Veterans & Law Enforcement Leaders Urge Biden to Reschedule Cannabis

Leading veterans groups and U.S. law enforcement officials have urged the Biden Administration to reschedule cannabis, highlighting its potential benefits for veterans and the need for reform to enhance treatments and reduce unnecessary legal consequences.

Full story after the jump.

Six of the country’s top veterans groups and a group of U.S. law enforcement leaders sent letters on Thursday urging the Biden Administration to reschedule cannabis under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

The development comes amid rumors that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) could soon announce a cannabis scheduling decision, and six months after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommended that cannabis be moved from Schedule I to Schedule III under the CSA.

In a letter to the Department of Justice, which oversees the DEA, top veteran advocacy groups called for federal officials to “expeditiously” reschedule cannabis, NBC News reports. The groups included the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, AMVETS, American GI Forum, the American Legion, Blinded Veterans Association, and the Minority Veterans of America.

Medical cannabis has been shown to assist with a wide number of debilitating conditions like post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), which affects a significant number of combat veterans.

“The men and women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces often face difficult physical and mental challenges upon returning home. As such, we hope that in treating the wounds of war — both visible and invisible — that our servicemembers and veterans would have access to the widest array of possible treatments.” — Excerpt from the veterans’ letter, via NBC News

Meanwhile, a separate letter from the Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration — of which DEA Administrator Anne Milgram is a member — also called on President Joe Biden (D) to reduce the schedule of cannabis, according to The Hill.

“We are current and former police chiefs, sheriffs, federal and state prosecutors, and correctional officials from across the country dedicated to protecting public safety and reducing unnecessary arrests, prosecutions, and incarceration,” the letter read, followed by the call: “We urge your Administration to reclassify marijuana from a schedule I to a schedule III substance under the Controlled Substances Act.”

Senate Democrats last month sent a letter urging the president to go even further than the HHS’ recommendation and remove cannabis from the federal drug schedule outright, which would fully decriminalize the plant.

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