Gage Skidmore

Kamala Harris Calls Current Federal Cannabis Policy ‘Absurd’

Vice President Kamala Harris said last week that the Schedule I status of cannabis under federal drug laws is “absurd” and “patently unfair,” and urged the DEA to reschedule the plant under the Controlled Substances Act.

Full story after the jump.

Vice President Kamala Harris (D) said on Friday that it’s “absurd” and “patently unfair” to rank cannabis above fentanyl and alongside heroin at Schedule I under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), according to a CNN report.

The vice president made the statement during a roundtable discussion covering the Biden Administration’s latest cannabis reform efforts. Moderated by musician and philanthropist Fat Joe, the discussion included Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) — who last year announced the pardoning of low-level cannabis possession charges — and a group of individuals who have received cannabis pardons.

“Marijuana is considered as dangerous as heroin and more dangerous than fentanyl, which is absurd, not to mention patently unfair. I’m sure DEA is working as quickly as possible and will continue to do so and we look forward to the product of their work.” — Harris, during the roundtable discussion

Harris, who started in politics as a prosecutor in California, also said that the criminal justice system has “failed” on its promise of “equal justice under the law.”

“And I say that with full knowledge of how this system has worked, including my experience as a prosecutor,” she said in the report.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last year recommended the federal government move cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has since claimed to have the final say on any scheduling action, and some insiders have reported pushback against the rescheduling plan from the federal enforcement agency.

In the meantime, President Joe Biden (D) has pardoned federal cannabis possession charges but those are just a drop in the bucket of overall cannabis convictions in the U.S. The president, however, did call on state governors to issue sweeping cannabis pardons.

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey (D) said last week she would pardon all of the state’s misdemeanor cannabis possession convictions.

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