Congressional Lawmakers Urge DEA to Remove Cannabis from Schedule I

Eight months after the federal Department of Health and Human Services recommended moving cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III, a coalition of Congressional lawmakers this week urged the DEA to make its decision as quickly as possible.

Full story after the jump.

Congressional Democrats are pushing for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to “swiftly” remove cannabis from Schedule I under the Controlled Substances Act, The Hill reports.

Led by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (MA) and John Fetterman (PA) and Reps. Barbara Lee (CA) and Earl Blumenauer (OR), the lawmakers wrote their request in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and DEA Administrator Anne Milgram.

“We are now nearing eight months since the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommended rescheduling marijuana to Schedule III — and 18 months since President Biden directed HHS and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to begin the process of reviewing marijuana’s scheduling,” the letter reads. “It is time for [DEA] to act.”

“While we understand that the DEA may be navigating internal disagreement on this matter, it is critical that the agency swiftly correct marijuana’s misguided placement in Schedule I. We trust that the DEA is working as quickly as possible toward a decision on how marijuana is scheduled, as Vice President Kamala Harris recently reassured stakeholders.” — Letter excerpt, via The Hill

From the Senate, the letter was signed by Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) and Democrats Chuck Schumer (NY), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Ron Wyden (R), Alex Padilla (CA), Peter Welch (VT), Jeff Merkley (R), John Hickenlooper (CO), and Cory Booker (NJ). From the House, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) joined Democratic Reps. Robert Garcia (CA), Jan Schakowsky (IL), Dina Titus (NV), Val Hoyle (OR), Becca Balint (VT), Jim McGovern (MA), and Katie Porter (CA) in signing the letter.

Meanwhile, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said earlier this month there is “no reason” for DEA to delay its decision on whether to remove cannabis from the nation’s top federal drug schedule.

DEA claimed in January the agency had the “final authority” on the rescheduling decision.

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