Congressman Steve Cohen has written to Drug Enforcement Administrator (DEA) Anne Milgram, urging her to get cracking on a recommendation to reschedule marijuana.
In October 2022, US President Joe Biden said he would direct the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Attorney General to undertake an administrative process to review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.
Currently, cannabis is listed as a Schedule I substance under the US Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This means it is considered a substance with no accepted medical use even though the majority of US states have medical cannabis programs in place.
After its investigation, the HHS reportedly recommended marijuana be rescheduled from a Schedule I to a Schedule III controlled substance under federal law, which would place it with drugs considered to have a low potential for dependency and abuse.
It’s now up to the DEA to make the final call on rescheduling, or even descheduling – and it is taking its time in coming to a decision.
Congressman Cohen wants the DEA to follow through on the recommendation, stating it was “critical” the agency get moving.
“Marijuana never belonged on Schedule I,” states Cohen. “You have a historic opportunity to make meaningful progress as Congress works on legislation to deschedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act and address some of the inequities caused by this misguided and discriminatory policy.”
At this point the DEA hasn’t been clear on when it will make an announcement, but Cohen says the DEA should move as swiftly as possible on this effort. There has been some progress, with the DEA recently stating it had begun the review process – and being very clear about the power it holds.
“DEA has the final authority to schedule, reschedule, or deschedule a drug under the Controlled Substances Act, after considering the relevant statutory and regulatory criteria and HHS’s scientific and medical evaluation.”
Commenting on the news, Congressman Cohen said:
“They might be lagging American public consensus on this issue by a few generations, but I’m pleased that this progress is finally being made under the Biden Administration.”