US DEA will reclassify marijuana, ease restrictions, AP sources say | AP News


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Via:  evilone  •  3 weeks ago  •  18 comments


US DEA will reclassify marijuana, ease restrictions, AP sources say | AP News
In a historic shift, the U.S. moves to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug, AP sources say.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


FILE - In this Friday, March 22, 2019, file photo, a marijuana plant is visible at Compassionate Care Foundation's medical marijuana dispensary in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will move to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug, a historic shift to generations of American drug policy that could have wide ripple-effects across the country. The DEA's proposal still must be reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)


WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will move to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug, The Associated Press has learned, a historic shift to generations of American drug policy that could have wide ripple effects across the country.

The DEA's proposal, which still must be reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget, would recognize the medical uses of cannabis and acknowledge it has less potential for abuse than some of the nation's most dangerous drugs. However, it would not legalize marijuana outright for recreational use.

The agency's move, confirmed to the AP on Tuesday by five people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive regulatory review, clears the last significant regulatory hurdle before the agency's biggest policy change in more than 50 years can take effect.

Once OMB signs off, the DEA will take public comment on the plan to move marijuana from its current classification as a Schedule I drug, alongside heroin and LSD. It moves pot to Schedule III, alongside ketamine and some anabolic steroids, following a recommendation from the federal Health and Human Services Department. After the public comment period and a review by an administrative judge, the agency would eventually publish the final rule.

Kansas won't have legal medical pot or expand Medicaid for at least another year

It comes after President Joe Biden called for a review of federal marijuana law in October 2022 and moved to pardon thousands of Americans convicted federally of simple possession of the drug. He has also called on governors and local leaders to take similar steps to erase marijuana convictions.

"Criminal records for marijuana use and possession have imposed needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities," Biden said in December. "Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana. It's time that we right these wrongs."

The election year announcement could help Biden, a Democrat, boost flagging support, particularly among younger voters.

Biden and a growing number of lawmakers from both major political parties have been pushing for the DEA decision as marijuana has become increasingly decriminalized and accepted, particularly by younger people. A Gallup poll last fall found 70% of adults support legalization, the highest level yet recorded by the polling firm and more than double the roughly 30% who backed it in 2000.

The DEA didn't respond to repeated requests for comment.

Schedule III drugs are still controlled substances and subject to rules and regulations, and people who traffic in them without permission could still face federal criminal prosecution.

Some critics argue the DEA shouldn't change course on marijuana, saying rescheduling isn't necessary and could lead to harmful side effects.

Jack Riley, a former deputy administrator of the DEA, said he had concerns about the proposed change because he thinks marijuana remains a possible "gateway drug," one that may lead to the use of other drugs.

"But in terms of us getting clear to use our resources to combat other major drugs, that's a positive," Riley said, noting that fentanyl alone accounts for more than 100,000 deaths in the U.S. a year.

On the other end of the spectrum, others argue marijuana should be treated the way alcohol is.

Last week, 21 Democrats led by Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York sent a letter to DEA Administrator Anne Milgram and Attorney General Merrick Garland arguing marijuana should be dropped from the controlled-substances list and instead regulated like alcohol.

"It is time for the DEA to act," the lawmakers wrote. "Right now, the Administration has the opportunity to resolve more than 50 years of failed, racially discriminatory marijuana policy."

Federal drug policy has lagged behind many states in recent years, with 38 having already legalized medical marijuana and 24 legalizing its recreational use.

That's helped fuel fast growth in the marijuana industry, with an estimated worth of nearly $30 billion. Easing federal regulations could reduce the tax burden that can be 70% or more for businesses, according to industry groups. It could also make it easier to research marijuana, since it's very difficult to conduct authorized clinical studies on Schedule I substances.

The immediate effect of rescheduling on the nation's criminal justice system would likely be more muted, since federal prosecutions for simple possession have been fairly rare in recent years.

But loosening restrictions could carry a host of unintended consequences in the drug war and beyond.

Critics point out that as a Schedule III drug, marijuana would remain regulated by the DEA. That means the roughly 15,000 cannabis dispensaries in the U.S. would have to register with the DEA like regular pharmacies and fulfill strict reporting requirements, something that they are loath to do and that the DEA is ill equipped to handle.

Then there's the United States' international treaty obligations, chief among them the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which requires the criminalization of cannabis. In 2016, during the Obama administration, the DEA cited the U.S.' international obligations and the findings of a federal court of appeals in Washington in denying a similar request to reschedule marijuana.


Goodman reported from Miami, Mustian from New Orleans. AP writer Colleen Long contributed.

ZEKE MILLER Zeke is AP's chief White House correspondent
JOSHUA GOODMAN Goodman is a Miami-based investigative reporter who writes about the intersection of crime, corruption, drug trafficking and politics in Latin America. He previously spent two decades reporting from South America. ?url=https%3A%2F%2Fassets.apnews.com%2Fd5%2F46%2F8bdef66a4aa0bef10929ea74cd30%2Fmustian-jim.png
JIM MUSTIAN Mustian is an Associated Press investigative reporter for breaking news.
LINDSAY WHITEHURST Whitehurst is a national criminal justice reporter for The Associated Press, based in Washington, D.C. She covers the Justice Department, public safety and legal issues.

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jrDiscussion - desc
Professor Guide
1  seeder  evilone    3 weeks ago

Movement but still waiting... The big question will be how does Schedule 3 effect finances and transportation in the state industries?

Professor Principal
1.1  devangelical  replied to  evilone @1    3 weeks ago

60+ years late in the making...

Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  evilone @1    3 weeks ago

I'm no lawyer or expert on banking but if they are recognizing its medical benefits maybe this will open a door for growers and dispensaries to be able to open bank accounts

Sparty On
Professor Principal
2  Sparty On    3 weeks ago

Stoners rejoice ….. man!

Professor Principal
2.1  devangelical  replied to  Sparty On @2    3 weeks ago


Sparty On
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Sparty On  replied to  devangelical @2.1    3 weeks ago


Junior Expert
2.1.2  George  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.1    3 weeks ago

The long term effects listed by Fauci's NIH,  Cognitive impairments and studies have also linked marijuana use to declines in IQ, which helps to explain why Biden does so well in states like Colorado, Oregon Washington and California.

Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
2.1.3  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  George @2.1.2    3 weeks ago


Professor Principal
2.1.4  Tessylo  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.1    3 weeks ago

the projection is palpable

Sparty On
Professor Principal
2.1.5  Sparty On  replied to  Tessylo @2.1.4    3 weeks ago

You need some new material.    

Preferably something original

Professor Principal
2.1.6  Tessylo  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.5    3 weeks ago

Your usual hive minded drone nonsense

Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.1.7  Trout Giggles  replied to  George @2.1.2    3 weeks ago

I dunno...Mr Giggles IQ seems to jump a few points when he's high

I once finished some really difficult homework in college when I was stoned

Junior Expert
3  George    3 weeks ago

Their body, their choice, unless it's menthol cigarettes than it's the government that knows best.

Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Expert
3.1  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  George @3    3 weeks ago


Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
3.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  George @3    3 weeks ago
unless it's menthol cigarettes than it's the government that knows best.

I think that the Biden Admin decided to indefinitely delay the FDA recommended menthol cigarette ban.  The FDA proposed the ban in 2021, citing that it would lessen the number of new smokers and encourage long-time smokers to quit.  The estimated that the ban could save 237,000 African-American lives over the next 25 years.

The Biden Admin believes Black Votes Matter.

Sean Treacy
Professor Principal
3.2.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @3.2    3 weeks ago


Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
4  Buzz of the Orient    3 weeks ago

While they're at it, why don't they add tobacco and alcohol to the same list, since both of them cause so many more deaths and ruined lives than cannabis ever did?

Professor Guide
4.1  seeder  evilone  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4    3 weeks ago
While they're at it, why don't they add tobacco and alcohol to the same list

Commerce. They should deschedule marijuana like alcohol and restrict it the same. This is a large step to getting there.


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