HomeNewsSchumer & Co Take Another Crack At Marijuana Legalization

Schumer & Co Take Another Crack At Marijuana Legalization

Reports the DEA is to reschedule cannabis is meeting pushback from both sides of the fence, with Democrats taking another tilt at descheduling and legalization.

US President Joe Biden directed a review be carried out of how marijuana is scheduled under federal law back in 2022. After the review, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommended rescheduling marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) from the most restrictive status, Schedule I, to the less restrictive Schedule III category. Last week it was reported the DEA will accept the HHS rescheduling recommendation.

If that’s the case, the show isn’t over yet. The DEA decision will need to be reviewed by another agency and be published for public comment – with the possibility of a judicial review. Only after all that is complete will a final rule be published in the Federal Register, and changes will take effect 30 days following its publication.

The news about the DEA’s stance met with mixed reactions.

A group supporting ongoing cannabis prohibition, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), says rescheduling will:

“… give Big Marijuana billions in tax write-offs as well as continue the normalization of high-potency THC drugs. SAM will oppose this change at every level, including, if necessary, pursuing legal action.”

At the other extreme, a collective of Democratic senators have since reintroduced a bill to legalize marijuana at a federal level.

“We must act on cannabis reform,” said Senator Cory Booker. “Together with Leader Schumer and Senator Wyden we are announcing comprehensive federal reforms that will legalize cannabis and restore justice.”

Among other things, the bill’s sponsors say the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) altogether, protect public health and safety, regulate and tax cannabis, encourage cannabis research, strengthen worker rights and prioritize restorative and economic justice

“It’s past time for the federal government to catch up to the attitudes of the American people when it comes to cannabis,” said Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer.

The full text of the bill can be viewed here, and a summary of the introduced CAOA here.

As we mentioned last week, NORML has commented that rescheduling would see conflict with federal regulations continue and perpetuate the existing divide between state and federal marijuana policies.

Terry Lassitenaz
Terry Lassitenaz writes exclusively for Hemp Gazette and has done so since the site launched in 2015. He has a special interest in the political arena relating to medical cannabis, particularly in Australia, and addressing the many myths surrounding this incredibly useful plant. You can contact Terry here.

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