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Blumenauer: Schedule III Cannabis and Beyond

A new memo from US Congressman Earl Blumenauer outlines his optimism for the path ahead for cannabis reform, and details the work that remains.

Congressman Blumenauer has been at the forefront of cannabis reform in the USA since 1973. Among his many related activities was co-founding the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. While Congressman Blumenauer is calling it a day and not seeking re-election, he isn’t resting on his laurels in the time that remains.

With regard to recent reports the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is poised to support rescheduling cannabis from Schedule I to III under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), Congressman Blumenauer says:

“Schedule III is not quite what we wanted – marijuana shouldn’t be scheduled at all — but it is nonetheless a revolutionary step that sends a signal about the imperative of ending the failed war on drugs.”

There is more to be done beyond the rescheduling, he says, including ending the criminalization of marijuana.

“While Schedule III ends criminal penalties attached to Schedule I for marijuana offenses, it does not end mandatory minimums specific to marijuana as a controlled substance or other federal criminal penalties for possession, production, or distribution.”

In his memo, the congressman provides a laundry-list of actions that are required. Among these are long overdue reforms such as the SAFE(R) Banking Act (H.R. 2891), which will allow financial institutions to provide banking services to legitimate cannabis-related businesses. While some already are, as federal law currently stands these institutions are at risk of prosecution.

Another reform is the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act (H.R. 5601), which among its actions removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and expunges prior marijuana offenses.

The list of what needs to be done looks quite daunting.

“However, we should celebrate this historic step forward, which is possible because of the tireless work my partners and I have put behind these reforms for more than 50 years,” Congressman Blumenauer said.

While his time remaining as a Congressman may be limited, that isn’t dampening Mr. Blumenauer’s cannabis reform work.

“I am committed to building on this momentum to end the failed cannabis prohibition once and for all.”

The full text of the memo can be found here.

Steven Gothrinet
Steven Gothrinet has been part of the Hemp Gazette in-house reporting team since 2015. Steven's broad interest in cannabis was initially fueled by the realisation of industrial hemp's versatility across multiple sectors. You can contact Steve here.

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