Biden Administration Contemplates Marijuana Reclassification, A Federal Drug Policy Shift

Biden Administration Contemplates Marijuana Reclassification
Biden Administration Contemplates Marijuana Reclassification. Credit | Canva

United States – While there is a rise in cannabis talks, the Biden administration is said to be working on a major scheduling rescheduling which could end up being the turning point moment for federal drug law reform. The proposed transition would require the reclassification of the drug from the current Schedule I under the Controlled Substances Act into Schedule III, which has important implications not only for medical but also recreational cannabis use in the entire nation, as reported by Associated Press.

Regulatory Ramifications

Although the rescheduling will potentially reduce barriers to medicinal cannabis usage, the fact that recreational marijuana consumption is classified as illegal reflects the cautious policy towards drug reform within the current political milieu. It may be a position of deeper strategic consideration as it relates to the next election cycle.

Rigorous Regulatory Procedure and Public Engagement

The regulatory process for this reclassification is often subject to in-depth assessment, it is not unusual for the Agency of Drug Enforcement Administration’s suggestion to be examined thoroughly by the White House Office of Management and Budget. Additionally, the next public comment period highlights the existing authority towards seeking the views of various parties in order to come up with comprehensive and inclusive policy concerning drug reform.

Systemic Change

“This placement produces a cascade of severe penalties for marijuana users and businesses, including for criminal records, immigration statuses, employment, taxation, health care, public housing, social services, and more,” wrote the lawmakers, who included Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, Rep. Barbara Lee of California and Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon.

The letter which was addressed to the Attorney General, Merrick Garland and Administrator Anne Milgram of the DEA urged marijuana to be unscheduled from the class of listed drugs, as reported by Associated Press.

“The longer marijuana remains scheduled in the CSA, the longer our communities face senselessly severe penalties and the longer the marijuana laws of the majority of U.S. states remain in conflict with federal law,” the lawmakers wrote. “Right now, the Administration has the opportunity to resolve more than 50 years of failed, racially discriminatory marijuana policy.”