when it comes to these substances…nothing more, nothing less.

    • Phillygurl

      There is no proof of that. In that case so are cigarettes and alcohol.

  • SayWhat

    Not that I smoke (seriously I don’t), but I think that is a good step because it will keep a lot of young college age kids from having records just for being caught with a joint.

    As for being a gateway drugs, cough syrup, sharpie pens, bath salts and those computer keyboard cleaners are all used by teenagers looking to get high, so I’d say where this a will there is a way.