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Senators Blast Biden Administration Over Failure To Act On Cannabis Reform

July 12, 2022

Six U.S Senators sent a letter to President Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra urging them to use their powers to deschedule cannabis at the federal level. The letter was signed by Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Ron Wyden, Ed Markey, and Kirsten Gillibrand. In addition to descheduling, the senators asked Biden to issue a blanket pardon for all non-violent cannabis offenses.

The letter notes that a revision to cannabis’ legal status can be initiated at DOJ discretion. Though the HHS would make a recommendation about changing its designation, that advice is not binding and the DOJ is free to deschedule as it pleases.

The letter also reminded the Biden administration of the president’s promises on cannabis reform throughout his campaign. “In communities where cannabis has been legalized, there have been widespread economic, racial-justice, public safety, and health benefits. During the presidential campaign, President Biden committed to decriminalize the use of cannabis and automatically expunge all prior cannabis use convictions, and he also acknowledged the importance of removing cannabis from its current classification under the CSA as a Schedule I substance. The Administration’s failure to coordinate a timely review of its cannabis policy is harming thousands of Americans, slowing research, and depriving Americans of their ability to use marijuana for medical or other purposes.”—Danny Sullivan

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